Cat love eludes diehard fans

China's first Hello Kitty theme restaurant was launched recently in the capital.

It's so crowded at all times that it's advisable to call ahead and reserve a spot before reaching the venue.

Expectedly, it's all pink and sweet inside the restaurant, authorized by the Japanese parent company Sanrio.

The tablecloth is pink, as are the chairs, ceiling and floor, even the lamp light shines soft and rosy.

Waiters are in white shirts with a red bow and blue rompers, while waitresses wear pink dresses.

The whole restaurant is designed like a dining room in a fairy tale.

A Christmas tree stands in the middle of the room, surrounded with Kitty balloons - a favored spot for taking pictures in the restaurant.

Dining at Hello Kitty Dreams Restaurant, which opened on Dec 23 at Sanlitun Village shopping zone in Beijing, costs 160 yuan (S$32) on average per person.

Sanlitun Village is regarded as one of the city's most charming areas, lined with bars and international brand-name stores.

Duan Yahui, a 21-year-old woman from East China's Shandong province, celebrated her birthday with her boyfriend at the restaurant.

"I was so happy to celebrate my birthday at the Kitty theme restaurant," she said. "It's like being in Disneyland."

Duan was very satisfied with the food, and showed off her Kitty-shaped birthday chocolate, sent by the restaurant.

"It's too cute to eat," she laughed. "My friends in my hometown who also love Kitty are jealous about my experience," she joked. "I will bring them here when they visit me during the Spring Festival."

Duan was lucky to get a spot by calling for reservation weeks ago.

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