Thinking if you should splurge on these character-themed cafés? UrbanWire’s verdicts can help you decide.

More character-themed cafes have sprung up in Singapore since the DC Comics Superhero Café opened its door last September. The Pompompurin café, Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café and Pokémon Café are among some which have opened to much hype in recent months.

Whether it’s a plate of Pikachu-shaped rice ($25) or a Batman burger ($30), the meals at these cafés do not come cheap. Still, many Singaporeans have painstakingly queued for hours to give the experience a try. But are these cafes worth the hype?

The UrbanWire visited 3 popular character-themed cafés and here’s our take on whether you should brave the queue.

1. DC Comics Superhero Café

Statues of Superman, Batman, Joker and many others welcome you into the world of DC at this cafe, where you can order your meals from a comic book. Here, you’ll likely have to declare your superhero allegiance when presented with a choice between Batman’s Wagyu Beef Jaw Burger ($31.90) and Superman’s Free Range Chicken Burger ($27.90).

Batman’s Wagyu Beef Jaw Burger

I’ve gone with Batman during my visit, and I like how the Wagyu Beef Jaw Burger towers over a generous stack of fries. The lavish slice of Wagyu beef, served with a tantalizing slice of perfectly melted cheese atop, is thick and juicy. It also comes with turkey bacon, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce and shaved cabbage – all of them served between two charcoal brioche buns.

Joker Rainbow Cheesecake

For dessert, you can consider the Joker Rainbow Cheesecake ($14.90). The cheesecake features 7 vibrant rainbow colors, each color bringing a unique fruity flavor to your taste buds.

“We do aim to strike a balance between presentation, taste and quality of food. In creating any of the dishes in the menu, we take into consideration the characters that these dishes represent,” said Mr Brandon Chu, marketing specialist for DC Comics Superheroes Café.

Overall, the dishes served here are of very high quality, but they also come with a steep price tag. I’d recommend this café to those who don’t mind the occasional splurge.    

Worth the hype?: Yes, if you’re willing to pay!

Address: 2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Bay Level, #01-03

2. Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café

From a distance, one can easily spot the fancy white garden-themed exterior of the Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café at Changi Airport Terminal 3. A winking Hello Kitty greets you at the door. Inside, pink and white orchids hang gracefully from the ceilings, as pages from Hello Kitty’s journal frame the walls and the iconic Hello Kitty bow adorn the chairs. Right away, you feel as if you’ve entered a Hello Kitty dreamland – once you’ve braved the crowd.

Mr Andrew Khoo, director of group business development at ABR Holdings Limited, recommends customers to skip the the long queues by coming before 12pm or after 9pm.

Big Breakfast Surprise

The all-day breakfast at this café includes their most popular Big Breakfast Surprise ($18.50) – Hello Kitty-shaped waffles with a slice of cheddar on top, served with succulent smoked duck, scrambled eggs, cheddar and Shitake mushrooms. Contrast the savory dish by drizzling it with a sweet concoction of honey, lime and maple syrup. This filling breakfast would suit the palate of those who prefer savory waffles, however, the combination of waffles, cheese and duck may seem odd for some.

Camping Under the Stars

Wrap up your meal with a kawaii dessert such as Camping Under the Stars ($19.50) – a white chocolate Hello Kitty on a camping trip in the midst of a matcha powder-and-toasted-muesli field. The tent consisted of graham crackers and a scoop of chocolate and hazelnut gelato within.

The Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café is indeed worth the experience, with its relatively affordable menu options and decent food quality. The waiting time was also reasonable despite the snaking queues due to the café’s fast service and large capacity. Fans of Hello Kitty shouldn’t give this a pass, and curious onlookers can give the experience a chance as well!

Worth the hype?: Yes!

Address: Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 3, Arrival Meeting Hall Central, #01-22

3. Pokémon Café

As you ascend the escalator to the top floor of Bugis Junction, the long, snaking queue leading to the Pokémon Café will probably be fighting for your attention along with the Pikachus plastered on the walls and railings. Donning a waiter’s and waitress’ uniform, these Pikachus are seen going about their daily life in the F&B industry, serving up desserts and coffee, and rushing around paw-full of plates. Fellow Pokémon Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko also make an appearance as well!

Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce

The food from this café is pricey, with the signature Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce setting you back $25.00 (it does comes with an original Pokéball mug though).

“The dishes have been created to look and taste good, and we have kept the tastes and aesthetics of the dishes to be as authentic as what was served at the cafe in Japan,” said Ms Lai Sau Kuen, general manager at PARCO (Singapore).

However, the food still came as a disappointment. The rice, which came in the shape of Pikachu’s face, was flat and underwhelming. Dig into it and you’ll find that the saffron rice is as hard and cold as the omelette “ears”. The Primal Groudon’s magma sauce adds a nice curry twist to the rice, but its unnatural pink color may put some people off.

Customer Nicole Yow, 17, said, “(The café had) a lot of potential, but the food is mediocre and overpriced. I had the pancake (Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake – $20.00), and it was a disappointment.”

Despite that, she still found the experience enjoyable and noted that the Pokémon-themed background music was an especially unique touch.

The standard of food here begs improvement, although Pokémon fans will likely enjoy the atmosphere here.

Note: Be prepared to wait in the queue for as long as 3 hours. The seating capacity is rather small and the meal preparation can take some time as well.

Worth the hype?: No, unless you’re huge fans of Pokémon.

Address: Everything With Fries, Bugis Junction, #04-05

Which of the 3 is your favorite themed-café?

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