We discovered a gem on Day Two, in the form of a quaint two-storey establishment nested along Minjiang 2nd Street. Drawn to its warm façade of multi-coloured stained glass windows and brick walls lined with backyard pottery, we entered through a homely wooden wrap-around porch where patrons can dine on hand-painted blue wooden furniture overlooking the streets, reminiscent of having cosy breakfast at a neighbours’ patio.
On entering, the interior is purposefully dim, littered with tastefully chosen yet somewhat strange knick-knacks, such as a random oil-lamp hanging underneath a stairwell, wall-mounted porcelain deer skull, a vintage record player, and a pre-owned mini basketball hoop. This place struck me as a treasure trove of decorative gems obtained from all over the globe, each representing a different time or era.
If this place had a theme, it had to be ‘queer’, being so in semantics to ‘KeEr’. What I love, is that there are surprises in every nook and cranny — you’ll never know what you might find if you just look a bit closer.
As the pictures may show, the space doesn’t afford big movements from its patrons. A narrow stairwell leads to the upper floor, where you can peep out onto the streets from comfortable leather booths.
Upstairs, a couple of students were whispering over their second or third cups of coffee, evidence of their study splayed over their workspace of the day. We chose a booth adjacent to a wall lined with pre-loved books and empty wine bottles — and yet more quirky thingamajigs including vintage lampshades and rotary dial telephones.
Our latte and mocha were served quickly, piping hot. The cocoa-adorned hair of a happy face is their signature decoration. We also ordered their signature cheesecakes in cookies-and-cream, as well as lychee strawberry (which were both good! Not too sweet nor mushy like most cheesecakes. These had some firmer textures to them. Definitely worth trying.)
They even have a charging station, available at a small fee, for this is surely a place worth spending long hours at with no lack of entertainment. Most crucially, WiFi is available, if you’re not into Mandarin novels or staring into the traffic downstairs. If we weren’t in such a rush to move on to our next local attraction, I could have stayed here for a whole afternoon.
MinJiang 2nd Road 27, Qingdao China