(Photo: The Straits Times)
To the untrained eye, the features of the Gudetama character in the new Gudetama Cafe Singapore may all look the same.
However there are many subtle differences in just the cafe's paper placemat alone. From the size of the eggs to the distance between the eyes, a lot of attention to detail has gone into bringing the character to life.
Sanrio's lazy egg yolk character has a name that is a mash up between "gude", Japanese for someone or something with no energy or strength, and "tama" from the Japanese word tamago, or egg.
The Straits Times got a sneak peek on 25 Nov at the 2,300 sqf space, which seats 112 people. It features egg-shaped booths and chairs in the main dining area and a ceiling that looks like waffles.
A separate 600 sqf dining space – for desserts and drinks – is garden-themed, complete with a Gudetama water fountain.
And while the lovable and lazy character is known to have a bacon blanket, Gudetama in Singapore sits in a pan holding a mint leaf.
Ms Anna Lim, executive director of home-grown cafe chain The Soup Spoon which is part of the team behind the Gudetama Cafe, says: "The mint leaf was chosen because Singapore is tropical and the leaf is used to shelter the egg from the sun or as a fan."
The other partners are the directors of cafe chain Joe & Dough.
Joe & Dough's director Dawn Wee is a big fan of Gudetama and floated the idea of bringing the concept here. The cafe costs a "seven-figure" sum to set up.
Ms Lim says: "While other cafes take eight to 10 months to set up, we took half the time. It's been a whirlwind, but we wanted to open before Christmas."
The team took great pains to ensure the character is represented accurately – even the use of Singlish words on the menu required approval.
These include the names of dishes such as Big "Nua" Breakfast ($25.90) with bacon, spicy pork bratwurst, sauteed mushrooms, baked beans, and toasted brioche; and Shiok Pork Ribs ($38.50).
Other highlights include main courses such as "I'm Cold" Smoked Salmon Benedict ($26.90); Rib-"I" Don't Care ($28.50), a 200g chargrilled prime Angus ribeye steak; and "Are You Busy?" Burger ($27.50) with double prime beef patties, cheese, bacon and a sunny- side-up egg.
Plated desserts include Ta-Ma- Go ($17.90), egg sponge and cheesecake styled to look like sushi; and shoyu ramen set ($21.50) – a ramenstyle dessert made with chocolate and feuilletine topped with layers of chestnut Mont Blanc and Earl Grey jelly.
There is also a takeaway section for Gudetama-themed cakes and a merchandise area selling plushies, tumblers and keychains.
The Gudetama Cafe's opening here adds to the slew of themed character cafes in Singapore, such as Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Singapore at Changi Airport, Pompompurin Cafe at Orchard Central, and the pop-up Pokemon Cafe at Bugis Junction.
Ms Lim, 41, says: "Gudetama appeals to everyone."
Gudetama Cafe Singapore is at 01-361 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard. Its opening hours are 9am to 10pm (Mondays to Thursdays), 8am to 10pm (Fridays to Sundays). For more information, go to www.facebook.com/gudetamacafesg
Written by Eunice Quek for The Straits Times