Fans of Hello Kitty have seen pop-up restaurants in Tokyo and carnivals promising Hello Kitty–”flavored” cream puffs, but never a full-blown dining destination. Now a Chinese restaurant will render everything in Kitty White’s likeness, bringing Hello Kitty dim sum to Hong Kong on June 1.
Restaurateur Man Kwong faced bigger problems than making white, pink, and black dumplings from all-natural ingredients. (That one was pretty easy, actually: high-quality flour for the ivory skin, beetroot for the bow, and a little squid ink for the eyes.) He spent a year negotiating with parent company Sanrio, and each dish made by his two earnest-looking chefs had to be approved by Sanrio executives. The final menu includes 37 items, like shrimp buns, beef, and noodles. Time says the buns alone require 17 cooking steps — at least five of which must be, “Pause and admire how cute it looks.”