Basically The Hop Project on Yongkang Lu, copy-pasted where Pint House used to be on Dagu Lu. Big porch, decent music and a wide enough selection of beers that you won’t get bored before you wallet runs dry. Picklebacks (whiskey shot and pickle juice chaser) available if you dare. They also serve grilled cheese sandwiches.
We visited Co. Cheese Melt’s southerly concession (at The Hop Project on Dagu Lu) on a stunning, autumnal Sunday afternoon. I’d been to spin class that morning and I felt like the world of food was open to me. When you’ve spent 45 minutes in a dark room, sweating out half of your total body weight in front of an instructor who carries more muscle mass than the entire male cast of Love Island, you can eat whatever you damn well want to. That’s the rule.
When my friend suggested a grilled cheese, it was a hard yes from me. All it took was a single picture of a tuna melt and I was sold. We got the bus down to Dagu Lu, took a table outside, and perused the endlessly tempting menu. I actually used a random number generator to select my sandwich because they all sounded so great.
I ended up ordering a full-English-breakfast-style grilled cheese, featuring baked beans, egg, bacon and… well, cheese, obviously. My friend had a Mexican melee of avocado, refried beans and chorizo (plus the ubiquitous cheese). They were both a total delight. I’m not sure there are many greater pleasures in life than sitting in the sunshine and biting into a perfectly crispy, gooey-centred toasted cheese sandwich. The Mexican-style one was the definite favourite of the two, but both were good.
There were a couple of minor issues here. For example, we were automatically given the large sandwich without asking or being asked. I’m not complaining exactly, but it did mean that we unintentionally spent and ate more than we meant to. The price is another slightly contentious point: we paid 220rmb for two grilled cheeses, two sparkling waters and a coffee. That’s pretty high considering we didn’t even have any alcohol, but you can bring the cost down if you visit on Mondays – you get a free house beer with every sandwich. It’s also a shame that the little creek outside is so smelly. Don’t sit on the tables closest to the pavement.
Regardless, it was still a great lunch. I’d go back to try some of the other options, but I’d definitely ask for the small. I’d also take my own ketchup – despite the massive selection of hot sauces, as well as a few other condiments, they inexplicably didn’t have any of the red stuff.
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