Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hip Bite to Eat

Yesterday I checked out a new shopping mall in Xidan called Joy City Mall. It's a funny looking building that juts in and out like relief and also had a weird shape.

And inside, mall rats are lurking about, checking out the recently opened Uniqlo, a Japanese version of Gap selling good basics, and Muji, a minimalist Japanese lifestyle store.

Zara, G2000, Sephora and Japanese sneaker brand Onitsuka Tiger have set up shop too.

Uniqlo was extremely stuffy with the combination of the hot lights and mad shoppers, I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible.

The best place to scape is Wagas on the third floor.

It's a great cafe to unwind and get some good food to recharge your legs for more shopping.

I'd been there a few weeks earlier and sampled the tuna salad. It's a giant serving of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, and large chunks of tuna that was really delicious.

This time I tried the spaghetti with roasted pumpkin, creamy tomato sauce, basil and toasted pine nuts that was topped with a creamy dollop of feta.

It also came with a small bowl of salad that had a basil vinaigrette and two thin bagette slices.

While the spaghetti was overcooked, the rest of the dish was fantastic, and the salad was a perfect complement to the meal. I also had iced tea, real ice tea with liquid sugar.

Service staff aren't the most attentive and I had to go to the counter to get someone to take my order. However, the staff are courteous and bilingual.

For 56RMB (US$7.98), it was a bit on the expensive side. But for a quiet atmosphere, and trendy decor, it was well worth it.

In the afternoons they are trying to promote a piece of cake and coffee for 28RMB -- another good way to break up the shopping day.

Apparently Wagas will also be opening up branches in Qianmen and Sanlitun, an area that's a magnet for foreigners.

I'll definitely be one of them.

3/F, Joy City Mall
131 Xidan Bei Dajie
Xicheng District
5971 6200

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