Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cafe Gino @ Ningbo City, China

I had to go to Ningbo to inspect our winter shipment. Getting there was pretty grueling as I had to stop in Shanghai and then take a bus ride to Ningbo. After a tiring and noisy (the guy sitting behind me was constantly yelling at his cell phone and the one in front was trying to outdo him) 3 hour bus ride from Shanghai I finally checked in at my hotel around noon where I met my supplier Robbie for a quick bite before heading to their factory.

Robbie suggested having lunch at an Italian Restaurant called Gino Cafe. I happily agreed since I’ve never tried Italian food in Ningbo. Upon arriving the cafe looked pretty nice from the outside and the menu is laid out with pictures. I chose the Smoked Chicken Salad and Beef with Vegetable Soup and Robbie had the Mushroom Risotto and Cream of Mushroom Soup.

Our soups arrived first together with a complimentary basket of Garlic Bread. The Garlic Bread was quite crispy but flavour wise it was pretty interesting... I did not taste any garlic and the butter was quite sweet. I tasted some granules on the bread and swear that must be sugar they’ve added.

Garlic Bread

As for my soup, I don’t think there’s anything Italian about it. It tasted like the Borscht Soup that is served in HK Char Chan Teng. Just plain tomato broth with a bunch of vegetables, potatoes and beef cubes.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

I also had a few spoons of Robbie’s Mushroom Soup and it tasted as if it came out of the can. It’s definitely not Campbell’s because their version is much better than the restaurants’ bland and watered down soup.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Soon after, my Smoked Chicken Salad arrived. It was beautifully decorated and tasted alright. The ingredients however were a little interesting. It had some greens, smoke chicken, canned pineapple chunks, pine nuts, shallots and baby tomatoes. The combination seems awkward but for some reason it went well together. It had enough flavor where I did not bother to give it some extra dressing.

Smoked Chicken Salad

Robbie’s risotto arrived next. I only took a couple of spoons to try it out and I must say it only tasted like tomato paste and mush. I don’t eat much risotto but I’m quite sure the rice they used wasn’t even Arborio rice which is what I think the Italians normally cook it with. Nevertheless do take this comment with a grain of salt since I only had a few bites.

Mushroom Risotto

Overall the food wasn’t great in the restaurant. It did feel me up but it’s definitely not an authentic Italian Restaurant or Cafe as it claims to be. There are plenty of other restaurants in Ningbo that serves good Chinese Food from various provinces. I suggest trying that instead.

Contact Information:
Address: 46-2 Caihong Bei Lu
Tel: 0574-8795-3577


zeeps said...

haha cool blog kwong....too bad this timethe food sucked..
i eager to go eating with you again...

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