Written by Imogen Sayer
It’s always good to hear about a new western restaurant in the city, so when I was told about Ms Bonbon I was curious to see what they offered. It’s on the north metro line and, with help from a local policeman, easy to find!
Ms Bonbon is spacious with a crisp, clean feel to it. It’s decorated simply, but tastefully; think modern bistro chic. The room is swathed in black and white and accented with chandeliers and mirrors. The tables are big and furnished with an unusual, yet cute ornament in the centre. The very welcoming staff, who, like the restaurant, were smartly dressed in black and white, ushered us to a table in the corner of the restaurant. However, none of the staff really spoke any English, which made for lots of the usual ‘pointing and smiling’ style of ordering. We were handed menus that were a work of art themselves; not only did they have photos, but also English translation and a little explanation of what you were ordering!
We felt the choices were more cafe than restaurant, offering afternoon teas, a large variety of tea and coffee and some sumptuous looking deserts, but there was enough to tempt us for dinner. While we were waiting for our starters, to our surprise, a tray of coffee that we hadn’t ordered arrived. It took a little mime work with our waitress to get her to “please take it away and maybe we’ll have coffee when we’re finished…”
After our little encounter with the language barrier, our starters arrived. I ordered Field Mushroom Chowder served in a crispy bread ‘bowl’ and Chris went for Spicy Bacon Sausage Rolls, or as we Brits call them, Pigs in a Blanket. The soup was delicious, perfectly seasoned and, yes, I know it sounds ridiculous, but very ‘mushroomy’! The spicy bacon sausage rolls, while not terribly spicy were tasty enough to satisfy the westerner’s occasional need for sausage and bacon.
Chris’ main course arrived while we were still working our way through our starters, so we quickly finished to avoid his pasta getting cold. He ordered Spaghetti with Chicken and Walnuts in Curry Sauce. This arrived with a medley of nuts, which worked very well. The curry sauce was tasty without being too spicy but maybe a little too thick for his liking. My Farfalle Box of Salmon in Creamy Pumpkin Sauce was delicious, beautifully served in a box of lightly toasted bread.
It was then that Star, our waitress, asked if we would like coffee. We said yes, and the coffee which had been removed from our table 35 minutes previous was brought back to us, having gotten more than a little cold by that time. Again, beautifully presented as six little samples of different coffees, but would have been better hot! For dessert, we decided to try a Chocolate Honey Toast Box, Ms. Bonbon’s signature dessert. It arrived looking just like the picture in the menu, and was light and tasty. However, with so many “boxes” and “bowls,” I was a little “breaded-out”!
Overall, Ms. Bonbon is a chic and welcoming restaurant that has good food with high class presentation. The friendly staff is hampered only by having no English speakers amongst them. The service, while enthusiastic, was a little chaotic. This was a significant downside to the evening for us. Also, the price of our meal probably wouldn’t suit all expats’ pockets. We paid what we considered to be a fairly hefty 470¥ for two soft drinks, two starters, two main, one tray of coffee and one desert!
Pros… A sleek environment; well-presented, tasty food; given the quality of the food I’d recommend trying the afternoon tea here, it looked wonderful.
Cons… No English speaking staff at all, no toilets in the restaurant itself, an expensive evening for what is was.
SHOP 1 Address：1st Floor,Buliding A, Sai Gao Jie Qu,Ginwa, Southwest Corner of Wei Yang Road and Feng Cheng 5 Road
( 未央路与凤城五路交汇西南角世纪金花赛高街区A座一层 )
10:00am – 22:00pm
SHOP 2 Address：B1-22-B1-15,Times Square Ginwa,No.336 East of Huan Cheng South Road
( 环城南路东段336号世纪金花时代广场B1-22-B1-15 )