Walking around looking for a place to grab a sit-down meal is a really interesting experience right now. Here’s how the conversation tends to go:
Eric: I’m totally open – where do you want to eat?
Me: I’m totally open, too. Up to you!
Eric: What about this place?
Me: What is it?
Eric: I don’t know, I can’t read all the characters.
Me: Ok… keep walking?
Then once we pass the line from hungry to hangry, or start to get annoyed of the whole process, we either go into a place that has English on its sign, or grab some street food. This post is about one of the places that has English on its signs, Goldstar Cafe.
The decor of this place is the major highlight. I walked in and my eyes were wide at all the natural light and bright white. It’s basically an Instagram dream come true.
The menu is a little limited, and it’s absolutely on the pricey side in Nanjing terms, but we still managed to go big. We ordered two meals to share between us, plus Eric got a Heineken and I got… something with coffee in it.
Eric does all the ordering since he’s the Chinese speaker, so I tell him what I want and he does his best to communicate. I told him I wanted something iced, carbonated, and caffeinated, and the barista recommended what can be translated to “coffee float”. I was confused but definitely not disappointed. The drink had either club or cream soda, cold coffee, and some type of sweetener, with an awesome foamy layer on top. It was SO FREAKING GOOD. It was 38¥ which is about $6 – so yeah, super pricey.
Just FYI, you absolutely don’t have to speak Chinese to order here. If you start speaking English, they’ll probably speak Chinese back at you, but so far all the servers have generally understood me, and they just opened up a menu and did some pointing. It’s worked like a charm every time!
The food was more straightforward than my drink, but equally tasty. We got their “specialty sandwich” (a triple layer BLT with a fried egg), and a Chinese chicken and rice plate with soup and “chicken paints”, AKA sauces. The sandwich was solid (although extremely messy) and the fries were well seasoned, but that chicken with the sauces stole the show. One of the sauces was definitely hoisin, one was some kind of red pepper curry, and the other was a mixture of oil and ginger. My favorite part of the chicken plate was the fact that they took the bones out of the chicken – an uncommon thing to do in Chinese cooking. Oh and the fatty skin. I love me some chicken skin.
Altogether our meal was about $20, which really isn’t bad in America, but it’s considered fairly expensive here. The real bonuses for me here are: 1) fast Wi-Fi, 2) clean, Western-style bathrooms, and 3) free, unlimited lemon-y ice water!!
I would definitely come back here, and if you find yourself craving clean, straightforward, Western style food I would definitely recommend you stop here. Here’s where to find it:
My next post will be a look at our apartment, which we just got the keys for last night! I’m fondly referring to our building as The Bat Cave, and you’ll see why.
Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon 🙂
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