Archive for the ‘cafe’ tag
Fnji Furniture 梵几客廳
Add: No. 41 Guozijian Street, Beijing / 北京國子監街41號
Tel: 010-5367 2899
Hours: 11am-5:30pm (closed on Mon)
Price: drinks 40 RMB+, desserts 35 RMB+
Visited: Sep 2016
Bejing-based Fnji (pronoused “Fanji”) is a furniture brand founded by Chinese industrial designer Gu Qigao in 2000. His pieces, all handmade from wood, make use of the Chinese mortise and tenon joint structure, with designs that bridge between modern and traditional aesthetics. His aspiration? To make furnitures that “age alongside its owners, gaining more character over time as it is passed from one generation to the next”. I visited his showroom in Guozijian and fell head over heels for this beautiful space – it also doesn’t hurt that they have an stylish cafe and a serene courtyard nestled in the back…
The boutique showcases designs from both China and Japan, as well as works from Gu himself. The style is simple, stylish, decidedly Asian but with a modern western vibe. No photos are allowed in the showroom so you can either visit yourself and check out their designs online. For now, let’s move over to the cafe. It was very busy when I visited on a Sunday afternoon, and I was fortunate to find the last empty seats in the courtyard.
Add: No. 61 Wudaoying Hutong, Beijing / 北京東城區五道營胡同61號
Price: coffee 26 RMB+
Visited: Sep 2016
Another cafe worth recommending in Beijing is Metal Hands. Just opened this July, this little coffee shop is settled in the busy Wudaoying Hutong, not far from Barista Coffee Roasters. Mr. Ding, the owner of the cafe, has apparently been in the China coffee scene for over 10 years, and is one of the first to dedicate his time to latte art (though he wasn’t in the shop on the day of my visit).
Metal Hands is not big. The elongated space includes a bar on the right, some seats on the left, and an inner corner with skylight. Concrete walls, wooden furniture, and fresh flowers for decoration. It’s not spacious by any means, but quite comfortable nonetheless.
Elephant Grounds (Wanchai)
Add: 8 Wing Fung St. Wan Chai / 香港灣仔永豐街8號
Tel: +852 2778 2700
Price: [coffee] 30-68 HKD
Visited: Aug 2016
Occupying this much coveted corner location on Wing Fung Street is Elephant Grounds, a coffee roaster local to Hong Kong. The open store front and warm wooden tones are immediately welcoming, and the interior is equally pleasant with handcrafted furniture by Start from Zero and a custom-made moss wall installation by local plant artist Quest Terrarium. Coffee, anyone?
There is even a bowl of water for pets at the front, how thoughtful.
Add: 24-25,G/F.,Lee Tung St ,Wanchai, Hong Kong / 香港灣仔利東街G24-25號舖
Tel: +852 2601 3323
Hours: [weekday] 8am-8pm [weekend] 9am-9pm
Price: [coffee] 40~60 HKD [sweets] 18+ HKD
Visited: Aug 2016
Omotesando Koffee started out as a pop-up shop in Tokyo’s Omotesando district, situated in a tiny, traditional Japanese home. It became famed for its espressos and cube-shaped designs – logo, work station, and even pastries are cube-shaped – that it eventually stayed for 5 years, until the building became too old to sustain the shop. Cafe owner Eiichi Kunimoto then moved it to Toranomon Koffee in Tokyo’s Toranomon Hills, before he expanded to a second Omotesando Koffee in Hong Kong.
The charming surroundings of an old Japanese residential building cannot be replicated in Hong Kong’s Lee Tung Avanue, but just about everything else has been carried over, including Omotesando Koffee’s signature cube design as you can see below.
Beans are sourced from the same roaster in Tokyo, and Japanese staff members have been stationed in Hong Kong to ensure the same quality of coffee is served. Omotesando features two house blends, one is a mix of Ethiopian, Brazilian and Indonesian beans with a balanced flavor, and the second is a fruitier blend of Guatemalan and Panama beans.
さらさ西陣 Sarasa Nishijin
Add: 11-1 Higashi Fujinomori-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku / 京都市北区紫野東藤ノ森町11-1
Hours: 12-11pm (closed on the last Wed of the month)
Price: 1,000-2,000 yen/person
Visited: Aug 2016
It was way too hot to walk around outside after our lunch at Kanei, so we decided to delay our visit to Daitokuji Temple and went into the cafe next door to cool down a bit more. I later found out that this cafe named Sarasa has 6 locations across Kyoto, and this particular one we went to in Nishijin is famous for its location inside an 80+ years old public bathhouse.
The logo, designed to resemble steam coming up from a hot spring.
Walls of the public bathhouse have been preserved, the patterned tiles rendering the space a little bit dizzying. Even the hair and make-up of the cafe staff is matching with the whole eclectic vibe.
% Arabica Kyoto
Add: (Higashiyama) 87-5 Hoshinocho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto / 京都府东山区星野町87-5
(Arashiyama)3-47 Sagatenryuji Susukinobanacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto / 京都府右京区嵯峨天龍寺芒ノ馬場町3-47
Price: 350 yen+/coffee
Visited on: Aug 2016
In September 2014, a coffee shop named “% Arabica” opened right near the beautiful Yasaka Pagoda in Kyoto, inside an old Japanese house of over 50 years old. The facade is low-key, but the stylish vibe oozing out from large window panes immediately attracts the passerby.
The entrance of the shop is a concrete replicate of the cobblestone pattern of Yasaka Street, which makes it seem like the outside pavement continues right into the shop, creating an illusion of a side street off the alleyway.
The space is elongated, with a bar on the left, coffee bean storage on the right, and a roasting area deep inside. The transparent cellar displays coffee beans meticulously selected from all over the world, and conveniently, by installing the storage required to maintain temperature and humidity for the best quality coffee beans, it was also provided the necessary support for this old house. A perfect combination of the old and new.
This Slayer espresso machine, customized especially for % Arabica, is just too beautiful. I want to learn how to make coffee just so I can use this machine. Tell me you don’t feel the same.
Add: Huashan Road (please contact below wechat for details)
Hours: reservation only
Price: hand drip coffee 50-65 RMB
Visited: May 2016
The other day at Moon Coffee I casually asked their barista A-Tang where he goes for coffee in Shanghai. After some thoughts, he told me about this “coffee bar inside an apartment building”, and without quite explaining what it is, he gave me the barista contact. Always curious about these hidden places, I made a reservation right away for a visit.
The space is located on the 2nd floor of an apartment building on Huashan Road, and only upon entering did I find out its name – “Cafe 385”. It’s a charming place with soft natural light, antique-looking furniture, and chairs that fit just right.
Behind the coffee bar is Andrew from Taiwan, who is still very fresh to Shanghai. Before this coffee venture, he was working in Sony Taiwan doing photography tutorials and sales training for DSLRs. As for coffee, he started drinking it at the age of 17, and since then has met quite a few coffee experts and afficionados. He came to China for the first time last March to attend a coffee expo, fell in love with the Former French Concession area, and decided to stay for a while.
Add: 408 Shanxi Bei Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu / 陕西北路408号, 近北京西路
Tel: 6288 8773
Price: 100 RMB+
Visited: Mar 2016
Dropped by Daliah for lunch last week and it still felt like Chinese New Year there with these giant red lanterns hanging down for the ceiling. Since its opening last summer, this Austrian restaurant has been known for its quirky design – a few prominent features are the swings and that metallic slide twirling down from the second floor. I’ve been here once for lunch and once for breakfast, the food was ok on both visits – nothing impressive, nothing atrocious – but perhaps I shouldn’t judge until I’ve tried its dinner, when the more Austrian dishes like the spatzel are served.
Add: 215 Fumin Road, near Julu Road / 富民路215號，近巨鹿路
Tel: 5466 6021
Price: [coffee] 20-65 RMB [pastry] 8-42 RMB
Visited: Mar 2016
Brought to you by the owner of Flask (and designed by the same Italian designer Alberto Caiola), Fumi Coffee is a most stylish addition to Shanghai’s booming cafe scene. The eye-catcher of this space is no doubt the wall of Bialetti Moka light fixtures, but everything else – including the black waves hovering up on the ceiling, the sleek metallic tables, stools, counter, and the front window that folds up completely on warm days – has me (and the rest of Shanghai, it seems) falling head over heels.
Add: 12 South Xiangyang Road, near Julu Road / 襄阳北路12号, 近巨鹿路
Price: 100-150 RMB/person
Visited: Jan 2016
Bright, instagram-friendly cafe on South Xiangyang Road by cutiepie Camden Hauge of the Shanghai Supperclub. It serves all day breakfast, and as the name suggests, this place is quite egg-centric…even if the dish doesn’t already involve eggs, you have the option to “put an egg on it!” for 8RMB in addition. They also do a 10-seat chef’s table every Thursday evening which sounds like a fun and intimate experience.