Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Honest, Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
Five solid months after the grand opening of the first Hello Kitty cafe in Singapore - Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe at Changi Airport, I thought it would be a good time for an ex-Hello Kitty fan to visit her old friend since the hype would have died down by now.

Well, not really. Hello Kitty is not my friend.

I went mainly because I am picking up someone from the airport, and it's the only prominent cafe I have not dined in at the airport. Also because I think I need some cute photos on Instagram, because my recent IG wall has been plastered with mainly my selfies and I am bored looking at my face. 

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
Apologies, my photos in this post are horribly-taken by iPhone, because I wasn't prepared to do any blog reviews so I did not bring along my DSLR. Eventually I still decided to review because when I did an online search of blog reviews of this cafe, I saw that many of them were sponsored. I believe there is a sizeable online community, especially overseas tourists, out there wanting real, honest non-sponsored reviews of this inaugural Hello Kitty Singapore cafe. And that's where I come in.

As a beauty blogger, I usually reject doing food reviews, especially sponsored food reviews. I mean, I have nothing against free food but I REALLY enjoy my food...and I don't want to spend half an hour fussing about taking amazing photos and end up eating cold food, unable to totally enjoy the meal. 

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
Bringing a kitty out to meet another!
Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
See? That elation when food arrive WARM.

So there were only two of us and we ordered:

1. Big Breakfast Surprise (their most popular all-day breakfast)
2. Land of the Rising Kitty (Teriyaki chicken spaghetti) 
3. Iced Salted Caramel Latte

Very fancy names. You will see more fancy names on their menu here.

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
Not sure where the rising sun is...

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
That's right - smoked duck instead of ham. What?

FOOD: The food is bad. I don't care how people masked their words but trust me, the big breakfast is disappointing. I know I shouldn't expect a themed cafe to have excellent food, but smoked duck complementing with sweet waffles really aren't all that complementary. And the dish didn't even arrive warm. It only took us 5 minutes of waiting (why so fast?), and after 3 minutes of photo-shooting that crappy shot, I tucked in...only to realise the food has turned cold and the Kitty-shaped waffle had hardened! I can't even figure out if that piece of yellow stuff is cheese or butter - there was no taste.
The drink tastes diluted with minimal coffee aroma, and I forgot it contains salted caramel?! I kept thinking it is normal caramel coffee drink.
The spaghetti was more palatable but still wouldn't consider that a delicacy or anything near that level.

SERVICE: The servers were quite attentive & prompt but I went during off-peak hour at 3pm on a weekday, so the cafe wasn't too busy for them either. Didn't see any genuine smiles nor felt any warmth but basic courteous service were given to us, so no complaints.

PRICE: Our three items chalked up to S$50. (Airport/SIA group staff are entitled to a further 10% discount.) With or without discounts, I wouldn't say this is expensive - just standard cafe price point in Singapore.

LOCATION & AMBIENCE: Situated at Changi Airport Terminal 3, Level 1, Arrival Hall, you can't missed it when you touch down from a flight into Singapore. The cafe is furnished with different types of orchids (Singapore's national flower for those of you non-Singaporeans.) and it really feels like a garden with the beautiful overhanging greenery. Not the usual pink & girly decor or childish vibes associated with Hello Kitty - this cafe exudes much more elegance and not too over-the-top. Two designated photo-taking spots stood two life-sized Hello Kitty figurines. The most special part of the Hello Kitty figurines? There are two bows on their heads - you don't get to see any authentic Hello Kitty with two bows anywhere else, do you?

Hello Kitty merchandise are available for sale; and since it was around Mid-Autumn Festival, there were mooncakes too! I heard Hello Kitty merchandise were snagged up pretty fast during the opening, but they have since been restocked.

There wasn't a crowd as it was off-peak hours when I visited, but when I left at about 5pm, the cafe was already 70% full. We imagine the queue will be significant during dinner time over the weekends.

Other Information: 
Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café
Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 Arrival Meeting Hall Central #01-22 Singapore 819663 (Public area)
Tel: +65 6241 6127
Operating Hours: 24 Hours

Unsponsored Review of Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe Singapore
Mandatory shot with our friend here

Will I recommend this cafe to you? Yes and No. For die-hard Hello Kitty fans, or for those who love orchids(seriously?) - you will enjoy taking photos here. For flight passengers waiting for their flight and have nothing better to do, there is no harm heading there to contribute to our Singapore economy as the food is not too expensive (Thank you!). For the rest, do yourself a favour and just chill out at Yakun or Heavenly Wang - they have better, cheaper food & coffee. Just bring along your own Hello Kitty travel pillow for photo-taking, if you insist.

Till then, happy mid-week!X

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