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The T Spot In the final post of my Shanghai series, I am going to introduce you to a cafe/bar that is set up by a Malaysian chef. hoF (House of Flour) is set up by Brian Tan, spreading its food(foot)prints in Shanghai with 3 outlets and is popular for the chocolate desserts and cocktails!

I visited the cafe at Sinan Road, which was really near the H&M flagship store on Huai Hai Middle Road. You can take a break there after all the crazy H&M shopping!

And I was there for brunch…

I started off with hot chocolate that came with a shot of Bailey’s. I am a fan of Hot Chocolates and this is a good cup of Hot Chocolate – thick consistency, pleasant aroma and sweet, but not too sweet.

And for the record, we were supposed to drink from the tip of the cup.

My Croque Monsieur was delicious and surprisingly filling. Things never go wrong with ham, cheese and bread although I was slightly disappointed that it left me with no space for desserts.

Some photos of what I had missed. hoF also serves cocktails, so you can actually pair your desserts with their special concoctions for the best experience.

Verdict:

Great food, great location and good ambience. This is the place where I can go to at any time – start the day with brunch, take a short mid-day break with afternoon tea or head down for a good dinner or just chill at night with their desserts and drinks.

hoF (House of Flour)
30 Sinan Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu (思南路30号, 近淮海中路)
+86 21 6093 2058

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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The T SpotIf you were to ask me which is my favourite cafe in Shanghai, I would introduce you to “Song Fang” without hesitation.

Located in a 3-storey shophouse, a sea of bright blue tins printed with a cartoon of male and female farmers welcomes you at the first floor. You may be under the impression that this place is a retro Chinese tea house, but Song Fang actually sells both Chinese and French tea!


Photo credit: Song Fang

The three-storey tea house was adorned with very quirky and stylish decor.

Like our local TWG, there was a very wide selection (more than 60 types) of tea to choose from. All of us had french tea which was presented to us in Western tea pots.

The table opposite us was having Chinese tea which was served with the traditional Chinese tea preparation set.

The floral pouches were supposed to cover the tea pot to keep the tea warm.

The tea house serves Western tea cakes too. We had a homemade apple cake which was warm, soft and pretty yummy! Apparently, the desserts are prepared by a celebrated French Patissier based in China.

Verdict:

A quirky place with an interesting mix of Chinese and French culture. Soak into the relaxed ambience, enjoy the tea and do bring a good book to spend a day there.

Song Fang 宋芳茶馆
227 Yongjia Road (near Shaanxi Nan Road) 上海永嘉路227号甲(近陕西南路)
Tel: +86 021 64338283

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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As a girl from the tropics, my collection of winter clothes is paltry and pathetic. I wanted to look presentable in Shanghai but packing for 0 degree Celsius weather and coordinating was beyond me. So, I was quite conservative with my colours and stuck to gray, black and white most of the time.

Striped tee from H&M (from the flagship store at Huaihai Road)| Long cardigan from F21| Gray skinnies from ASOS| Wool scarf from People’s Square at only S$5| Striped gloves from China years ago| Jeffrey Campbell knock-off boots from Gojane.

This was me without my brown winter jacket when I was inside the Memorial House of the Shanghai Office of the Communist Party Delegation(周公馆).  The memorial house showcased the rooms and offices of members of the Communist Party when they were in Shanghai.

Entry is free. The memorial house is located at No. 73 Sinan Road, near Fuxing Middle Road (上海思南路73号)

Finally a photo of me and my brown puffer jacket from Mango.

I was at Chen Haiwen‘s photo studio at Taikang Road. This Chinese photographer spent one year traveling all over China to take pictures of Chinese’s 56 ethnic groups. The “Family Portraits” series was a very comprehensive project as each photo has the date of photography, location and the names and ages of all subjects.

Chen Haiwen’s photo studio: Taikang Road (Tianzifang) 上海泰康路田子坊274弄15号

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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The T SpotShanghai – the finance and business hub of Asia’s major economy – and an increasingly cosmopolitan city in the region. I had the chance to check out some interesting eateries during my recent trip there and will be introducing these places on the blog.

I have been to Xintiandi when I was in Shanghai 7 years ago. Then, Xintiandi was this dimly-lit place with some eateries and bars and European-like decor, which didn’t really appeal to me. 7 years later, I decided to give Xintiandi another go since everyone seems to say that it’s THE place to hang out!

Photo credit: Flickr

Truth to be told, Xintiandi has not changed much, although there are more eateries and clubs now. We took a nice stroll around and went to a desserts place nearby called Bellagio 鹿港小镇 .

Bellagio sells Taiwanese food and is apparently quite well-known for their Chinese desserts! As the cafe opens till late, it’s a great place to meet, enjoy affordable sweets and escape from the cold weather outside.

Mango rice balls with coconut 芒果椰丝糯米滋

This is a famous Hong Kong dessert! I was so excited to find it in Bellagio! Each ball is made from glutinous rice flour, with fresh mango encrusted in the middle. Every piece is then dusted with the desiccated coconut that helps to add some crunchy bite to the dessert.

It was a pity that the rice flour was too thick. I would have preferred it if the layer was thinner and the interior was packed with mangoes!

Glutinous rice balls in fermented rice wine with 桂花酒酿鸡蛋小圆子

This dessert is Shanghainese. I tried it once in Shanghai years ago and was not a fan of it because the smell of the rice wine was too overwhelming. Bellagio’s version included osmanthus flower and egg. I know how this bowl of dessert looks like a bowl of porridge with rice, wine, egg and rice balls but it was really delicious. I believe the osmanthus deserves some credit for adding a refreshing zest, and balancing out the strong taste of rice wine.

Red bean paste with rice balls 红豆沙

Unlike most red bean paste desserts I have tasted in Singapore, Bellagio’s offering was thick and pasty. The texture was smooth and the sweet taste complemented well with the rice balls. This is one of the best red bean paste desserts that I have ever tasted!

Verdict:

This place can be crowded, but it is evidently a place where Shanghainese yuppies and youths hang out.  Bellagio has several branches in Shanghai, as well as other parts of China. Do stop by there after an obligatory visit to Xintiandi.

Bellagio 鹿港小镇
Address: 上海市卢湾区太仓路68号 (Taicang Road No. 68, near Shunchang Road)
Tel: +86 021-63865701

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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