Thursday, May 11, 2006

Moon Dream Coffee – Guangzhou

Just 4 blocks down the road from where I live, I found the most eclectic coffee shop I have been to in all my life, bar the ones in Amsterdam. They are a whole different story of their own. I strolled into the Moon Dream Café very unexpectedly on my first night in Guangzhou. It was pretty cold outside and I had been walking around for quite a while. I was more on need of a JD fix than anything else.

Upon entering the front door, I was already taken aback by the décor. The narrow doorway opened up into a large dimly lit staircase. The stairs were flanked by intricate wooden carvings, both big and small. There was an over abundance of wood. Dried plants hung over the staircase creating some sort of a loose canopy. Because of the dim lighting these pictures did not come out too well.

The main floor of the café is compromised of numerous enclaves that are decorated with more wooden carvings and natural wooden sculptures like this tree trunk. I believe it is a fungus that grows on the bark which creates these appeasing deformations. The walls are adorned with gothic artwork and animal skins exhibiting a very earthen environment. The sofas are plush leather and each room has its own sort of color or décor theme. There are also 3 or 4 common area with 15 tables. You can choose to sit with other people or find some corner of our own in which to brood. And this is a magnificent place to brood. Like most cafes in Guangzhou, Moon Dream also provides wireless internet services.

Although Moon Dream has a full food and snack menu, they also obviously offer a wide variety of coffee, and in addition they have a fully stocked bar and some custom cocktails. Their specialty however is their deserts. I became blur when I browsed though their menu!! There were so many items and combinations to choose from that I did not know where to start. Pictured below is the Banana Split and some Sweet Coffee thing. It was good.

Apart from dark wood, the only other material used in the structural design that I noticed was this red brick. It also unified the theme in Moon Dream Café. On this wall there are some Victorian paintings but they are curtained by thick metal chains. This is where I feel there was a bit of a go this edge. Every now and then I would spot some cold steel fixture that should totally antagonize the warm earthen theme but somehow it settled in quite harmoniously.

There were many more fungus covered tree trunks and this one had a large Versace like golden head looming over it. Similar sculptures are also available in Bali and they are actually quite expensive. The wood has to be really old for deformations like these to form on it. Not only do they cost a lot but large ones like this are also quite difficult to come by.

This collage in the center of the room features an even larger tree. It is unfortunate the lighting is so bad because this really was a beautiful place. Seeing it on my first night in GZ was a real eye opener. I really did not expect to see such modern or original places here. The café was huge with at least 20 private rooms if not more. I do not think we even have a place in Jakarta that could mach it. If you make it over there, this is another place that you can not miss out on. It is way off the tourist map which makes it even better. Thinking back, the atmosphere is remenicent of a dreamscape.

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