Tag Archives: Western Restaurants

Western Breakfast at CF Cafe

There are two reasons why I would ever eat Pizza Hut’s food. They can receive orders in English if you call them for delivery. Also, they do scrambled eggs and French toast breakfasts up until 10:30. Given Pizza Hut’s wide reach, that’s highly convenient if you are traveling through unfamiliar places in China. In Changzhou, however, there are some places that offer a western styled breakfast with higher quality food. CF Cafe is one of those establishments.

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The food here has always been of high quality. Their cakes, breads, sandwiches, and pizza are all worth the trip. However so are their breakfasts, and the prices are roughly the same as Pizza Hut. As implied earlier, the quality of their offerings are much, much better.

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This is scrambled eggs with salmon. It came with a fried tomato and a salad with Japanese style dressing. This cost about 45 RMB. For me, salmon is a very rich-tasting fish. There is only so much of it I can eat in one sitting. The portion here was just about the right amount. While I enjoyed this, I liked the next dish even more.

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The baked beans and the tomato makes me think this is a more British styled breakfast than American, but that that’s really splitting hairs. So this is basicaly scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms. Other sides include a breakfast sausage and potatoes. This runs about 55 RMB. That’s roughly similar to what I normally pay at Pizza Hut. Maybe it’s 5 RMB more, but I will gladly play the difference.

These two options are not the only breakfast choices CF Cafe has to offer. However, this category of food is just another indication of the quality you can find here, whether you are seeking breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

CF Cafe is located in Taihu Road in Xinbei and is across the street from the media tower and complex. It’s walking distance from Wanda Plaza and it’s BRT station.

Monkey King Bargains

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Half of my ethnic heritage comes from Italy, so it’s very easy for me to  say, “Monkey King is one of my favorite restaurants in Changzhou.” Of course, it’s not as good as my late mother’s home cooking, but it’s still pretty darned awesome. It consistently has the best pizza in town — which I would very readily compare to the sort that you can find in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City. By that, I mean thin crust.  They’re not exactly alike, but it’s the closest you will find in Changzhou.

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If there is one thing I would complain about, it would be the prices. But then again, a person should be willing to pay for a high end dining experience. And Monkey King is high end dining in Changzhou. That leads to another point. From time to time, the restaurant does an all-you-can- eat buffet. Recently, the location in Xinbei hosted one of these on the 25th of February from 6pm to 10pm. Incidentally, the 25th was also the one year anniversary of this blog (a very happy, but totally unrelated coincidence!). For 198 RMB, diners were treated to veal, eggplant, salads, seafood dishes, and more. There was also all-you-can-drink bottled beer and Italian red wine. If you take all of that together, it’s quite a good deal. I ate like a pig; I will not lie about that. Next time Monkey King offers one of these — in either Wujin or Xinbei locations — seriously consider going. It’s more than worth the money.

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Where to find in Changzhou, even on regular menu days.

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Wujin Location near Yancheng.

 

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Xinbei location near Candle’s Steakhouse.

Caribbean Fish at Secret Recipe

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“Hey, Rich, what’s Caribbean food like?”

“I don’t know. Never had it.”

“Didn’t you live in the Bahamas at one point?”

“No, I lived in Bermuda. And before you go there, Bermuda is not in the Caribbean — it’s 700 miles off the coast of North Carolina. It’s closer to the USA, actually.”

This is a conversation I have had a few times over the years. In a way, I am being a bit too technical. While Bermuda is not in the Caribbean, it does have a “sorta” cultural affinity. I have been told that Bermudian food is “sorta” close, but I wouldn’t know; I have no point of comparison. Eating at Secret Recipe reminded me of this.

They have a fish dish that’s labelled “Caribbean,” and I couldn’t honestly say if it was authentic or not. However, eating it did remind me a little about Bermuda. There, local food is mostly fresh ocean fish with a bit of sauce on it. And that’s what Secret Recipe served me: a generic tilapia-like white fish with a light cream sauce on top. And, while it was not great, it was good enough to bring me back someday to eat it again when I want an easy “not Chinese” fish dish.  The fish itself is served on a bed of french fries, and both the sauce and the fish’s juices soaked down into potatoes and giving them a unique flavor. I’m into that sort of thing, because I do like having unusual things on fries.  The plate comes with a small side salad, and the cream sauce also works as a nice, warm dressing. So, I mixed the fish with both the fries and the lettuce and tomato.

Secret Recipe is fairly trusty, and sometimes the allure is more the convenience. It’s hit and miss with some expats. Some like the place, and others don’t. To each their own.  It’s a Malaysian chain that’s quite common in the region, and it’s a safe choice when travelling in a big Chinese city you may not know much about. The food is pretty much fusion between Asia and the western cuisine. Changzhou actually has two of these places. One can be found in Xinbei — inside the Lafu supermarket at the TV tower. Wujin’s Secret Recipe is located near Starbucks in the Injoy Mall.