New Guangzhou Restaurants & Cafes: December 2017

By That's PRD, November 30, 2017

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Here are all the new restaurant and cafe openings we featured in our December 2017 issue: 


New Restaurants

BB Bao

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“A burger a day keeps the bullshit away,” declares the purple neon sign outside BB Bao. Set against a white brick wall, the glowing foodie philosophy caught our attention almost immediately, beckoning us to enter. But before recounting our dining experience in mouthwatering detail, it seems prudent to give a quick rundown of BB Bao’s menu, which includes: eight burgers, three submarines, two salads, an assortment of appetizers and desserts and a lengthy list of creative beverages. 

The pan-fried beef burger is BB Bao’s generic hanbaobao offering, and comes topped with lettuce, onions, tomatoes and a slice of cheese – all tucked into a (supposedly) homemade bun. The beef patty was cooked just how we like it, with the browned exterior meat housing a pinkish inside that oozed both juices and flavor. Those hankering for a twist on the standard burger would be wise to order the kimchi minced pork burger.

Price: RMB50 (including a drink)
Who’s going: folks who’re tired of paying RMB50 for an average hamburger
Good for: creative burgers
Nearest Metro: Taojin (Exit A), 10 minutes

Read our full review here. See listing for BB Bao.

Diaoxi Haichan

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A bizarre, yet wonderful, hybrid of Hook’s ship and your standard high-end Japanese eatery, Diaoxi Haichan caught our eye the second we walked passed. In the center of the restaurant sits a junk- or perhaps pirate-inspired vessel, set in a shallow saltwater pool filled with all manner of fish. This is where things get gimmicky: if you so wish, you can actually fish from your table on the boat for dinner. Fishing rods are provided and chefs will prepare your catch. 

The food here is spectacular, albeit pricy. An order of salmon sashimi comes with three pieces and costs RMB46, which, although more than you will pay at a hole-in-the-wall sushi shop, seems fair considering the quality and thickness of the cuts.

The pork and kimchi ramen (RMB58) is Diaoxi Haichan’s choice noodle offering, with ample meat and pickled cabbage arranged atop a pile of noodles soaked in a savory broth. The BBQ pork ramen in pork bone soup (RMB58) was disappointing by comparison, although it still offered generous portions of meat.

Price: RMB200 per person
Who’s going: sailors, fisherman and selfie aficionados 
Good for: catching your dinner
Nearest Metro: Shayuan (Exit B), 10 minutes

Read our full review here. See listing for Diaoxi Haichan.

Macho Chef

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Decorated with timber and doohickeys you’d find in your grandfather’s garage, Macho Chef presents a hybrid of Korean flavors and Western fare, invented by the same Korean restaurateur behind Zoo Coffee. 

Macho's signature stellar pizza (RMB88) is as inventive as it is distinctly uncanny. Forget anything you thought you knew about a cheesy pizza – this star-shaped pie is studded with half-cut cherry tomatoes, olives, spinach and cheddar peelings, each pointy corner stuffed with sweet potato and cheese. A ball of Ricotta waits in the center, ready to be spread.

The crab rose risotto (RMB68) is recommended for its creamy taste and smooth mouthfeel. Only three beers – Goose Island, Stella and Hoegaarden (RMB38) – are available for the time being, but cocktails are coming soon, we’re told.

Price: RMB100
Who’s going: the Korean community, Chinese Internet celebs
Good for: Western fare with a Korean touch, spicy spaghetti 
Nearest metro: Gangding (Exit A, 3 minutes) 

Read our full review here. See listing for Macho Chef

Zagol Ethiopian Restaurant

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Zagol, located a two-minute walk from The Paddy Field on Huale Lu, features four tables inside and a patio that’s always packed. Avoid the headache of deciphering the menu and just ask for the Zagol special: one spoonful of every dish on offer plus a dollop of cheese in the center – all plopped atop fresh injera (RMB80). One of these generous specials (pictured above) is enough for two to three, and injera is graciously replenished throughout the meal at no extra cost.

If you’re still hungry, simply tell the staff which sample you liked best and order a full serving for between 60-80 kuai. Lamb, beef, chicken, egg and veggie dishes as well as lentil- or bean-based sauces are all prepared fresh in the back kitchen. First-time diners will love the doro wat (RMB70), which combines chicken and a boiled egg cooked in spices, onion, garlic, tomato juice and ginger.

Price: RMB70
Who’s going: Ethiopians, in-the-know foodies 
Good for: injera imported from Ethiopia; wats, tibs and coffee ceremonies
Nearest metro: Taojin (Exit A), 4 minutes

Read our full review here. See listing for Zagol Ethiopian Restaurant.


New Cafes

Emotions

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Located on the second floor of Kingold Century Plaza right above The Happy Monk, the snug cafe with semi-delicate decor opened a few months ago without much fanfare. Most days, crowds can be seen spilling into the corridors outside of eateries like Hoi Fan or Luk Show, while Emotions sits empty.

A disadvantaged location, however, isn’t enough to hamper Frenchman Eric Laurent’s ardor for coffee and chocolate, nor his desire to bring the finest among them to Guangzhou. One of the ‘emotional’ owner’s goals, we learned, is to create a “high-level” cafe serving “high-level” food. We’re not sure what that means, but the pasta with chicken and mushroom (RMB45) proved plenty hearty and aromatic. The lunch-set price also includes a soft drink, or with an extra 10 kuai, a cup of coffee. 

Other light meal options include French specialty sandwiches such as the croque monsieur and croque madame (RMB32) and, voila, more pastas.

Price: RMB60 
Who’s going: the French consul, white-collar ladies
Good for: chocolate mousse, laid-back lunches in the sunshine
Nearest metro: Zhujiang New Town (Exit A1, 5 minutes) 

Read our full review here. See listing for Emotions.

So Acai

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A superfood rivaling kale in popularity, acai berries (pronounced ah-sah-EE) are famous for their potent antioxidants and are often the ‘secret’ ingredient in photogenic smoothie bowls. 

Seeing as So Acai is named after the celebrated fruit, we recommend trying its signature So Ah-Sigh-E bowl (RMB68), made with a base of acai, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, banana, coconut water and dates and topped with berries, bananas, chia seeds, nuts, homemade granola and shredded coconut. Though small, the Ah-Sigh-E bowl is deceivingly filling – as is every flavor – so order an average of one per person if you come with a large party.

Six different smoothies (RMB38-42) on offer combine everything from almond butter, bananas, almond milk, dates, Himalayan pink salt and vanilla (Mr. Almond) to kale, pear, lemon, chia seeds, dates and almond milk (Harvest Alive). There are also juices (RMB32-36) if you’re on a cleanse or loaded toast (RMB42), a pesto-avocado baguette sandwich (RMB48) and a quinoa energy bowl salad (RMB52) for a more robust meal. 

Price: RMB60
Who’s going: newly converted vegans, Instagram stars
Good for: smoothie bowls, a healthy dose of acai, photo-ops 
Nearest metro: Tianhe Sports Center (Exit B), 15 minutes

Read our full review here. See listing for So Acai.


Read more Guangzhou restaurant reviewscafe reviews and bar reviews.

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DIY pizza and finger-lickin' chicken wings in a relaxed, casual, family-friendly environment.

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Skewerz

Lebanese-inspired wraps, salads, and familiar Western comforts like fries.

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Feitun Charcoal Grill

A Singaporean kick to the palate!

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Ginstar Zhujiang New Town

A comfy spot to enjoy reasonably priced burgers, pizzas and subs.

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Macho Chef

A Korean's take on Western fare.

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: Zagol Ethiopian Restaurant

Finally, our injera cravings = satisfied.

Guangzhou Restaurant Review: BB Bao

'A burger a day keeps the bullshit away.'

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