When we heard MAAN Coffee was opening a new branch on Xixi Road, we thought it would be like the first one on Wulin Road, full of twenty-something-year-olds looking for cute stuff. After having been there four times since the doors were operational, we realized how wrong we were. This place has a menu very similar, if not the same as the original, but the décor has a much more mature feel. It’s more private and has less of a cafeteria feel. It’s sophisticated in a very tasteful heavy on the wood way. And then there are the chandeliers. Yes, they still give out the stuffed bears to help the wait staff find the tables, but that’s the only youngish aspect to this new heavyweight force to be dealt with.
Because we went there so many times over the past month, we had a great opportunity to try most everything on the menu, and it is all well above standards. Panini sandwiches with interesting sides are around 42RMB, as are most of their drinks which include wonderful, freshly made fruit juices with no added sugar. The made to order waffles were also a big hit starting at 32RMB, and are served with maple syrup. Tortillas which look like mini pizzas go for 32RMB. We’ve been there in the morning; the afternoon, and the evening, and on each occasion, the popular spot is full but not so much that there was ever a long line. Note additionally, that this branch opens a bit earlier (8am) for the area office crowd. The parking is hit or miss, and there’s no smoking inside. Expect more branches of this quirky turn on to open around town soon.