Salvador's is Kunming's premier coffee house and offers a wide selection of homemade ice creams, fresh juices and western dishes. Salvador's is also home of the best 4-hour happy hour in town.
Arguably- YES, because i and many others do not agree with you jared. Are you one of the owners?
Salvadors is a mediocre, dirty, mama huhu cafe. As for the mix on the menu, that is what it tastes like-a mix. And if you don't mind waiting forever, i guess that is fine. I hate to say this but when i see your kitchen and your bathroom it makes me worry a bit. For a "western" restaurant your standard is not. I dont even want to say what i watched as i sat on the bar. And of course my favorite item was taken off the menu, and the ice cream is getting a bit icy too. But i do like your chai!
Sure you guys meet a need, and were the first in town but step it up a bit. Not everyone in Kunming is voting for you guys!
Arguably the most popular and best all around Western restaurant in Kunming, Salvador's has been a fixture of the international community since it opened in 2004. Originating in Dali, the café's funky ambiance is very much in the spirit of its namesake, the eccentric Spanish artist Salvador Dali.
The relaxed environment, suave tunes, and top-notch menu are great for anything from a hearty breakfast and coffee to a Friday night drink with friends. Readers of GoKunming.com recently voted Salavador's "Best Café" and "Best Cocktails" for 2007. There's no doubt Salvador's earned every vote.
Nearly every item on the menu stands out among foreign cuisine in Kunming. The mix of offerings is perhaps a uniquely American blend of Mexican, Italian, and even Middle Eastern fare. My personal lunch/dinner favorite is the Deluxe Quesadilla (available with a choice of chicken, beef, or shiitake mushroom, ¥24), served with a side of salsa that actually tastes like salsa. The spaghetti selections are also excellent, one-upping even the city's Italian restaurants. After meal options are just as appetizing, featuring ice cream sundaes like the "UFO" and the "Star Destroyer." Beware though of the milkshakes. Despite the best efforts of the management, the staff routinely over-blends and under-fills them. The result, unfortunately, is the somewhat typical "milky shake" found at many a Chinese Western establishment.
Though Salvador's last call on the early side at 11:00pm, it is in fact one of the better bars around. The best time to enjoy their strongish cocktails is during the generous happy hour (4:00-8:00pm, daily) when Gin Tonics, Vodka Tonics, and Screwdrivers are all available at ¥10. Beer drinkers might be at first disappointed with the absence of the local Dali Beer, but can find solace in the moderately up market – though superior – Lao Beer.
When it comes to coffee, it is obvious that Salvador's takes its Coffee House moniker seriously. With imported Nuova Simonelli espresso machines and a specially selected blend of Yunnan coffee beans, the entire range of their java selection is phenomenal. Until 2:00pm each day you can enjoy a bottomless cup of regular brew coffee (¥12). While free refills go together great with complimentary WiFi access, the real draw is the espresso drinks (¥10-28). Thorough staff training produces a consistently tasty cup. For those that can't get enough, you can take a bag home (¥38 for a small bag, ¥72 for a large).
While Salvador's certainly deserves its reputation among the international resident community with authentic recreations of Western cuisine, the secret to its success lies in its ability to attract ever-greater numbers of local Kunming fans. If you plan on making a first time visit, it is best to avoid the usual lunch or dinner rush and try mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Salvador's makes an effort to be welcoming to new visitors, with menus available in Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, and Thai.
I like Salvadors. If you can find a smoke free area, then the atmosphere is really nice. Salvadors has wonderful drinks. As I mentioned in my review of the Silver Spoon, I love Chai, and the Chai at Salvadors will not disappoint.
My biggest complaint is that their food is somewhat bland. They pride themselves on their Mexican cuisine, but even their fresh salsa has little flavor. With that said, I'm Texan, and we have more specific tastes for Mexican food than people from some places and I've had people tell me that they really like their salsa. Despite being somewhat bland in my opinion, I still find myself getting the Mexican breakfast more often than not. I do wish they used fresh tortillas though as the ones that they do use (on this as well as other menu items) are often flaky and a little crispy (possibly from being stale? It's hard to tell).
Salvadors should be highly recommended for their ice cream though! It's really, really good.
Overall, I like the atmosphere, think the main food items that I've had were mediocre, but love the ice cream. Some seem to rate these Western cafes and restaurants as compared to establishments in Europe, England and America. I prefer to rate based on their comparison to other Kunming establishments, and as such Salvadors is worth four stars in my opinion.
You are right! I have changed it to a 4. But I have yet to get sick at Salvador's. The rating at Silver Spoon still holds. To make food and leave it out all day is just not Kosher! And then they have the nerve to complain about my complaint - rather than trying to change anything! At least Salvador's is open and receptive about complaints - and they are considering losing the WiFri. (When you start to develop Alzheimer's you might also agree.) Peace!
I have been patronizing this place more recently - I started mainly because I heard a rumor they were going to get rid of their WiFri (your brain), but it has yet to happen. Having said that, I have become addicted to the burritos, which from my experience so far, I would say are the best in Kunming. When they do get around to doing away with the WiFri, I hope that they also make it a non-smoking establishment (or at least in the mornings and afternoons) since it is extremely annoying to non-smokers to have smoke blowing over to where they are sitting when they are trying to enjoy their food. Yes, definitely take Mulga's advice on doing away with the WiFri (your brain). I concur!
Permit an open question to 'prd34'. You recently awarded The Silver Spoon Cafe a zero rating. But, here, with its WiFi and cigarette smoke that you complain about, you give five stars. I'm wondering if that was a mistake -- because there's hardly any chance of an improvement with a 'five'.