That’s what you see the moment you step foot into the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe. It’s a cute little cafe in the middle of Irvine Spectrum, and by “little” I really mean little. The cafe only has three tables in the front room to accommodate the ever-growing line that leads out the door.
To the left of the register is the doorway to the Bow Room: a reserve-only tea room that you have to book two months in advance in order to get in for their $50 afternoon tea or cocktail night. We, unfortunately could not get a reservation as they can only serve those in groups of twos, fours, and sixes, and we had three people. Despite that, we were able to enjoy the front cafe.
I ordered a hot chocolate and a birthday cake (it wasn’t my birthday) from the display case to the right of the register. Sabrina ordered a frozen strawberry lemonade with a giant raspberry macaron and Franco got an iced coffee with a Hello Kitty-shaped cookie, just for the heck of it.
The verdict? Well, let’s hope that if you ever find yourself willing to drive to Irvine that you bring your sweet tooth. The sugar content is through the roof!
The cake was covered in rainbow sprinkles straight from Candyland that fell from the sides as I ran the fork down a corner of the cake. When I took the first bite, the hard frosting keeping this dessert together instantly dissolved in my mouth in a sweet avalanche of pure sugar. I looked over to Sabrina happily munching on the macaron, wishing I got that instead. Franco didn’t touch his cookie, eyeballing the same rainbow sprinkles that decorated Hello Kitty’s face.
I did thoroughly enjoy the hot chocolate, and especially found the Hello Kitty chocolate shape on top adorable. The frozen strawberry lemonade was also pleasant; the slush proved to be refreshing to sip on throughout the day.
Everything, including Franco’s iced coffee, had a little more sugar than we were used to, but we figured they had to match the sweetness to how the whole place looked.
As I stared down the huge statue of the infamous cat placed in the corner while taking another bite of my overly-sweet cake, I couldn’t help but notice the crowd of people waiting in line.
The pink tables, pink treats, Hello Kitty patterned-everything in comparison to the rest of Irvine Spectrum makes the whole cafe seem like you’re stepping into a different world where everything is sprinkled in sugar, and it all basically is.
People come here because they love Hello Kitty. The whole place is reminiscent of the Hello Kitty merch we all probably owned as a kid: those scented erasers, the overly cute lunch boxes that also included her bunny friend, and even the bright-colored watches that somehow made your outfit complete.
I’d be lying if i said I didn’t want to go there for the same reason, so if you’re ever down in Irvine and want to step into Hello Kitty’s adorable little world, definitely check this place out. Also, good luck with getting a reservation in the Bow Room.