It is hard not to get into a rut. Like mice we tend to run the same maze over and over again. How many of us go day in and day out to the same coffee shops near West Lake? A suggestion of venturing north or to Binjiang for a restaurant or cup of coffee is met with a chorus of, “Oh my god that is so far away! I might as well go to Shanghai!” but how often can you go to the same coffee shop before it becomes utterly dull? Why not shake your routine up and give Russell Coffee a try! Before I tell you where it is, keep an open mind people…
You can find Russell Coffee not far from the lovely Qiantang River at 263 Kunpeng Road (near the corner of East Wangjiang Road). Yes, it is out in the east, but before you roll your eyes, the squid ink pasta drowning in garlic white wine sauce with broccoli and succulent seafood was amazing, and not just because it was only 56RMB! They have hand-dripped coffee, a commendable wine list, and if you need help digesting, you can always take a stroll along the river. An added bonus is that the parking is much easier than on Nanshan Road! The atmosphere borrows heavily from the popular Maan Coffee/Korean café interior design – think polished Oakwood floors, a dark modern take on Victorian decor, with artful lighting. In this moody setting, smartly-dressed waitresses flit about aptly serving patrons. Smoking is allowed, but is hardly noticeable.
Some items on the menu are a bit pricey, but Russell Coffee serves up unique, delectable food that is a few deviations from the normal café offerings. They do, however, have multiple deals throughout the day, such as from 11am till 9pm all main dishes plus a juice/regular coffee are 68RMB. On our visit we had Ethiopian Hand-dripped Coffee 78RMB, Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice 42RMB, Garlic Seafood Squid Ink Pasta 56RMB, Rustic Corn and Bacon Panini 36RMB, Mexican Spinach Wrap 48RMB, Fried Potato Wedges 28RMB, German Sausages with Mashed Honey Potatoes 78RMB, Chicken Caesar Salad 36RMB, and an order of their mouthwatering Chicken Fingers 32RMB. Frankly put, everything was fantastic. The Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice disappeared so fast we had to order up another one. This place does not disappoint and is definitely worth the trek!
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