Hello Kitty is famous world wide, so much that various cafes and restaurants have opened all over the world in her honor. Even here in Korea, we have our fair share of Hello Kitty cafes (yes, plural). This being said, I wasn’t sure if I was up for visiting yet another Hello Kitty cafe in Kyoto.
However, Hello Kitty Saryo isn’t just another typical Hello Kitty cafe. I’d say it’s more of a traditional Japanese tea house with a Hello Kitty element. Rather than walking into an in-your-face cutesy pink interior with the friendly feline’s face plastered across every surface, I was welcomed with something a bit more refined.
The interior showcases a muted color scheme of cream, light pink and natural wood. Along one wall, a light Kyoto inspired Hello Kitty wallpaper. Along the other, a glass wall which lets in plenty of sunlight, gives a spectacular view of their garden and adds to the overall serene ambiance. The subtle touches of Hello Kitty and her signature bow here and there are just enough to satisfy the kawaii cravings of any fan. There’s even a HK plush the servers bring to every table, so that guests can take a picture with her. It’s a pretty cute gesture.
Now on to more pressing matters: the food! Hello Kitty Saryo specializes in traditional Kyoto cuisine. Though the menu isn’t too expansive, it does change seasonally and has a bit of everything. They have an English menu, but it isn’t very descriptive, which left us to pick our meal based on the pictures.
My boyfriend and I decided to share the “Kitty Chasoba-Gozen.” This meal looked to have the most variety including soba noodles, steamed vegetables cut into cute shapes, rice porridge, tofu branded with a HK face and even Inari sushi (seasoned tofu pockets filled with rice) made to look like adorable HK heads. There was also an option to add ” Japanese confectionery” and tempura at an additional charge, so we decided to give that a try too. The meal was visually adorable, but I wouldn’t say that it was worth the 2,330 Yen price tag. It wasn’t filling and while the food was good, it wasn’t spectacular.
For dessert we had the Japanese confectionery that came with our meal. This was a piece of soft handmade red bean filled mochi. Each one is hand made right in the cafe. Mine was made to look like a cherry blossom with a HK bow. I really enjoyed it!
And we ordered the Hello Kitty Anmitsu with Cream (750 Yen). It was a bowl of fruit jelly mixed with fresh fruit, mochi (rice cake), dollops of whipped cream topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream. I enjoyed this much more than the meal. It was lightly sweetened, didn’t have too much whipped cream and was an overall refreshing dessert.
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit. The ambiance was cute and traditional, the staff was attentive and food presentation was quite lovely. It is a bit overpriced and if you’re looking for traditional Kyoto cuisine, there are tons of restaurants better suited to the task. That being said, I think it’s a great place to stop by for a cup of tea and dessert. So,if you’re a HK fan or just curious to try it out, stop by and prepare for a bit of traditional cuteness.
- last order for food at 4:30pm
- last order for sweets at 5:30pm
- 〒605-0826 京都市東山区高台寺南門通下河原町東入桝屋町363番22の2
- 362-22-2, Masuya-cho, Higashi-yama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Website (Japanese Only)
- Hello Kitty Saryo on Instagram