Fuzhou is the capital of China’s Fujian province. Like Ankara to Istanbul or Canberra to Sydney it’s greatly overshadowed by its southerly neighbour Xiamen. Fuzhou then is mostly a work in progress with much happening in the way of construction and development. However, in its more scenic enclaves it can deliver some surprising results of what is achievable in the latter department. One such area is the Creative Culture Park (CCP) which sits alongside the canal on North Baima Road. At first glance it seems only a row of four or five bars or cafés (the only part visible from the roadside) but on closer inspection a whole array of tea houses lurk behind the humble façade in a courtyard similar to Beijing’s 198 art quarter. Stranger still is that while there are signs listing architects and interior designers, I couldn’t find any save for one café cum gallery.
Mist is one of many that calls the CCP home and is somewhere between coffee lovers paradise and champagne bar. From its alluring blue neon sign, it is impeccably dressed in white walls and black marble floors. There are white leather seats and black velvet seats that imbue the place with a suitable air of no riff raff here and a price tag to match. Despite it being wonderfully Zeitgeist in its iPad menu, Mist has no website and no e-mail. What it does have apart from affluent ambience is an abundance of every kind of tea or coffee you can possibly care to mention. It has it’s heart in delivering the world of the brown stuff to Fuzhou’s hippest clientèle. It would not be difficult to imagine some of the cities most beautiful women lining the place on a good night.
So what, other than the décor, is on offer. Let’s start with the snacks. There are Egg Ham Sandwiches and more appealing to me (as I’m without toaster at the time of writing) is the Grill Cheese Toast which sadly wasn’t offered to me this time round but will be worth going back for. Yoghurt salad I can’t vouch for but sounds interesting none the less. So to does Taiwanese Grill Sausage and New Orleans Chicken Wings – unless you’re vegetarian of course. Now for the somewhat extensive and exhaustive range of liquid entertainment. Coffees – where to start! Rose Life has pretty pink petals in it, Toasted Almond Mocha is garnished by some of its namesake nuts. Being Welsh I had to take an interest in Taffy Nut Latte and the intriguing Mocha Mojito – all Y38. Non-milky varieties come from Brazil, Panama, Colombia, Bolivia, while Africa is represented by Kenya and the evocative sounding Ethiopian Yirfacheffe (sadly no-one could tell me what the hell Yirfacheffe is). If that isn’t adventurous enough well I’m sure Indonesian Golden Mandheling will suffice. One thing for certain is that Austrian Cinnamon Coffee seems somewhat dull by comparison. There are so many to choose from I’m working the iPad to overdrive to figure out which one to go for. In the end I settle on the cafés namesake brew (in all but name a Bailey’s Coffee) Y40.
The business end of the establishment is the alcoholic range on offer and at prices not for the faint hearted! Champers start at Y888-1188 while a glass of De Kuyper Cherry is a modest Y45 (bottle Y269). Martell Noblige Cognac Y65/799 and its sister tipple Martell Cordon Bleu will set you back Y109/1598. Regulars Vodka and Barcadi are ever present as are beers and soft drinks but this is hardly the place to come for a Sprite! For the upcoming summer try their iced teas or smoothies, the Mango Coconut Milk stands out.
Building 4 #103, Shaoyuan 1# Creative Culture Park, North Baima Road, Fuzhou, Fujian province, China