This past week, Shanghai’s pollution Air Quality Index (AQI) hit an all-time high of 504 out of 500! We exceeded the scale. How is that even possible? I find it hard to believe that just one week ago, I was enjoying fresh air and sunshine and roaming the quaint French Concession neighborhood.
I caught up with some friends for brunch at the Coffee Tree, which is located down an alleyway, Ferguson Lane, at 376 Wukang Road (武康路376号). Coffee Tree has a big outside patio area (perfect for warm summer days) and a smaller indoor area. They don’t take reservations, but my friends were lucky with the timing and we were able to get a table for three easily.
Coffee Tree has an awesome brunch special. For 138 RMB, you can get a 2-course brunch special with starter, main, endless coffee and a drink of your choice. For a 168 RMB, you can get a 3-course special with 2 starters, main, endless coffee and a drink of your choice OR starter, main, dessert, endless coffee and a drink of your choice. It’s a lot of food!
Between the three of us, we ordered French toast, Italian Egg Benedict, Norwegian Egg Benedict, smoked salmon pasta, cheesecake, cappuccinos, fresh juice and coffee. We definitely did not go hungry. My favorite was the Italian Egg Benedict. It was two perfectly poached eggs served on top of prosciutto and wheat bread with a small order of potatoes and salad. Whenever I order eggs benedict at a new restaurant, I always ask for the hollandaise sauce on the side. It’s so easy to mess up hollandaise that I don’t want it spread all over my plate of food if I don’t like the taste of it. Luckily, Coffee Tree’s hollandaise sauce did not fall into that category! It was light and creamy at the same time with just a hint of lemon– the perfect touch of acidity.
The French toast was a pass. It didn’t have enough cinnamon flavoring and was also missing that egg-y, custard-y batter in the middle. My friend liked his pasta a lot and his wife raved about her Norwegian Egg Benedict. So I would definitely recommend the eggs benedict at Coffee Tree!
After brunch, I decided to wander and try and capture some of the beautiful architecture and scenery in the French Concession. Technically, the area is now called “The Former French Concession” because they changed the name a few years ago, but it’s just too much effort to say that many words. It’s still the French Concession in my mind.
I loved all the tall sycamore trees with their leaves slowly changing colors, causing the light to dapple on all the buildings. It was a beautiful day and posting these photos is already making me mourn the loss of fresh air in Shanghai. Hopefully, the air will clear up soon so I can go back to happily wandering the meandering roads of Shanghai (sans-mask)!