Taiwan. Home to the first Hello Kitty-themed café, Hello Kitty-themed airplanes and now - taking cute perhaps one step too far - the world's first Barbie-themed restaurant.
Licensed by U.S. toymaker Mattel, Taiwan restaurant company Sinlaku on Wednesday opened the Barbie Café on Zhongxiao road, one of the busiest shopping districts in the capital, Taipei.
The café's decoration, costing TW$50 million (US$1.7 million), is mostly in suitably Barbie-style magenta and pink.
The furniture couldn't be more princess-y - bar tables look like the heel of a stiletto, chair backs resemble bustiers (some with a tutu) and chandeliers are shaped like elegant teapots and teacups with saucers. Barbie dolls and logos adorn walls and tabletops.
Read the full story - Tutus, tiaras and tiramisu: World's first Barbie restaurant opens
Wong Ching Tuen, the 49-year-old proprietor of Under Bridge Spicy Crab, can recall the days when the restaurant was just a dai pai dong under the Jaffe Road bypass.
"It is right at this corner 21 years ago," said Wong. "We had more than 20 big tables. You can imagine how massive and crowded it was."
In the past, foodies flocked to Causeway Bay for the delectable seafood that is caught, cooked and served in the neighborhood’s typhoon shelters and dai pai dongs. But as the government clamped down on street eateries, Wong moved his business to a small store in the area.
Fifteen years later, the humble greasy spoon has expanded to four branches in Hong Kong. Wong's restaurant, Under Bridge Spicy Crab, is one of our highly recommended picks for Hong Kong's best seafood in the CNNGo Best Eats 2010 selection.
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