Now you might have heard horror stories with regards to the ticketing Nazis at Lijiang’s famed Black Dragon Pool. Yes, we’re referring to those (insert un-pleasantry of choice here) masquerading as sweet little angelic things, all decked out in their tribal garb. Not only do they demand you fork out an exorbitant sum of 80 Yuan as a ‘preservation fee’, these ladies give you massive hell in the process.
Well, in the midst of dodging from Lijiang’s version of the Gestapo (and being real cheap ba*tards), our dash for safety somehow landed us right smack across a quaint establishment we soon came to know as Through the Window Café. Discreetly tucked away in the most inconspicuous corner of the Black Dragon Pool, the café would’ve certainly gone unnoticed if not for the boisterous yet non-threatening shouts of, ‘Hello, do come in!’, from within. It turns out that this mystery pair of vocal chords belonged to non-other than Stephen, the jolly Kiwi (New Zealander for those fancying political correctness) who runs the show.
One might think that Through the Window Café gets its namesake from some twisted form of poetic romanticism; well, that is certainly not the case here. The café is so aptly called since you literally have to climb in through the window as a construction error left the eatery door-less. For the vertically challenged though, Stephen has taken due caution by placing a series of steps by the window so you won’t rip your pants attempting to get in.
The fare served here does not differ much from your run-of-the-mill western eatery. What is indeed notable though, is the finer touches the affable Kiwi puts into running the place. When we ordered a beer, Stephen ensured that is was served in a nice chilled glass for optimum enjoyment, a rarity in China indeed.
Everything on the menu is home-made and done from scratch, even the Ketchup is no exception. That is why he takes much pride into emphasizing the amount of TLC (tender-loving care) that goes into making his pizzas and burgers; as well as how each dish would be a great treat for your taste-buds. And no Siree, lying he is certainly not.
Besides donning his apron and cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Stephen flips a three-sixty by night and slips on his dancing shoes in an attempt to rule to dance floor. As a parting farewell, he reminded us once again about the weekly Salsa classes he conducts; and the dire need for male dancers to partner his female majority. Yes, not only does the man do a mean pizza, it looks like his Latin Salsa chops ain’t that bad as well.