PHOTOS: I visited the world’s first cafe dedicated to Internet sensation Pusheen the Cat – and it was every bit as purr-fect as promised

Singapore is now home to the world’s first Pusheen cafe, where everything is themed after the cartoon cat created by American writer Claire Belton.
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Ever visited a hyped-up cafe, only to find out the food’s terrible and everything’s a gimmick?

Well, I’m here to tell you this isn’t going to happen at the Pusheen cafe, the world’s first pop-up cafe themed after the famous kitty.

Since being created by American couple Claire Belton and Andrew Duff in 2010, Pusheen has spawned an entire franchise of books, films and merchandise, including tie-ups with brands like H&M, Primark and ArtBox.

When I visited on Saturday (Jan 5), I was blown away at how closely it resembled artist’s impressions provided in December last year.

Here’s what it was like inside:


Let’s start with the cafe entrance per the promo photo:

The pop-up cafe is located at 8 Jalan Klapa and will run from Jan 6 until an undisclosed date in March.
Kumoya

… and here it is in real life.

The Pusheen cafe is located in Kumoya, a cafe that often hosts pop-up concepts.
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Outisde the cafe was a photo spot perfect for Instagram.

Pusheen is placed here with an illustrated sprinkles background that looked just like the cafe’s interior.
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There was a claw machine offering the chance to snag plushies of Stormy (Pusheen’s sister) and Pusheen dressed like a unicorn.

One go cost me S$2 (US$1.5). I didn’t win anything.
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Here’s the interior that was promised:

It’s designed by Pusheen creator Claire Belton herself.
Kumoya

… and here’s the interior in real life, delivered exactly as pictured.

According to Kumoya founder Joseph Koh, Belton has never been to the cafe – Kumoya sent her the cafe’s measurements, and she sent the designs back.
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There were pink and mint green buntings hanging from the ceiling, and large Pusheen cutouts along the walls.

The whole cafe was themed around pink, mint green, and white.
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The narrow cafe sits about 40 people. Kumoya founder Koh said that he had already received several emails from Pusheen fans in the US anxious to reserve seats. 

Fans from overseas are planning to fly to Singapore just to visit the cafe.
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The walls on the right side of the cafe were decorated with a large Pusheen cutout and a sprinkles pattern.

Paw-sitively adorable.
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Even the kitchen area had Pusheen-themed decorations, featuring the kitty frolicking with a burger, doughnut, cupcake, cookie and fries.

The designs are reminiscent of Belton’s series of Pusheen Facebook stickers, which feature on the cat chowing down on various foods while looking as sweet as pie.
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The dessert-making station had a large logo specially designed to commemorate Pusheen’s collaboration with Kumoya, featuring the cat clutching a pink and white cupcake.

Even the kitchen is Instagrammable, dammit.
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There were details like Pusheen figurines on the coffee maker.

Photo-worthy opportunities in every corner.
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The tables came in two colours – pink or mint green – with Pusheen designs acting as placemats.

Along the mint-green wall behind the bench seats was also a row of of marching kitties.
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The menu was covered in illustrated sprinkles, with the commemorative logo on the front.

The front and back of the menu showed Pusheen from the front and back, too.
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The (very collectible but sadly not for sale) menu was covered in cute Pusheen illustrations, courtesy of Belton. 

I promise you, the food looks exactly like in the picture. Read on for evidence.
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Apart from food, there’s also a section about the Internet-famous cat.

This helped me understand why plushies of a sloth and hamster were on sale – they’re Pusheen’s friends.
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On to the main event: the food, which looked almost exactly like it did in the promotional photos. 

Some of the mains offered include Japanese curry rice, a shrimp burger and pasta.
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First was the “Pusheen-loves-pasta” truffle aglio olio, with fish-shaped carrots and cheese cut into the shape of a cat’s face. 

In this case: Expectation = Reality.

P.S: This dish was likely based off the Pusheen plush in the background.
Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

Next up: the ‘Pusheen-in-a-bun” shrimp burger, which came with charcoal burger buns and sesame mayonnaise.

It looked pretty darn similar, and tasted great. The fries were delicious.
Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

There was also the adorable “Pusheen cat nap”, featuring a sleepy kitty made out of bamboo charcoal rice. 

The blanket was made of an egg crepe, and the pink stuff was beetroot sauce.
Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

It really did look like Pusheen, and tasted the best out of all the mains. The portion was filling.

Unlike some Instagram-famous dishes, which look good but taste awful, this tasted decent and looked like it was born to be a social media star.
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There was also an additional dish not previously featured in the promo pics: A curry rice dish with Pusheen sitting in a cup.

If it fits, she sits.
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On to the drinks, which also exceeded expectations in both appearance and taste. The “Pusheenicorn Pretty-in-Pink” peach soda was surprisingly tasty and not as diabetic as it looked.

 

It was, however, a slightly different colour from the promo pic, and the cotton candy stuck to everything, including the drink spoon, making it a bit difficult to enjoy. But the lychee jelly in the drink was delicious and chewy.
Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

Another home run was the strawberry cheesecake frappe, which tasted exactly like its namesake.

Despite the name, it wasn’t cloyingly sweet. Again, it looked very similar to what was promised, and came in a substantial serving.

       

Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

The desserts were by far the most Insta-worthy, although sadly they fell short on taste.

The menu was designed by by food artist and Instagram star @littlemissbento, whose real name is Shirley Wong. Wong is known for her character bentos, which are box lunches made to look like cartoon characters.
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First up was the “fruitcake burger”, made of sponge cake, kiwi and strawberry slices, alongside fries made of biscuits with salt.

The sweet and salty combination was nice, but the Pusheen macaron atop the burger tasted hard and dry.

Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

There was also the “Cat-on-a-cloud Floating Joy” parfait, with a swirl of lychee-flavoured soft serve.

There were a tad too many sugary items in this for one person to tackle, but kudos for a near perfect match to the menu photo.

 

Kumoya/Rachel Genevieve Chia

Last was the most delicious dessert of all: the “Pusheen-in-a-box” cookies-and-cream lava cake with a Pusheen cookie sitting in a box, just the way cats do.

For some reason, this dish didn’t taste as sweet as the rest of the desserts, and the lava cake paired well with the soft serve.

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There was also a small section of the cafe selling Pusheen merchandise, though none of the items were cafe-exclusive.

There were soft toys, keychains, cutlery and travel items.
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Overall, this cafe is a gem for Pusheen fans – it manages to live up to its promises about the food’s appearance, and most of it tasted pretty great, too.

Often, Insta-worthy dishes fall short on taste, but I was impressed by the way the cafe managed to put out plate after plate of impeccably arranged, tasty food. While some character cafes may slap a cutout on a toothpick and call it a day, this cafe tried harder than usual to incorporate elements of the character in the decor and dishes.

Perhaps because of the plating required, one thing to note is that the dishes took a long time to serve. Also, the cafe is rather small, so Pusheen fans looking to visit may find themselves in for quite a wait for both seats and food.

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