If you’ve not been to the Song Dynasty shopping street adjacent to Wushan Square, there is a lot of new stuff to see like shops, restaurants, and youth hostels. One of the nicest places to while away your time, or take a respite from the maddening crowds, is Mint Wine; a quaint little place that’s equal parts coffeehouse, café, and restaurant.
Mint Wine is easy enough to find. It’s located down the main alley radiating off the main pedestrian drag, which is great, because it experiences a lot less foot traffic, making it a much quieter place for patrons. As you might have guessed from the name, mint and wine play a large decorative role; the former cascading down from the eaves of the portico where Al Fresco noshing can be enjoyed, while the latter serves as the main décor theme for the interior 2 floors, where you’ll find a covered atrium for those of you who prefer your outdoor dining with a healthy dose of air conditioning.
It was beautiful the day we went for lunch. We loved the comfy couches, the copious amounts of natural light, and overall level of cleanliness. We were less enthused to find the menus were entirely in Chinese, so ordering can be a little tricky, but we’ll make it easy. If you’re hungry, go someplace else. The food’s not that good. For example, the rib-eye steak costs 42RMB. How good could that steak be? Spoiler alert: Not very. But let’s not focus on the negative because there’s a lot this place does well. There’s free Wi-Fi. The coffee and espresso (30-35RMB) are all fresh ground from imported beans. Their beer selection is small, but good, with the stubby bottles of Tsingtao costing 18RMB, Corona and Heineken 20RMB, and Maredsous ringing in a 45RMB.
For a retreat from the heat, a tasty caffeine recharge, or a quiet place to meet friends, Mint Wine packs a lot of good into a quaint space. If you’re absolutely starving, the mushroom soup (18RMB) is quite savory, and the Indonesian Rice (28RMB), while lacking the satay and prawn crackers indicative of the dish, was still tasty in its own right. Considering the surrounding environs, this place is definitely worth checking out.