Though its location inside a designer furniture shopping mall near the main train station is a little out of the way, W+S Café by Napoleon has some interesting and delicious dishes that make it stand out as a place worth visiting.
The first W+S Café opened in Shanghai on Huaihai Road 4 years ago and is a product of design company W+S Decoration and Napoleon Chocolates. All the modern furniture you see inside the Hangzhou location are designed by the company and are also for sale.
A simple 2 sided menu clearly lays out the options that include all-day-brunch, international, Asian and fusion creations.
Our favourite dish of the day was Steak & Sticky Rice (甜椒牛柳糍饭糕 60RMB), a fusion take on a typical Shanghai breakfast snack called ci fan gao, which are rectangular sticky rice cakes fried in lard.
W+S Café tops their ci fan gao with caramelized onions, wagyu beef and jalapeno pepper. The rice cake was hot and crispy on the outside, soft and warm inside and made a great base for the saucy toppings. We could easily go back to W+S Café just to eat this again.
Second favourite was the Trufflemaniac Pizza (黑松露咸蛋黄披萨 108RMB) with truffle and salted egg yolks. It’s not the most attractive pizza but that combination of unmistakably western truffles with distinctly Chinese salted egg yolks is just genius! With a creamy white sauce to tie things together, aromatic fresh truffle slices, truffle oil and truffle paste are complimented by the sandy textured, salty egg yolks.
Next we have Wagyu Oyakodon (和牛亲子井 88RMB) with thin slices of New Zealand wagyu beef and an onsen egg over rice. It’s best to break the egg and mix it through the rice while it’s still hot. The sweet Japanese seasonings, fatty beef and silky egg combine to make a warm comforting bowl of rice.
An honourable mention goes to New York Style Ribs (纽约香烤肋排 108RMB), soft sticky ribs with plenty of sauce.
Seeing that the word Napoleon is in the restaurant’s name, we had to order a napoleon for dessert. The crisp and flaky pastry is made in Shanghai then delivered to Hangzhou where it’s assembled with thick vanilla cream and strawberries.
Drink options include coffee, teas, mocktails, wine and fresh juice blends, like the healthy Ruby (55RMB) with beets, carrot, celery and apple or the unusual Lycheelicious (55RMB) with lychee, apple and coconut.