I really love an area of Shanghai called Taikang Lu (Chinese: 泰康路) because it's like a little labyrinth full of tiny shops and cafes where you can just wander around and around for hours....not unlike what Staci and I did just the other day. But this blog post is not about shopping, it's about eating. We had lunch at Kommune, at place I've been to a number of times and I love no matter what I've ordered. It's tucked back amongst jewelry shops, a silk scarf shop and another small cafe that I'm sorry to say I still haven't tried because when I think I'm going to try it I end up at Kommune again.
There's a wonderful outside seating area, that we weren't able to enjoy because of the snow, but none-the-less is still nice. Inside it was full, but not packed. We originally took at seat at the really high bar that's located right at the front of the restaurant but luckily were shortly moved to a small table. Sitting at the bar isn't too bad, but the stools are really high, and not very comfortable. The tables look like what I would imagine really old television dinner stands would have looked like had televisions been around during the Ming Dynasty. The walls are covered with old propaganda posters, and there's usually an old war movie being shown on the two televisions that are mounted in corners.
The food choice is what you'd expect from a small cafe, with a few small surprises. They have daily specials that vary from fetticine alfredo to weird fish things. We stuck with normal choices and were quite pleased. I can't remember the name of my sandwich right now but it was good. Not great, but good. It was ham and gruyere cheese melted on rye bread with a spicy chili sauce. It was a little tart, and I was expecting it to be sweeter, which is why I didn't think it was great. But like I said, good. All sandwiches come with a small side salad covered in a pesto dressing which is really delicious. I wouldn't order the salad on it's own but it's a great compliment to the sandwiches. I also ordered the pumpkin soup, not that I thought I'd be hungry (The sandwiches are an excellent size, so there's no need to worry you'll be hungry.) but I do love good pumpkin soup. The soup is served in a coffee thermos with a little cup for you to pour your soup into as you eat it. The soup was great! It was like someone had pureed a pumpkin and delivered it directly to me. I would have added a little chili pepper or just pepper in general, but it was really good as is. Plus, how could I not like something served to me in a thermos?
Staci tried the veggie sandwich and didn't seem to have any complaints. She too enjoyed the pesto dressing on the salad, it really is a nice touch. And we both had Jasmine Tea to go with our meals. Then of course being us, we need to have dessert so we split a slice of Apple Pie with real whipped cream and each had an iced Mocha. The Mochas were served in mason jars which is really cute, and the apple pie slice was huge! Definitely split a slice of pie, unless you haven't already eaten it's massive and will fill your entire stomach. We devoured it.
Kommune isn't the cheapest of places to eat, but it's not too bad. We had all that food for just under $40USD which isn't something I'd do all the time for lunch but is fun. As we were getting our selves ready for our shopping time the cafe started handing out samples of other kinds of dishes...so of course we had a couple bites. The caprese was really good, I think it's the pesto that sells me on it, and I tried some of their fish from the fish and chips and it melted in my mouth. I'll have to go back and actually try the fish and chips.
This is a fun place just to stop for a coffee as well because you can get a bowl, I'm not kidding an actual bowl, of coffee or mocha. Like a cereal bowl big. Craziness, but amazing. Go there now.