I have been making the rounds with my laptop the past few months in search of spots that offer decent food, drink and online access. Here is part two of my wrap-up on winter wireless places. (Previous write-up: The Stone Boat.)
Le Petit Gourmand
- Plenty of parking options, including a high table with stools and cozy booths (with outlets). Most of the seating is dining style and there is a covered terrace
- An atmosphere that is part library (thousands of books), den (the soft lighting) and restaurant (tables decked with cutlery, napkins, and so on)
- Decent food, including pasta at RMB 30 to RMB 45, complete with a basket of bread. The guy behind me had sole. “I’m from Normandy and we eat this fish all the time,” said he. “This is good”
- Regular coffee at RMB 15 kuai, Cappuccino at RMB 20, and several Belgian beers
- Decent bathroom facilities
- The location makes it easy to pop into the gourmet shop in the 3.3. building (at the back, in the basement) and grab groceries on the way home
- Friendly staff, though they struggle with service at times.
- The music is repetitive (one night, I heard 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s going on?” more than a half-dozen times in two hours, another night the same songs were repeated numerous times) and the noise (on one visit, a staff member’s phone loudly rang over a dozen times to Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me”; suggestion: adjust phone to vibrate)
- If a food special is advertised, and the staff recommends it to you, it’s a bummer when they return a few minutes later and say, “We don’t have that today”
- A pretty good signal: with reasonably priced coffee, lots of books to peruse, and comfy seating, this is a place that I park for a few hours.
Next up: The Rickshaw