Quiet sanctuaries are hard to come by in car horn filled Hangzhou. But recently Baochu Road has becoming synonymous with gorgeous, idyllic cafes that manage to create a world apart in this chaotic city. Mitte Garden Restaurant and Bar, perfectly situated near West Lake, is one of them.
Mitte Garden can be found near Angelo’s Italian Restaurant off of Baochu Road and Baoshi Shan second alley. Parking is abundant, and if you get lost just look for the Ru Jia Hotel. While unassuming from the outside, upon entering we found ourselves in a softly lit speakeasy atmosphere with sofas and old signs lining the wall. This bar could easily become your new evening hangout joint. We didn’t get to taste any of their drinks, but the first floor atmosphere makes you feel instantly at home. The lovely owner led us up to the second floor personally, which to our surprise was a sun-soaked dining area with long wooden tables and soft leather couches. A quiet balcony area is available, but better wait for next year to enjoy it as the weather has turned rather chilly lately. Their menu offers the usual in regards to Western dishes, and the prices are reasonable; but what sets Mitte apart is the ambiance.
You will not find heavy cigarette smoke here, nor will you find loud music. Two tables of ladies quietly chatted, while soft well-chosen music played. We ordered for our group: Ginger Ale 20RMB, Warm Milk 20RMB, Latte 32RMB, Americano 28RMB, Mandehling Coffee 38RMB, Mixed Greens Salad with Nuts 36RMB, Mitte Chef’s Burger 78RMB, Italy Cream Bacon Pasta 46RMB, Bacon and Mushroom Pizza 68RMB, Quesadilla 58RMB, and Tiramisu 36RMB. For 460RMB our group of five ladies could barely finish all the food.
Quite a feast – but how was it? The salad was delicious with a multitude of nuts adding a delicious crunch to fresh greens. The pizza was a bit small and not done as well as our other choices; but the burger was delicious, as were the drool-worthy potato wedges which accompanied it. The quesadilla was equally delicious with a fantastic cumin flavor. Our pasta also delicious, with every noodle swathed in delicate creamy sauce. When the tiramisu came we all cooed over the creamy texture and excellent cocoa flavor.
The owner, meanwhile, gracefully floated amongst the tables, chatting with patrons.
This café reminds you that a leisurely lunch in the right atmosphere cures the soul of those ills imparted by this frenetic city. We could have stayed there for hours.