We Went to the Hello Kitty Cafe and had every Drink on the Menu
The Hello Kitty Cafe opened a new, permanent fixture in the Irvine Spectrum Mall on September 14th, 2018.The previous Hello Kitty Cafe existed only as a too-cute food truck that offered cakes, cookies and coffee. Now, the Hello Kitty Cafe has been reincarnated with a pink and white storefront with a view of the ferris wheel in the heart of the Irvine Spectrum.
A long line of eager customers, adorned with Hello Kitty paper crowns, waited to enter the Hello Kitty Cafe’s front room to purchase equally adorable and delicious baked goods. There were a few pink tables for guests to sit and enjoy their treats at and a nearly life sized Hello Kitty sculpture for all your selfie-needs. The decor is impeccable and the service, delightful.
However, the real magic lies in secret room hidden behind a plain white door- the Hello Kitty Cafe’s Bow Room. A reservation-only tea room in the afternoon and cocktail lounge at night, the Bow Room is booked full for a month at least said staff members. However, we were lucky to have one of the first reservations for the Bow Room cocktail lounge on opening night. Not wanting to waste our precious reservations we did what any pair of women would do- we decided to order every drink on the menu.
The bartenders, a brother and sister duo, created 12 new cocktails to be featured in the Bow Room. Cocktails ranged from $14 to $21 for the larger tiki drinks. We found the prices to be fair and on-par with any other exclusive cocktail lounge you might find in Orange County or Los Angeles. The attention to detail and the high level of service were absolutely worth the cost. Each drink was garnished beautifully and this definitely increased the instagram-ability. The cocktail appropriately named Picture Perfect is served with your very own polaroid picture taken by your server, it is creative twists like this that make the Bow Room truly special. There is no cost to make reservations for the Bow Room, so overall this experience could be quite affordable if you are looking to stay within budget but still have an adorable experience. The only possible downside to the Bow Room is that there is no food for sale. We thought some Hello Kitty shaped pretzels would have been nice but I guess not every guest is there for 3 1/2 hours attempting to drink every cocktail on the menu.
Round 1: We asked our cheery server for some of her recommendations to get this purr-ty started.
The Cutest Drink/Most Instagrammable Drink: Aloha Kitty
This is an adorable take on a classic tiki drink served complete with Hello Kitty herself in a grass skirt. Delicious and almost too easy to drink.
Our Server’s Favorite Drink: Dear Daniel
By-far this was my favorite cocktail, maybe of all time. Our server said the magic to this drink was the mezcal, something she is a huge fan of. The salted coconut whip cream was like being on a tropical beach.
Strawberries + Cream with Champagne
Okay, so this might just be a cup of strawberries and whipped cream with a side of champagne but still it was the closest thing to food that the Bow Room serves.
Round 2: It’s only 5:30pm at this point, but time seems to not exist within the pink walls of the Bow Room. We’re getting into the groove now.
This color changing drink may sound simple but the apricot really set it apart. The purple Hello Kitty jelly floating on top was a nice touch as well.
This is a must get drink when visiting the Bow Room. It tastes like strawberry lemonade and goes down just as smoothly. Just make sure not to blink when your server takes your picture to serve with your drink!
Round 3: This was the tipping point moment where we decided to just keep drinking, we consider calling in Guiness World Record to make our feat legit.
I will be honest- 90% of the reason we ordered this drink was to get the matcha macaron that was served with it. Neither of us are huge fans of Matcha but the use of yuzu limes and jasmine tea is something I have never seen featured in a cocktail. Served in a latte mug, I don’t think I could fully wrap my head around the complex flavors of this drink.
You Had Me at Hello
Back to comfort zone of tiki drinks, we both loved this one. It’s similar in profile to the Aloha Kitty, but we were not complaining- and we also were very not sober at this point in the night.
Round 4: We called in reinforcement- Chad and Robbie, boyfriends of the year, come straight from work to help us with the last drinks and to make sure we make it out of the Bow Room with our dignity intact.
I am not usually a fan of whiskey but the acidity of the citrus aquafaba made it surprisingly refreshing.
Eleven Dash One
Well- on my first sip I bit into three pink peppercorns that were floating in the drink, not a great decision. However, this drink is a good contrast to the mostly sweet menu of cocktails. This drink features floating cucumber and watermelon flowers and is the lightest cocktail on menu but still packs a boozy punch.
Round 5: At this point we’ve been drinking for 3 1/2 hours with no food and it’s time to leave. Cheesecake Factory’s bread basket is calling our drunken names.
1974 Old Fashioned
This drink came highly recommended from the wait staff. The ice cubes, etched with Hello Kitty’s signature face, are shipped in frozen from Sanrio. Wow.
Holy raspberry. I almost wish I had ordered this drink earlier in the night because it was amazing. The fresh raspberry flavor was a big hit with the whole table. The aquafaba, a vegan substitute for egg, gave this drink a creamy topping.
Truthfully we only ordered this drink to complete the menu. Maybe matcha lovers out there will appreciate this drink more than I did. At least now I can say I’ve had yogurt liquor- something I didn’t know existed prior to this adorable night.
The Hello Kitty Cafe’s Bow Room is a one of a kind experience that is heavy on the cuteness but still delivers when it comes to serving creative, enticing cocktails with impeccable personal service. Put your reservations in now and maybe you can order every drink on the menu too.