The District food court of Chatswood Interchange will be welcoming Australia’s first Hello Kitty Diner on November 2.
Joining existing and well-respected Asian restaurant franchises Ippudo and the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan at the north Sydney location, the diner can’t help but change the vibe of the centre. But while the Hello Kitty Diner will incorporate the cutsey icon into all aspects of the restaurant, the manager insists it will be about more than a smiling cat (or is that a girl wearing a smiling cat mask?).
Local celebrity chefs have got involved, designing savoury and sweet menus, with each chef conceptualising what Hello Kitty means to them. The first chef was announced as Warren Turnbull of Chur Burger, who is designing the menu and will work in the kitchen when the diner opens. Burgers and snacks will have an Asian influence, with dishes like Korean fried chicken alongside classic American-style burgers.
“It will go beyond people’s expectations – we want to change it from being a novelty place you will only visit once,” managing director Dorothy Wang says. “The food will be amazing, everything about it will tasty and fun, a place for foodies to try and then keep coming back to.”
Wang says the aim is to invoke memories of the little kitty through a diverse menu of international flavours. “The idea is that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, we’re interested in what Hello Kitty means to you,” she says.
If you’re wondering how to make a Hello Kitty Diner respectable, the answer may be to start with a design firm like Luchetti Krelle. In recent years, the Sydney studio has dominated the hospitality design world with work for Momofuku Seiobo, Adriano Zumbo, The Butler and ACME.
Yang says the typical Hello Kitty restaurant is kid friendly and female oriented but “This will be so different. We want the diner to be a place for guys too – what we’re doing hasn’t been done before.”
Stuart Krelle, director of Luchetti Krelle, says that the firm are excited to be part of defining the Hello Kitty experience in Sydney. “With such variance and possibility of what a Hello Kitty Diner could look like, our task is to go beyond these expectations and make her and the diner’s experience uniquely Australian.”
The Hello Kitty Diner will open on November 2 at The District, Chatswood Interchange.