I have a new favorite chill spot. We all know how important these places are. Without a good chill spot, how are we to work? Think deep? Recuperate from the daily grind? Spend hours online without interruptions? etcetera etcetera.
So it was with great pleasure that I stepped into Q’s Cafe on Tongzilin Road East, some weeks ago, and breathed in fresh bread and roasted coffee beans. Pastries lined the slick, elegant white wall to my right and filled the demurely lit display case to my left. Smooth jazz in the air and the comforting buzz of coffee being made. An air conditioner quietly went about its business somewhere discreet and private.
The seats? Red, plush and comfy. The tables bright white, un-covered in grease or other funk, and each with a tiny little candle waiting primly to be lit and enjoyed. Sounds upscale, doesn’t it? Until you order. The afternoon tea special (with coffee or tea) is 35RMB and includes a superb pastry. Either a chocolate danish or a green tea scone with real butter and jam. Everything is baked fresh in the wee hours and sold wholesale when the shop closes. No hard dry yesterday bread here. The web is fast. I love that.
Turns out the baker is a famous Japanese bread pimp and a co-owner of one of Bangkok’s most admired bakeries, Le Blanc. The owner is an ethnically North Korean Chinese named Sun Tian Guo who operates a coffee plantation in Baoshan, Yunnan (where all of the cafe’s beans come from) and a roasting operation in Wenjiang.
“We run things ethically here,” he told me today as I chewed on an almond danish. “Our beans are grown organically, and our bread and craft beer(!) is also made according to the highest standards. I know a lot of people like to tout their ‘ethical’ or ‘free trade’ practices, but we generally don’t. We just do it.”
The man is not lying. Everything I have had here is high quality. The staff are cool (mostly young ladies, of course) and the selection of breads and pastries includes two bacon-infused items. Bacon. Infused.
So this is my new favorite chill spot. Feel free to drop on by and have a bacon baguette with me or perhaps just sip a huge latte and scoop up scone crumbs with a butter-laden bread knife. It’s all good baby.
We’ll try and keep up a running commentary of Chill Spots as time goes on. Feel free to suggest your own as well. Hell, write about one and submit it to us if you want. We don’t bite.
Editor’s Note: In the comments below there has been a little bit of confusion on how to locate Q’s Coffee & Bakery, so upon visiting for the first time I took some additional photos which are now below.