Article By Dante Rossi
30 meters Shun Cheng East Lane, Inside South Gate.
(029) 8738 5800
10:00am – 2:00am
Average Price per Person /人均消费: 70RMB
PROS:Cheap cocktails, fluffy & plush seating with great view if you go outside on the terrace
CONS:Maybe it was my hangover but inside the music is a little loud for a cafe menu
Sunday morning and by morning I mean 2:00 PM with fuzzy memories from the night before, my alarm wakes me up with the title “Coffee South Wall Review”. Sighing heavily breathing out “Hao Ba” I wash my face, skip the shaving and grooming, throw-down 3 gulps of Apple Cider Vinegar with fresh cayenne pepper and I’m out the door in a flash.
So I hit up the first outpost of the day which is “Roof Coffee Bar” found right inside the South Gate on the 2nd floor. With an open mind and an empty stomach – on Xi’an’s bar heavy stretch by the South Wall – I come for a late weekend bite. This would mark my first punch at a meal here; I normally come for fresh juice and cakes – which are awesome by the way as a “Plan B” when I’m on a date with a lucky mamasita. Luckily most people tend to sleep in on Sundays, so finding both a parking spot and a table to accommodate my appetite at 2:00 PM was no bother for the googly-eyed staff who welcomed me when the elevator doors to the cafe opened.
The menu has no shortage of options; with omelettes, spaghetti, tuna and club sandwiches followed by a huge array of tasty desserts. For the few that care yes they have salads too but I wouldn’t know how they taste since I ordered two different slices of cake instead. The plates I sampled were pleasing without setting off any fireworks; I particularly enjoyed the perfectly-crispy french fries accompanying most of the dishes. Although Im told fresh fruit round up the sides on most dishes if you care for that sort of affair.
As for drinks, there’s something for everyone with an unending list of coffees, teas, shakes, smoothies, fresh juices (real freshly squeezed juice I might add, not the typical half concentrate half fresh that seems to be a normal thing to do in many Xi’an restaurants) and more. Coffee aficionados in particular are faced with a slew of sources – and formats – filtered, Americano, Viennese, espresso, cappuccino, latte, among others. My favorite of course are the cheap cocktails and beer they have which is why I use this cafe as my go to Plan B spot by the wall.
In the end, this coffee joint works well as a dependable neighborhood destination by the Wall that is complete with a wonderful and open terrace that has a nice view to “People Watch” as the tourists take there selfies on the wall with those 20 rmb selfie sticks they buy at the Muslim market. You may not find any edgy or trendy brunch items here, but the light bistro fare is a notch above garden variety lunch joints typically found in Xi’an. Finally, it’s never too early to eat cake; so if you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and indulge!
Dante is from Canada and is a master mixologist. He can be reached at Dante.Rossi@hotmail.com