Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
Breakfast is one of our favourite meals, so we're glad there are so many small restaurants with Western breakfast options in town. However, some of the finer points of breakfast service seem to get lost in translation. Few places understand that coffee needs to be served before, or at the very latest with, the plate and that breakfast items should all come together and be hot at the same time. It's all too common to get your food then wait several minutes for coffee while your toast and eggs slowly congeal on your plate. We find that the best way to get your day off to the right start at these places is with many specific requests - Please bring the coffee first. Please bring jam with my toast. Etc.
Since we are morning optimists, we decided to try the brunch at the newly opened Zell's Cafe, which rather closely resembles the brunch offering from another family of restaurants in town. You can choose a style of eggs, a kind of meat, and one type of pan-fried fruit with a pancake, toast, or French toast, and a drink, all for 38RMB. It's a good deal. They brought butter (黄油) and honey (蜂蜜) for the pancake on request, but didn't seem to have syrup. The eggs were cooked crispy and heart-shaped. They were good-sized eggs and the quality of the ham was good, not the mystery luncheon meat that passes for ham in some places. It went rather nicely with the fried pineapple. We would come back and try some of the other combinations, but would make a point of asking for our coffee first.
The rest of the bilingual menu at Zell’s consists of burgers, pasta, and pizza at prices that are quite competitive with other Western restaurants in town, with entrees running about 25-45RMB/person. You can get coffee and dessert for about 30RMB, or, if you feel like splurging, they have some higher-end entrees for over 100. We thought it was a great place to sit with our laptop and coffee.