A bakery, coffee house and wine market concept from the folks behind Wagas, Baker & Spice is aimed squarely at the professional set in the newly opened Beijing Grand Summit building – and it’s already managed to earn some fans.
With an open floor plan, bound on two sides by floor-to-ceiling windows, Baker & Spice feels as airy as it’s possible to be while still actually being inside. A long communal table occupies the centre of the bustling café. Comfy, leather benches line the walls, while a calculated ratio of mismatched chairs create an independent, spontaneous air. Ordering is done at the long bakery counter that runs for nearly the whole length of the back wall, sporting all manner of breads, Danishes, pastries, muffins, cakes, bagels and cookies.
From the bakery, try the classic pain au chocolate (28RMB), with its delicate layers of buttery pastry made all the more indulgent by concealed ribbons of velvety milk chocolate, or the classic farmhouse carrot cake (48RMB), with cream cheese frosting to match. For more substantial fare, a bowl of spaghetti, with roasted pumpkin, spinach and feta (58RMB) makes for a reasonable and healthy bite, while a coronation chicken sandwich with almonds, coriander and roast tomatoes (55RMB) is ideal on the go. Fresh juices, like the Detox Day (36RMB) – with cucumber, bitter melon, celery and apple – are a nice complement to the standard latte (33RMB), and come in handy on a Monday morning. Popping by the wine shop (bottles from 138RMB) or grabbing a fresh-baked baguette (16RMB) can save a trip to the market on the way home as well.
By Nick Gollner