Jul 10, 2017
In this month’s article, I would like to introduce a good value brunch buffet at Café Florian in Suzhou that I have taken advantage of recently. To start with, I should give some background on the history of this café, or at least of its brand. The original Café Florian is located in Venice, Italy on the famous Piazza San Marco. It is known for being the oldest café in continuous operation, having first opened in 1720. Some websites even suggest that it may have been the origin of the café latte, although I could not find this claim on their official website.
The Suzhou branch of Café Florian opened two years ago. While this may seem a surprising place to open a new branch, it appears to relate to a connection between Venice and Suzhou stemming from Marco Polo’s description of Suzhou as the “Venice of the east”. Because of its historical brand, prices at Suzhou’s Café Florian are quite high. However, the brunch deal I will describe here is much better value than ordering individual food or drink items.
You can find Café Florian on the seventh floor of Shin Kong Place (xinguangtiandi), which is located near to the Times Square Metro station in SIP. Their brunch deal runs from 11am-2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays only. The cost is either 208 RMB per person with soft drinks, or 280 RMB per person with alcoholic drinks. With the soft drink option, you get one water, one selected juice drink and one coffee. With the alcoholic drinks option, you get free-flow prosecco or wine, and also one selected cocktail (when we were there the choice was between an Aperol Spritz or a Gin Tonic). My husband and I went for the free-flow prosecco, which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a drink.
The food on offer at the buffet is of a high quality, with the starter section being a particular highlight. This includes salads, a range of cheeses, seafood and a choice of hams. We ended up with quite full stomachs just from the starter section alone! My favourite item was the Parma ham with slices of melon, which tasted great. In terms of main courses, they had a roasted meat and vegetables section, as well as a selection of other hot dishes. The roasted meat was delicious, but overall I felt that the selection of starters was more impressive than the main courses.
The final great thing about this buffet is the range of desserts on offer. There was a beautiful selection of pastries and cakes, as well as biscuits and a chocolate fountain with fruit. My daughter loved the chocolate fountain with fruit, although she made a bit of a mess eating this, but my personal favourite dessert was the chocolate éclair. I would definitely recommend leaving enough space to enjoy the desserts.
Overall, this brunch buffet is a good way to sample the high quality food and historical brand of Café Florian for a reasonable price. I would suggest trying it out some weekend soon.
About the Column
Kaori is from Fukuoka, Japan and she moved to Suzhou with her British husband in 2010. She gave birth to a baby girl in Shanghai in 2014 and is currently a full-time mother, but previously studied Chinese at Suzhou University. Kaori enjoys going for walks, going out for meals, shopping on Taobao and visiting new places in China. Places she has particularly enjoyed visiting include Harbin, Beijing, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Moganshan, Guilin and Yangshuo. She also loves to explore different areas of Suzhou, both old and new.