25. The Hefu’s World

Monday evening, Lujiazui, Shanghai. After another bike ride to the City Center – this time to Longyang Road Station – by metro I reached Century Avenue, where I was going to eat a dinner in recommended restaurant named “Hefu Noodle” (和府捞面). It’s a new range of restaurants in China which at present has around 100 points in Mainland. I was impressed by the recommendation of one friend who was touched by the restaurant in the way he didn’t told me so I’d experience it myself.

Well, first of all: I was really surprised by the service and choice of meals. Maybe there’s not as much choice in “menu” as in other restaurants, nevertheless dishes – which you pick up yourself, just telling the portion to the cook – are tasty, a very good quality and for those who like to eat well, they can fill like they’re on nine cloud.

Among dishes the restaurant serves are:

– soups: e.g. crab soup, chicken soup…
– cold dishes: Chinese sausage, Saigon roll, Royal Egg…
– warm dishes: potato pancake with corn, Royal Shrimp, rice pancake…

I’d write what is served as the food was really delicious – I went out as full like a big barrel!

At second, another impression came out from the environment of the restaurant, on the one hand it’s a little bit noisy due to the stuff who welcomed and said good bye to each coming and outgoing customers – of course in their own slang; but On the other hand, the restaurant serves their own collection of books having a row of stores for books making their own mini-library in the restaurant. It’s this way great as people who have more free time or want to study or just to relax; they can borrow one of thousands books which are collected and placed in order to topic. I’d see only Chinese books, I couldn’t find any non-Chinese books, however, I liked the idea even to get the opportunity to learn more Chinese words and characters!

What’s more impressed me in this restaurant is a kind of unique way to support customers with a faucet which are placed above the traditional Chinese porcelain vase (青花瓷) which are the decoration of the interior as well.

I liked the atmosphere made by the Classical Chinese music, which in contrast to the calling all around waiters and stuff made a peace of mind and introduced into a calm mood.

The restaurant itself doesn’t looks like the one from the range of the restaurants. It has it’s own climate. Moreover, next to the traditional decorations like mentioned porcelain vase or the Classical Chinese music, in restaurant you’d see a modern accent like chip-card with a table number – which is quite popular in Chinese restaurants; chargers to cellphones, which came out from the table…

Very nice place. It’s not my purpose to recommend some places, however, I like to show some of them. Specially places where you can eat. And here you can REALLY eat and to be full. What I’d like to point out with a capital letters is THE SIZE of soups! To me it’s normal, the size of Chinese soups, since I already get used to eat them at LaoMama, Tianzifang or wherever. Nevertheless I point out the size of soups, specially for those readers who might not be aware HOW BIG are portions of soups here in China. It’s served in a bowl which is as big as a vase in which we serve a soup for a whole family in Europe or in general in the world!

Just such a piece of advice from me: if one day you’ll visit China, remember that if you’ll order a soup, better eat that soup at first and then order another dish. I mention it specially here in this writing as “Hefu Noodle” is one of those restaurants where you can eat two or more dishes like in Europe, including the soup!

I was sitting around two hours in the restaurant. Each dish I chose was worth to eat. For me, a time intended for the meal could be infinite. Specially in restaurants like “Hefu Noodle”. It’s nice to their hand, that a costumer can besides just eating a meal, can also: read the book, study or even to stay in calm. Before getting out from the restaurant I was watching around and I found a place which was like in the corner, a little bit further from all other tables and from kitchen. It was a place to eat as well as it could be a place to have a wonder, a little relax – even within your own music or just to stay in silence.

I really like such a pro-environmental and pro-social concepts of public spaces like restaurant of café, where expect just having a meal you can also spend some time to calm down after a tiring day or/and feed well in peace. I already knew some restaurants – like this one – in Poland or elsewhere, but it’s my first time when I’m visiting the restaurant which belongs to the greater range of restaurants and it serves such a lot of things to a customer.

To specify this restaurant and to make it unique among restaurants like “Subway”, “KFC”, “McDonald’s” etc., I called it’s concept “the Hefu’s World”. Ok, let’s agree with a one thing: this restaurant has only around 100 points in China, nevertheless, did other greater restaurants where the same or similar in idea to make a nice atmosphere to the customer?
I hope that in this restaurant the idea won’t change within expanding around the country.

After eating the dinner, having some thoughts through I came out with a such questions: if we’re doing something, some small things to make our life better, can we keep it well even if we multiply our activities? Can we even having tens or hundreds of our “restaurants” to make at least in one “a place” which will be cozy to each who will visit us? Or maybe yet a such query: do we care about hosting someone to serve that person well? It might be inadequate question, however, in my mind I found out such a connection comparing the service of waiters themselves and the service of the restaurant in general to what we’re doing in our life…

I was and I’m really happy I could experience myself what my friend has told to me about this restaurant. In a good mood I left the place and went for a walk.

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