Master Coffee is a western café restaurant in the CBD area on the east side of Hangzhou. It’s on the 1st floor of the Changcheng Mansion at the intersection of East Wangjiang Road and Leiting Road. You’ll find big comfortable chairs, high airy ceiling and an interesting mix of collectors’ items. See if you can spot the figurines of The Godfather, Leslie Cheung and Donnie Yen.
With a name like Master Coffee, of course we had to try their coffee. Both the latte and cappuccino were excellent and came with the requisite chocolate syrup foam art. But, as with most café/restaurants, the real pull is the food. The French Gillardeau Oysters (140RMB each) were a treat. They were flown in from France and were extremely fresh, brimming with natural liquid. The large palm-sized oyster had a sweet taste, fleshy bite and a briny aftertaste that reminded one of the ocean. Their Black Truffle Beef Soup (68RMB) was a vegetable purée with rich beefy flavour. A sprig of mint in each bowl added a refreshingly bright note to the soup. The meat was done up nicely as well. The Sirloin Steak (138RMB/220g) was very respectable with a crispy sear on the outside and cooked to a perfectly pink, juicy medium rare. The more moderately-priced Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast (48RMB) was moist, plump and tender with a creamy white sauce. Both the steak and chicken were served with some crispy savoury potato wedges.
Along with their well-executed western dishes for lunch and dinner, Master Coffee also serves some Chinese fare to give the surrounding office block workers something to eat for breakfast. The Vegetable Rice Soup (26RMB) was simple and unpretentious but oh so good. It was full of dried scallops, dried oysters, mushrooms and cabbage, and the portion was enough to feed 2 people. You could taste the quality of ingredients and time that was taken to make the tasty broth. What a comforting and nourishing start to the day. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try the other breakfast items – Bamboo and Pork Siu Mai (12RMB) and Har Gow Shrimp Dumplings (12RMB) – but the chef hails from Guangdong Province, so you can count on a Cantonese chef to do good siu mai and har gow.
English and Chinese menu. Parking available on the streets around Changcheng Mansion.