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Venue

L'escargot
小小家
10am – 10pm (closed Monday)
52, North Zijing Rd.
紫荆北路52号
0512 8514 9779
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Susan Johnson (more chengdu)
L'escargot is a gem of a cafe that has been open for a few months, located a couple of blocks south of the Zijing cinema complex in Tongzilin. The place is so small that if you walked by you might not even notice it, which would be a shame. Inside, it feels very comfortable and welcoming. French prints on the walls and French music give the place plenty of atmosphere, while the tableware is gorgeous and complements the decor.

The pastry case might have a quiche or two that you can order by the slice, as well as treats like lemon tarts and éclairs. There is usually a chocolate cake and a tart Tatin on the cake stands, some very nice Madeleine’s, and a selection of cookies. The drinks menu and wine list are framed in a way that seems to reflect pride in the offerings. Cakes are plated attractively before being served. Monin-brand syrups and Damman Freres tea round out the French experience. Wi-Fi is available for those who wish to linger with a laptop.

There is a chalkboard menu with salads and sandwiches in English, French, and Chinese. Those same languages float around when the cafe is busy. Obvious care has been taken to keep the prices low, with a simple menu, but it sometimes feels like one too many corners have been cut. We'd love to taste a more flavorful cheese than mozzarella in the quiche Lorraine, even if we had to pay a lot more for it. We also wish there were a few more things on the menu that could complement their short but very interesting, all-French wine list. It is tough to argue with the crowds though; the cafe has been very busy recently. Good thing they do takeout.

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