LeBan 乐班

Article By Anthony Cordina

<Qujiang Store 曲江店>

B1, No.1 Building, Jinying Plaza,
Furong South Road, Qujiang District
(029) 8983 2611
8:00am – 11:00pm

Average Price per Person /人均消费: 73RMB

PROS: Excellent food, beverages and service

CONS: A little pricey for workaday expats

There’s no better place to get some work done than a coffee shop and there’s no better coffee shop then LeBan. This is especially true for the recently opened LeBan in the Golden Eagle Shopping Centre in QuJiang.

Upon entering you will see a small assortment of imported and local fruits and vegetables (at imported prices) and just past these you will find imported wines from Italy, Spain, Chile and, of course, France. After finding a table near the floor-to-ceiling windows, I took a moment to appreciate the blue sky outside; it was a rare, clear day in Xi’an and had it not been so cold I would have taken advantage of the outdoor seating available. The interior was designed using a palette of black, brown and many shades of earthy greens, with bare wood and painted metal tables and a modest approach to branding, which I really liked. You won’t find the company logo on every printable surface in sight, which to me makes a place feel far classier.

This LeBan boasts many delicious beverages like fresh, cold-pressed fruit juices, drip coffee and specialty teas like jasmine pearl jam and lemon green tea to name but one, but I went with a cappuccino which was beautifully rich and frothy.  The coffee is fantastic, and is more or less the same price as you would pay for inferior quality coffee elsewhere, plus it’s served to your table in ceramic cups by very hospitable service staff who are always ready to cater to your every whim. The food is also great, from the 72RMB slow-cooked beef sandwich to the 46RMB Bulgogi and cheese sandwich (which I had, and loved). You are sure to find something delectable to suit your tastes, though it might be near the upper end of your lunch budget.

There are no in-house toilets, but the nearby centre facilities are immaculately kept. The atmosphere inside the café is very relaxing with slow R&B and jazz being played at a very pleasant volume and the bilingual menus and English-proficient staff ensure a frustration-free experience. The delectable cakes are delivered daily from a central kitchen in the city and all the sandwiches are prepared in view using only the freshest ingredients. If you like rich coffee and cake, and farm fresh sandwiches I definitely recommend trying out the new LeBan next time you find yourself in the Yanta/Qujiang area.

Anthony Cordina never breaks the second rule of Fight Club. He can be reached at reviews@xianease.com