There is always something new popping up in NYC. A recent newcomer, also called one of the “weirdest” opening of this Summer (2016) is the Kellogg’s NYC. I always loved cereal, especially Kellogg’s cereals. So, we decided to check them out. It sits in the heart of Times Square, great location for getting lots of curious customers.
The chef is a fonder and owner of Momofuku Milk Bar, Christina Tosi. With the popularity of her interesting menu, I believe she was the right choice to make an ordinary cereal into something more innovative. They had all the offerings shown in the window, with all the cereal boxes to indicate which cereal are used for each bowl. Also, waffle cone was placed on the ones that can also be turned into a “cereal sundae” if you prefer. It is always helpful to know what the food looks like before you order, so I thought this was pretty nice.
They also did great job with the interior decoration, I liked the simple, retro, and clean designs. Most of everything was black and white, with pop of red color. The white walls were red brick wall painted in white, except for the Kellogg’s logo on the wall. I liked the fact that they didn’t paint the logo, but instead, leaving the area unpainted – allowing the natural red brick color to be exposed.
The floor was mainly tiled, with old-fashion black and white style. They had the name of bowls on the black strips on the walls closed to the ceiling, looked almost like chalk board. The seating area was kind of small, around 16 – 18 seats. But since this is more of a quick snack & dessert place, the turn around is pretty quick.
If there is no seat available, or if you are in a hurry, there was a bar area at the back. It is a tall, standing counter, so there is no bar stool. This spot is good for those customers who are looking for a quick snack, or not interested in eating, but just want a quick cup of coffee or tea, which they do offer here. They also offer orange juice, lemonade (“lemon-limeade” to be exact), and water. I believe there is another reason why they don’t put any chair at the counter. Under the NYC law, they don’t have to have bathroom for patron if they have 20 or more seats. By not putting any chairs here at the counter, they are keeping the total number of seats to be less than 20, and therefore, they don’t have to provide bathroom. Which at the same time helps with faster turnover of customers.
The one thing that really caught our eyes was this bright red thing by the cashier counter, across the standing counter bar. From what I’ve seen on press, I knew this is where the food is coming out of, I was excited to grab about snack from here… It was just so cute, almost like a little lockers at school, or kitchen cabinets.
After we made the order, we were given a buzzer that corresponds to a number on the bright red cabinet door. When the buzzer went off, I went to open the door with our number, and there they were, our cereal creations waiting in the inside. There was no tray to carry them, which was not considerate… from all the press photos I’ve seen, they were all placed on an aluminum trays. Even the ones in the window showcase at the store front had the trays. But, I didn’t see any trays anywhere. It would have been helpful to have a tray, especially if you are trying to carry more than one order.
We ordered Berry Me in Green Tea ($6.50/small) and Honey Buzz Sundae ($8.50/small). The pricing is pretty simple. The small bowl of cereals are $6.50, large bowls are $7.50. The sundae is plus $2 for the ice cream. Or, if you want to be creative, you can add all sorts of toppings. The prices of toppings run 2 toppings for $3, or unlimited toppings for $4.50. They have fruits, nuts, and “boosts” which includes marshmallow, white chocolate chips, blueberry jams, and so many more. We didn’t add anything to our order, since we wanted to taste their original flavor creations.
The Berry Me in Green Tea is made with Rice Krispies, Fresh Strawberries, and Green Tea Powder, and comes with an individual-sized container of milk. The milk had a tag that said “Local” and is provided by Five Acre Farms, who brings the best-tasting local food to grocery stores, restaurants and food shops, and in return, helps farmers continue to farm. And yes, the milk was tasty! The cereal had good amount of strawberries, cut into smaller pieces which made it easier to eat with Rice Krispies. The green tea flavor was so strong, since I love green tea and matcha, I would’ve preferred if it had a bit more green tea powder. I was impressed with the idea of combining cereal and green tea together, I never thought of that before.
The Honey Buzz Sundae is made with Honey Smacks, Honey, Toasted Pecans, Banana Chips, and Blue Marble Soft Serve Ice Cream underneath it all. I really liked this one, everything went perfectly together. The banana chips were very tasty, and it had just the right amount of honey. The ice cream was very tasty as well, it was good that they use soft serve, which made it easier to scoop them up with the cereal. With it being “small” bowl, it disappeared pretty quickly.
Each order comes with a small brown bag containing a spoon, napkins, and a temporary tattoo of Kellogg’s logo (with instruction on the back). I first didn’t notice the temporary tattoo in the bag. when you pull out the spoon and napkins, the tattoo didn’t come out with them. So, if you don’t look inside the bag, you will miss it. I wonder how many customers just threw them away without realizing it. It was like a prize that you sometimes get in a cereal box, which was a cute touch, whether you actually use it or not.
I think one good thing about this place is that you can get new, creative ideas you can take home with, and re-create them at home. Yes, the price is high when you think of is as “cereal bowl” with a twist. I can imagine people thinking they can buy a whole box of cereal for less than $6.50. But then again, most of food and drinks we get outside – coffee, beer, pasta, sandwich…etc. – are more expensive at restaurants and bars. What you are paying for is the experience, just as you get from going out for a dinner or drinks. Whether this is an experience you want to repeat, or just one-time experience is enough…that is up to each customer.
The staff were mix of nice and cold. Most of them were rather young, and seemed like the male staffs were friendly and talkative, while female staffs looked as if they were all angry, maybe they hate people or their job. No smile, no greeting, just standing around with their arms crossed, leaning against a wall. Maybe they could hire more people-person to make the customers feel welcomed???
Another thing was, as we were leaving, a male staff was working right outside the door, handing out menu which also worked as coupon for buy one get one (of the same value of less) free. Which were also sitting right on the cashier counter, but we didn’t know they were coupons. It would have been nice if they informed us with this delightful deal when we made the order… We did get the “coupon” from the outside staff, so many we will go back again before the coupon expire to try few more interesting bowls of cereal.
Kellogg’s NYC – 1600 Broadway, New York, NY 10019