Ginger has considerable charm. Recently we popped in on a chilly afternoon and the café was alive with patrons flicking through foreign fashion magazines. Others sipped lattes under a reproduction of Botero’s porcine dancing couple. Ginger could be almost anywhere – Paris or New York, Boston or Buenos Aires – but it seems right at home as the landing pad for nearby neighbor Y+Yoga’s lunching ladies.
Ginger’s urbane menu bounces around a lot – there’s a little Japanese here, some Spanish there, a few French dishes and pastry. The wine list is brief but compelling, and the cocktails good. But we came here for breakfast. Everyone knows the big diners in town sling eggs and hash, and so we searched for a more serene alternative.
The breakfast menu takes a (very) straightforward approach. There are scrambled, sunny-side up, or boiled eggs. There are pancakes. And that’s about it (you can also order off of their substantial regular menu). We ordered two soft boiled eggs (which spent too long in the bath), white toast, and vegetables which, in this case, was a teeny bowl of sautéed mushrooms. This ‘meal’ rang in at ¥55, which seems conspicuously steep for what we received. Thankfully, a shallow slice of quiche lorraine, in all its smoky, buttery glory, helped forgive the sins of the eggs.
In retrospect, Ginger isn’t really trying to be the breakfast nook we were searching for, but it’s perfect for a mid-morning coffee and quiche. We’ll be back at Ginger for sure – but not till after the rooster crows.
More cafes in Shanghai