In Cafetique, Shanghaiist reviews coffee shops and cafes around Shanghai that provide the two things our writers need most in life: caffeine and wireless internet. How does your neighborhood hangout spot stack up?
What: Bricco Cafe
Where: 158 Chengdu Nan Lu near Huaihai Zhong Lu; 成都南路158号, 近淮海中路 (One of four locations.)
Atmosphere: The warm-toned lighting, wooden walls, and potted trees keep it inviting in this spacious venue. If you’ve forgotten to bring a book with you, the stairs that lead up to the second floor pizza bar is lined with Italiano coffee table books and other trinkets you can occupy yourself with. It’s also part market and part pizzeria at Bricco so if you feel like eating something more filling than usual cafe fare or want to stock up on some imported foodstuff and wines, you’re all set here.
Music: Christmas songs 🙂
Food and Drink: Nearly all their coffees start at 22 RMB for a small and increase to 30 RMB for a large. They had a few eyecatching beverages like strawberry cappucino (38 RMB) and milk and mint (20 RMB). We hear that Bricco does really great pizzas but we can’t testify to the truth of that. Unfortunately, the items we ordered were all bitterly disappointing. The lemon cake (RMB 18) was on the dry side. For the second selection, I was enticed by a food porn shot with this description: “a refreshingly cool and colorful medley of creamy yogurt, mixed fruit and cereal,” and went with the arcobaleno (RMB 28). But boy was I in for a disappointment – I don’t think I have ever been so let down by food before! The picture clearly showed granola but what I got instead were several sad cereal flakes sprinkled atop liquidy Chinese yoghurt and some mixed fruit.
Wifi: Passworded. They have a couple outlets lying around the place but not too many. We got stuck for a bit when our computer battery ran out and all the tables next to plugs were taken.
Overall: The owner/manager was very kind and checked on us to see if we needed anything and oh yeah, did we mention it has Italian serving staff? We suppose that might be part of Bricco’s dedication to authenticity – “We make Italian, not fake Italian.” It’s just too bad it wasn’t true for the food we got, though I’ll say that the pizzas and the paninis being devoured to the left and right of us looked promising. There’s enough to draw us back – good wifi and atmosphere – but next time we’ll stick to the coffee and their signature dishes.