New & Noted: Cafe 108

What: Café 108 in The Langham Xintiandi. 99 Madang Lu, near Taicang Lu. Tel: 2330 2288. Web:
What: Artesian made coffee in the centre of Puxi.
Why: Those packets of instant coffee aren’t cutting it.

In a city bursting with coffee culture, it looks like the new Café 108, located in The Langham Xintiandi Hotel, is ready to upstage the competition. As with all things associated with the Langham brand, only premium illy branded coffee is served (by university-educated baristas, no less) in this little corner shop across from the Xintiandi shopping centre. Boasting a very European design in its interior, Café 108 aims to attract guests who can appreciate a well-made cup of Joe. And not only that, but they’ve also got a selection of freshly prepared lunches and desserts, to enjoy alongside it. Yummy.

For food we noshed on an array of savoury and sweet dishes, all created freshly that morning. Most notable were the Norwegian Smoked Salmon Sandwich (RMB 48), served with tarragon, mayonnaise, onion confit, capers and arugula and the Custom-Made Vegetarian Sandwich (RMB 48). Both sandwiches were especially delectable due to the buttery and flaky croissant bread that held it all together and we found ourselves licking our fingers to savour the very last crumb.

This was of course paired with a brew, and the Cappuccino (RMB 25 for small; 35 for large) was a heavenly marriage of coffee and milk that showed no signs of separation, which is often the problem with lower quality versions. We’ll definitely be returning for more.

Desiring something sweet to finish it all off, we found the Hazelnut and Banana Crumble Bar (RMB 38) and Seasonal Fruit Tartlet with Vanilla English Cream (RMB 38) to be more than enough to satisfy. Meant for sharing, we should warn that the portions are more than generous. One serving of the Hazelnut and Banana Crumble Bar needed to be divided into multiple pieces in order to be finished off and the Seasonal Fruit Tartlet had to be boxed aside for another day.

We ended our visit feeling rather impressed by it all because for such a small venue, Café 108 really packs a punch.

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