So, he’s an egg. Well, no, not really. He’s an egg yolk, we think. Maybe he’s not even a he—do cartoon foods have a gender identity? Anyways, here’s our best explanation: Gudetama is a sexually androgenous, lethargic, sometimes curmudgeonly anthropomorphized cartoon egg yolk from the Sanrio family—the same company that introduced Hello Kitty to the world—and it’s taking over Plan Check’s menu for an entire month. Yeah, that sounds right.
“As a brand, we’re always looking to do something outside of the box,” says Plan Check owner Terry Heller. The marketing ploy is definitely outside-of-the-box, but don’t confuse that with risky; the gastropub’s last cartoonish collabo was wildly successful. In 2014, when Hello Kitty Con was in town, Plan Check created a Hello Kitty Burger Bento Box complete with house-made pink cheese for the inaugural Hello Kitty Hungry Hunt (that’s a mouthful!).
“The idea was that each restaurant had a pin and people were supposed to go around and collect all of them,” Heller explains. “We had fifty to a hundred people in line every day.” I asked if it was mainly parents with their children, then immediately regretted the obvious question. Of course it was. Who else would be hunting down burgers based on cartoon preference? “No not at all—it was almost all adults.”
When Heller found out Sanrio’s newest character was an egg—already one of chef Ernesto Uchimura’s favorite burger and sandwich toppings—he knew there was a possibility for another tag-team effort. Except this time, it’s going further than a bento box.
For $39, at all three locations, between Oct 30 and Nov 29, you can get a multi-course meal featuring crispy blanket egg, soy sauce egg, spicy pork belly sausage, and miso aioli to start; followed by Gudetama sliders (two beef sliders sunny fried quail egg, cheese two ways, bacon two ways, ketchup leather & hot sauce), a chocolate custard pudding, an apricot thumbprint cookie, and an orange-ginger egg cream soda. Oh, and you also get a t-shirt. Oh, and Gudetama itself will also be periodically dropping in the restaurant to make appearances.
But Plan Check isn’t the first eatery to feature an edible homage to the newest member of the Sanrio family: This Hong Kong café created a Gudetama dumpling that—inexplicably—poops chocolate custard. We’ll have the apricot thumbprint cookie instead, thanks.