The huge sign outside the restaurant says: “做了不起的80后” (Be an awesome post-80s). Chinese youth are generally segmented by marketers according to their year of birth, pigeon-holed into two most targeted generations these days: the 80后 (those born through the 1980s) and the 90后 (those born through the 1990s), with well-defined attitude towards life and lifestyle choices.
The guys at work found this little hole-in-the-wall concept deli near our workplace, and we attempted to lunch there once. It is a tiny hideout, so needless to say, it was packed during lunchtime. We didn’t want to wait and moved to a less crowded place on this wonderful street (乍浦路) jam-packed with eateries that sell affordable delicious meals and snacks.
Nevertheless, I was really fascinated by the theme of this deli, so when my good friend Peipei and I arranged to meet last weekend, I dragged her to this place, along with my half-Malaysian surfer Sam.
It is easy to miss this little hideout because nothing about it screams "restaurant". The red sign near the roof says "做了不起的80后" (Be an awesome post-80s) while this vertical signboard says "希望小学堂" (Little Classroom of Hope), and in the window is an enviable collection of toys and utensils from days bygone.
This deli is super cute. It is themed as a primary school classroom-cum-canteen. The whole works – from the decor and furniture, to the paraphernalia, menu and the way the food is served – trip us back to our fondest school days. I’m barely acquainted with the Chinese school system but through friends’ recollection, I could feel that this deli was a pretty accurate replica of what it was like back in the day, in a fun way of course.
The red scarves that people remember only too well from their primary school days, along with a curious assortment of stationery and books.
Tables are school desks with the hollow for books and bags ... sweet! ^_^
The menu comes in the form of an exam sheet! Looks like only Peipei can ace this test ... I sure hope she does, or else we won't be getting our food! >_<"'
Sam here looks like he's trying to cheat ... don't get us all into trouble!
The sheet was passed up to the teacher ... SHIT, don't think Peipei quite made the grade, PLUS we were punished for showing up late, many of the dishes we wanted weren't available anymore @.@
The food came in these tin bento boxes students used to carry to school packed with mommy's homemade lunch.
These are delicious and addictive!
This must be addictive too! Old skool game machine. Pfft ... who needs PS3?
Party time for the table next to ours. "Boy" in blue turned 30 that day. He had a certificate to prove. Haha. This boisterous bunch of big kids were really fun.
Yah, very funny. Don't spoil the party, Sam.
Ah ha! So this is where all the good food flows out of ...
Teacher tallying the final scores on our papers ... Pass or fail? Profit or loss?