Here are all the new restaurant, cafe and bar openings we featured in our December 2018 issue:
Image by Bryan Grogan/That's
Based out of the thriving Houhai area, Planet Green is in a prime location to snap up hungry shoppers from the nearby Coastal City shopping mall. The exterior of the shop belies a certain trendiness, even before you enter the outlet.
Planet Green's signature ‘Impossible’ burger (RMB88) certainly defied our expectations. Meat substitutes can sometimes be a letdown, but this burger packed a certain spice that satisfied our cravings. The patty was not quite as thick as the average meat patty, but with cheese, an egg, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles, the Impossible burger was a real treat.
Perhaps more so than the food, atmosphere is the most important aspect of the restaurant. With a modern design that embraces rugged redbrick walls, a minimalist gray entryway lit by luminescent purple light and electronic menus, the smattering of styles indicates a certain experimental nature.
Who’s going: trendsetters, trend followers, health junkies
Good for: vegetarian food, funky lunch dates
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit E), 5 minutes.
Image by Jonathan Zhong/That's
Occupying the 117th and the 118th floors of the Ping An Finance Center, Altitudes is truly a ‘castle in the sky’ at nearly 600 meters above the ground. Walking out of one of the fastest elevators we’ve ever taken, we were immediately greeted with a stunning 360-degree view of the city. On the inside, the restaurant presents a simple, minimalist design that spans space and time: with a giant painting of a Greek mythological figure and a Japanese rock garden combining to present an eclectic visual experience.
Altitudes offers four types of F&B experiences to choose from: fine Cantonese cuisine on the 117th floor and the lunch buffet, afternoon tea and night bar on the 118th floor.
Altitudes’ buffet options come off as being a bit limited compared to those at five-star hotels. But what the buffet lacks in options they make up for in taste. All of the ingredients are said to be carefully selected from around the world by the kitchen team led by Chef Zhou, who has been devoted to making the best Cantonese food possible for 20 years, and transported fresh to Altitudes’ kitchen.
Price (lunch buffet): RMB420 plus 15 percent
Who’s going: business people, office workers, Cantonese food lovers
Good for: vertigo, fresh food with a view
Nearest metro: Shopping Park (Exit D), 2 minutes’ walk
Image by Rason Wu/That's
After a nearly one-year trial operation near Xiangmihu, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels officially opened its first China outlet on November 11. Located at Futian’s Wongtee Plaza and conveniently next to Shenzhen’s Convention & Exhibition Center, the Australian hot dog shop adds yet another Western dining option for folks living and working in the area.
The eatery prides itself on its big and authentic ‘Australian taste,’ which is demonstrated through its selection of pies, hot dogs and beverages. We start our visit by trying one of the outlet’s signature offerings: the tiger pie (RMB36). The egg tart-like pie comes topped with black pepper beef gravy, mushy peas and mashed potatoes and a full scoop hits your palate with an eclectic range of tastes and textures.
We also sampled the apple pie and ‘angry fruit tea,’ which comes in two varieties: orange and passion fruit. The apple pie comes with an alluring, golden-brown crust, but the filling leaves something to be desired, unfortunately. The tea is specially crafted for the Chinese market using a technique that nitrogenates the beverage, giving it a soda-like quality.
Who’s going: office workers, Aussies, hot dog and pie lovers
Good for: fast food, decked-out dogs
Nearest metro: Convention & Exhibition Center (Exit C), 2 minutes
Image via ZAZOO Live
If you’ve ever spent a night trolling the packed bar streets at Coco Park (and be honest – you have), you know that the music selection has historically been limited to EDM, top 40 hits and EDM remixes of top 40 hits. However, the opening of brand-new funk and soul club Zazoo Live on one of the main strips marks the addition of some much-needed variety to the party.
We browse Zazoo’s formidable cocktail menu and settle on the James Brown (RMB88), a sweet and milky rum-based cocktail with amaretto. When it arrives, we are surprised to see that not only the rim, but the entire outside of the glass is covered in cocoa powder. While the presentation doesn’t exactly make for easy drinking, it does add a unique touch to what is ultimately a well-made, if somewhat forgettable, cocktail.
We arrive to an eight-piece band blasting some energetic funk tunes. On a Wednesday night, there are a couple of brave souls on the dance floor, but the majority of the patrons are enjoying the music from their tables.
In any case, it’s still early days for Zazoo, which is already providing a welcome change of pace from the typical Coco Park haunts. As this newly opened club continues to generate buzz, we’re sure that the growing crowd will bring even more soul to the venue.
Who’s going: classy clubgoers, lovers of luxury, live music enthusiasts
Good for: groovy tunes, date nights, lounging
Nearest metro: Shopping Park (Exit B), 5 minutes’ walk
Image by Bryan Grogan/That's
Situated in Shenzhen Software Industry Base, Fast Lane Coffee caters to all manner of young and trendy workers in the area, billing itself as an alternative to the ‘fast coffee shops’ around the city, which sacrifice quality in favor of speed and efficiency. With German company Hanover Coffee and convenient-eating company Maik’s Gourmet at the helm, these two businesses bring their unique skills to bear upon this new coffee spot.
Upon arriving at Fast Lane Coffee, we decided to try the shop’s special menu. Amongst the options are coconut milk coffee (RMB25), grapefruit espresso (RMB28) and coffee tonic (RMB25). Grapefruit espresso was not available at the time of our visit, so we took a tipple of the coconut milk coffee instead, which comes with ice. This blend is, needless to say, very sweet – though not as sweet as we thought it might be. The coconut milk blends well with the coffee, creating a milkier taste than your average cup of joe.
Constant activity and bright light beaming in through glass walls prohibit the shop from feeling like, as many coffee shops do, a library where hushed voices are the norm. With just two stools and a tiny alcove in which to serve customers, folks stand around with coffee cup in hand either staring at their phones, jumping from one foot to another or striking up a conversation with someone nearby.
Who’s going: busy techies, salad bar snackers
Good for: fast coffee, convenient snack options
Nearest metro: Houhai (Exit J), 21 minutes
[Cover image via ZAZOO Live]