This month we explored the back streets of Taiping Bei Lu on our way to No Worries, a Melbourne inspired café, located a hop and a skip away from 1912. What makes a café good? What makes it authentic; what does a café have be in order to be taken seriously?
I had plans to meet with a friend for an afternoon coffee. She’s English and new to China. As a barista herself, she is vehemently opposed to big chain spoilers, such as Costa and Starbucks. So with that in mind, I knew exactly where to go. Having been to No Worries once before, I was sure she would be impressed.
Wondering around the neighbourhood, we stepped over discarded sugar cane, blocking path entrances overflowing with garbage and restaurant muck thrown into the street. We dodged e-bikers cutting corners piled high with delivery boxes, fruit and empty crates. Her expectations probably were not very high. Yet, as we pressed on down Shipopoan, No Worries revealed itself.
A wide balcony sits above the café’s open bay windows, painted with soft yellow and white beach colours. Stools outside the windows invite customers to sit street side, while sipping coffee in the shade. Yet, that which is most striking is its spacious, modern and fresh feel. Architecturally, it is designed to mingle with nature, be open and feel clean.
No Worries offers a Brunch, Coffee and Bar service, centred around an Australian menu, with a surrounding seaside atmosphere. The Australian Style Brunch offers a range of hot and cold dishes for under ¥100, such as Eggs Benedict and baked egg or smoked salmon bagel and oat porridge. The coffee, chai and Oatly latés indeed taste authentic, however, they lack in size (flat white) and heat. Personally, I prefer my coffee piping hot!
Come to No Worries for lunch or dinner and enjoy mains of steak, duck, lamb and pasta, couple it with a starter and soup and you have yourself a lovely, reasonably priced “Aussie” meal. No Worries excels at dessert, and they have most definitely mastered the infamous Australian Lamington, that which must be presented moist and fluffy. Try the strawberry and watermelon cake or raspberry and white chocolate mouse. Vegan and vegetarian options are available and eyeing the fridge upstairs we also spotted a range of craft beers.
The owner of No Worries has certainly gone out of her way to bring a taste of sunny Australia to cloudy old Nanjing. Eating and drinking here is relaxing and warm. Service staff are attentive and speak English. There certainly is no “big chain” influence to worry about when visiting this homely boutique café.
No Worries is located at 12-2 Shipopoan, near Taiping Bei Lu and close to 1912 石婆婆庵12-2号. Tel 17302559093