Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunset Stroll at 1912

Hefei sunset at 4:30pm (a sure sign winter is coming!)
Hefei 1912 Bar Street
Crossing of Ninghuai Road & Huangshan Road
A beautiful sunset was just the perfect inspiration for me to go on a nice afternoon stroll and check out the new Hefei 1912 Bar Street located in the city’s new technological zone. The 1912 Bar Street officially opened last September 23 and is slated to have more than 20 cultural and commercial shops. The new center also includes various bars, cinemas, boutique hotels and health spas. Most of the places have not yet opened but here are a few already happily welcoming customers and worth checking out. 

View of Hefei 1912 and the upcoming Cinema complex

Blue Marlin is a chain of restaurants that originated with several branches in the city of Suzhou. Since then, it has branched out to the nearby city of Nanjing and now, with an outlet in Hefei as well. Dishes on the menu are an eclectic mix of German, French, Italian and Asian fare. Recommended are the burgers and their grilled selections. Draught beer and a wide selection of drinks are also available. 

I love to call this "the restaurant with the mask" because of its beautiful, iconic red mask logo. If you have some sudden cravings for excellent spicy Chinese food, this is the place for you. Sichuan cuisine and its famously fiery elements made up of chilies and hot peppercorn ingredients are number one on the menu here. This growing restaurant chain is already valued as a brand with its authentic, delicious food, high-end decor (glass walls and comfy booth sitting) and upscale environment adding to its appeal. Top menu favorites are the spicy stone grilled beef, dan dan noodles, palace prawns, crystal shrimp, Ma Po tofu and home-style sea cucumber. 

Italy's beloved coffee roaster Lavazza has now come to China with plans of opening more than 200 coffee shops in the next five years. The first shops opened in the top cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and have now expanded to many smaller cities including Hefei. Real Italian Lavazza coffee is available here including some Italian cuisine. I decided to try out the Mochachino. Yummy!

A huge craving for some Spanish tapas and Paella brought Marc and I straight to this restaurant last weekend. The restaurant has a fine-dining atmosphere decorated in an old world ambiance. The authentic Spanish chefs who make the wonderful dishes hail from Valencia and San Sebastian. We sampled the Paella de Mariscos, croquetas de jamon, croquetas de verduras and really nice wine. The food was great and delicious and we'll definitely be back!