New & Noted: Garret Cafe

What: A small no-frills café for when you’ve got the late night munchies.
Where: 674 Changle Lu, near Fumin Lu. Tel: 136 1177 2961
Why: Quality pizzas without the high price tag.

If you find yourself moseying on down Changle Lu, you may stumble upon Garret Café: a humble, albeit disappointingly shabby) place that aims to take advantage of your late night pizza cravings. Squeezed into a tiny, two-storey building, there are amazingly only enough seats to accommodate around eight people. Yet we wouldn’t dare to try to fit in that many. All you claustrophobics out there might do well to give Garret a miss.

Still, undeterred, we explored the dining options, and seeing that pizza was the only fare on the menu (with desserts, we were told, soon to be added), we went with some leap of faith in supposing that what the restaurant lacked in quantity, it might make up for in quality.

And so, providing the litmus test for how the restaurant would fare overall, we opted for the bare bones Margherita Pizza (RMB 38), which came with a thin and crispy base and was made with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and sprinkled with black pepper.

The portions were ideal: one pizza pie is enough to feed one ravenous pizza monster on a tight budget, and the freshness of the crust and the quality of the cheese, which was gooey without being too oily, definitely scored a few points. Still, being the crutch of the café’s existence, if you’re looking for anything more, you’ll be severely disappointed.

Metaphorically speaking, Garret Café is like a 1960s Volkswagen Beetle: it’s small, compact, a bit dodgy on the outside (it could use a new coat of paint everywhere) and cheap. It’s nothing special, but it can fit a few of your friends and their drinks in, and cater to a meagre spending budget.

But if it were us, we’d save our pennies and wait for a newer model.

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