City543’s favorite Aussie-themed cafe has a new outlet in Ximending.
Woolloomooloo Out West (WOW, for short) combines the smart design for which the brand is known with the edginess that typifies one of the city’s most avant-garde neighborhoods.
Nestled in an alley of graffiti murals, WOW occupies a former factory that has remained unused for the past ten years.
Much of the original framework, including the concrete walls and floors and the burnt-orange girders, has been preserved to maintain an industrial aesthetic.
A corrugated steel installation spanning one wall of the room creates a striking focal point.
The openness of the floor plan facilitates commingling of guests, a fact that owner Jimmy Yang is quick to point out.
According to Jimmy, “We’ve always been about people. If you’ve been to Woolloomooloo Xinyi, you know that we don’t have people segregated.”
Patrons can hang out at the expansive bar counter that fills the left half of the room or watch the action in the back, where a large wall cut-out reveals busy hands working in the kitchen.
Upstairs, jewel-toned sofas provide plush seating ideal for enjoying a cappuccino. An adjoining room, still under renovation, will soon be converted into a projection room for film screenings.
Fittingly, the gastronomical offerings at WOW are pared down and casual; Jimmy says it’s “not a full-sit down menu, just small nibbles.”
The tapas-style menu draws on an eclectic range of cuisines: banh mi, meat pie and tacos al pastor all feature.
For the less adventurous, an assortment of starters, pastas and pizzas offers the usual Italian suspects, like pappardelle bolognese and a sandwich of prosciutto, pecorino and arugula.
Excellent coffee and tea—a given at any Woolloomooloo outlet—and an abbreviated list of desserts round out the menu.
Woolloomooloo is fast becoming one of our favorite lifestyle brands, with two outlets in the city (one in Xinyi and another, the original, on Fujin Street) and an affiliated bed and breakfast.