Sculpting in Time is another of Guiyang’s great little cafés, and it’s easy to find inside Hunter Mall downtown. With a nice menu of drinks and light foods, it’s a good café to sit at whether you’re meeting friends or planning your grocery list before heading downstairs to Carrefour.
The café isn’t quite as smoky as some of Guiyang’s other cafés, due to its wide open storefront and a back door that’s left open on all but the coldest days. It also has a non-smoking section, a rarity in the city. The effectiveness of the section is questionable, due to the two parts of the shop being separated only by bookshelves, but it’s better than nothing.
The café is well-staffed, nicely decorated, and has a menu that has both English and Chinese. When you enter, head past the counter and take a seat — smoking to the left, and non-smoking to the right, behind the bookshelves. After you’re seated, the servers will bring lemon water and the menu. Order and wait for your food and drinks to be delivered. When you get your order, the server will bring you a receipt. You can pay right away or as you leave. The café accepts cash or bank card (Unionpay only).
The menu is sizeable, but foods are subject to availability. They have sandwiches, desserts and pasta, though I’ve never ordered pasta here and always hesitate to get western dishes from a local café.
The menu is impressive for a café, with a variety of coffees, teas, fruit drinks and foods. Popular amongst expats are the Americano coffee, blueberry smoothie, and waffles (from another page of the menu not included here. I’ve also heard good things about the club sandwich.
It’s the only place I’ve seen that gives a coffee refill (only once, only of a hot Americano — not iced), which is welcome if you’re going to be spending an afternoon there.
There’s no bathroom inside the café, but there is a mall bathroom down the hall and to the right as you leave the cafe. Look for a hallway branching off from the main one on your right side. For women, there’s also a western toilet here, first stall on your left. For men, I have no idea. Report back.
The café is inside Hunter Mall, on the second floor (up one from ground level). It’s on the back wall of the mall, near many of the other restaurants. Look for their wide storefront and cat logo near Curry Max.