A little shelter

Updated: 2008-05-28 15:29

Like an oasis in the desert, a good cafe in Shanghai should provide shelter and indulgence. I spent Monday afternoon hunting down such a rumored oasis, GZ Cafe, located in the alley between Nanjing Xi Lu and Weihai Lu, across from the Isetan side entrance. While the general locale is much traveled by both locals and foreigners, GZ is one of those elusive spots that cannot be stumbled upon, only searched out by those in the know.

Apparently, no one is really in the know yet, as I was the only customer throughout my hour long stay during the lunch rush. Question is, even if more people are informed about this place, should it be sought out? That depends on whether you are looking for shelter or indulgence. It offers the former but is lacking in the latter.

The English menu presented to me had a limited range of food and drinks. They make three types of spaghetti, half a dozen deserts, and some type of breakfast set that I couldn't decipher. For drinks, main options consist of the basic coffees -- Americano, espresso, latte, mocha, or tea -- lemon, Ceylon, and Turkish apple. I decided to take a risk with my drink (Oreo milkshake) and play it safe with my food (Spaghetti Bolognese). As soon as I placed my order, the friendly server scurried off to the kitchen, actually a converted tool shed in the villa's garden, to get cooking.

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