Coffee and tea that take you to the set of a movie
By Zhangyang and Yoyo He
Most of us choose restaurants and cafes not only for their great dishes and drinks, but also because we find the atmosphere appealing. Some are trying to draw customers by giving their business a movie or cartoon theme, and some are even directly owned by showbiz celebrities. Zhang Yang and Yoyo He have found the best spots.
After opening last October at downtown SML Center, J Cafe quickly became a hot venue for quality coffee in a pleasant setting. The coffee beans used here are from one region, making the taste immediately recognizable.
Besides serving a variety of salads and snacks, the 400-square-meter space features a VIP lounge, a dining room and an outdoor dining area. In the middle of the cafe is a miniature setting Jay Chou’s film “The Rooftop,” which weaves together action, romance and dance.
The owner of J Cafe hopes to open eight more outlets in Shanghai this year.
Situated in Global Harbor Shanghai, Bonbons Hello Kitty Cafe is all about Hello Kitty, the London-born Japanese bobtail cat with the cute red bow. Since its opening last year, it has mostly been frequented by groups of girls. The cafe is decorated in bright pink, clean white, yellow and chocolate colors. The tables are oval and chairs are in the shape of milk and chocolate cake. Stepping into the cafe feels like entering a Hello Kitty wonderland.
Since Hello Kitty was originally portrayed as a kind-hearted kitten with a love for baking and collecting cutesy things, the cafe also sells deserts, soft drinks and accessories with Hello Kitty logos to stick to its roots. A large range of drinks are available here, such as lattes with foam art of the cute little cat and milk shakes. Besides the drinks, cakes in cat shapes don’t just look pretty but are also tasty. We recommend the heart-shaped “Kiss the Snow” mousse which is coated with a thick layer of white chocolate. Another favorite is the colorful strawberry and green tea cake that consisting of fresh red strawberries, whipped cream and custard sandwiched between two delicious layers of green tea sponge cake.
Line Friends Cafe & Store at 388 Madang Road is an animal themed cafe. The whole place is filled with images of Bear Brown and Bunny Cony, the main characters in the Japanese cartoon series “Line Town.” The cafe makes great lattes with a tiny piece of chocolate on the top.
If you want to take a picture, you will have to be quick because the chocolate melts fast. The coffee’s taste is neither too bitter nor too sweet. We recommend that you enjoy it with a cupcakes or a macaroon.
Housed in a villa on Ruijin No. 2 Road, Baker Street 221B is a Sherlock Holmes-themed cafe. Once you walk in, you will find yourself in the world of the famous English detective. Pictures of the BBC’s popular TV show “Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch adorn the walls. The cafe features a living room modeled after the one in the film, with a fireplace and two couches facing each other. Naturally, Baker Street 221B serves fantastic high tea in true British style.
At 188 yuan (US$29) for two people, the tea comes with a two-tier snack tower filled with little sandwiches and deserts. You can choose between English tea or Italian coffee. The cafe also has a bar area offering cocktails and an outdoor dining area.
Sweat and Tears is a cafe owned by Taiwanese musician Jonathan Lee, with a little supports from StayReal Cafe. When the cafe opened in November 2015, it was bursting with customers who were willing to form long lines on the street just to get a coffee they could associate with their music idol.
The drinks menu is extensive and includes everything from standard espresso drinks, flavored mochas and lattes and single origin drips to teas and salted caramel hot chocolate. The “special blends” are more adventurous concoctions like “cheese coffee” and “energy banana coffee.” The “energy banana coffee” comes with a sliver of freshly sugared banana delicately placed on a floating mound of whipped cream, underneath a muddle of mixed liquid of coffee and milk. The space is nicely decorated with wooden ornaments Beatles memorabilia adorning the walls.
Iconic British designer Vivienne Westwood has extended her fashion empire to food, with the opening of her first cafe in Shanghai at the K11 shopping mall. The cafe, features two themed areas and offers room for 60 customers. It’s located in Westwood’s flagship fashion store on Huaihai Road. The tearoom area seems to take the customer into an ornate panelled dining room, complete with old paintings in gilded frames. A vintage chandelier and vintage furniture add to the stately feel.
The two areas are connected by a glass partition featuring a giant 13-hour “world’s end” clock, complete with hands that move anti-clockwise. It’s a tribute to Westwood’s World’s End London store, which featured a 13-hour clock outside. The cafe serves classical three-tier afternoon tea. The teaware — from teapots to cups — is kept in Westwood’s classic color scheme and resembles the cupcakes on offer.