Cat Eyes Cafe, Shanghai
It’s been busy lately here in food-snob world: I’ve just been in China and country NSW (admittedly, the latter was slightly less exciting) and in nine days I’m off to Europe for three weeks. Unfortunately I wasn’t organised enough this time around to have scheduled any posts, so apologies for my extended silence.
This review is not really about food, so if you’re hanging out for details of what I ate in China I’m afraid you’ll have to hold out for my next post on Shanghai’s street food…
Originating in Taiwan, cat cafes became popular in Japan as a way for apartment-dwellers, unable to have pets, to enjoy the company of a purring feline. Since then cat cafes have been popping everywhere, with London’s first cat cafe opening up just last month and plans underway for a cafe in Melbourne.
After a few days away from home was starting to miss my two furries. I decided to check out Cat Eyes cafe as it was the easiest to get to from my hotel.
It is housed in a nondescript high-rise building which has a residential feel to it but appears to be purely commercial from everything that I could see.
Stepping out of the lift on the 17th floor there is a blackboard sign adorned with a cute cartoon cat drawing. A plaque on the front door indicates they are open from 12pm-10pm, presumably daily, although this isn’t specified.
The place is adorned with cat-themed decor, including paintings, wall stickers and of course the ubiquitous lucky cat.
I was able to count about eight cats, and the cafe looked like it could seat about 15-20. Seems like a pretty good human-to-cat ratio. However, being the only person in the cafe at the time, I had them all to myself! (Please excuse my inner cat lady.)
They were all quite friendly and eager to climb all over you. I didn’t mind too much as I am used this, being a slave to a very friendly (read: attention-seeking) kitty at home, although those less cat-obsessed may not enjoy this so much.
(But look at that face. How can you say no to that face?!)
Ok, I should really start talking about the food. The menu was short and basic, consisting mostly of western food options. Prices were also western: I recall my coffee being around 30 or so RMB, equivalent to about $5. I also ordered some paw-shaped cupcakes as the cat-shaped biscuits were sold out.
This little guy who was having a nap on my table was woken up by the smell of cake.
The cakes were rather bland and unexciting and the coffee was cold. Honestly I wasn’t too disappointed though, as really I was paying to see the cats. This one is nicknamed bao zi (steamed bun). How cute!
Ok, so this is not a real review. I know cat cafes don’t make a lot of money so I was happy to order a few menu items so I could play with the cats and support their work (a couple of the cats there are rescued strays).
Cat Eyes also doesn’t appear to have a website – the only reference I could find to them on the internet is the article in Shanghai Daily where I first heard about them. They could probably do with some publicity, so here it isCat Eyes Room 17A, Level 17, Building A 129 Datian Road Jing’An District Shanghai, China