Where do you go to escape monotony? To treat your taste buds to something other than the same two or three dishes you force down week after week for lunch in Guangzhou? Well, dear reader, you go Somewhere Else.
From the team that brought you Social&Co comes a familiar but oh-so-original sequel serving quick, chunky lunches and long, lazy dinners. It’s a concept people have been asking for all along, and Aaron McKenzie – founder and owner of everyone’s favorite banoffee pie spot on Huajiu Lu – has been listening.
“I think something new needed to happen,” he says. “Now when people come to Social&Co and go, ‘you’ve got no pasta,’ we can say, ‘go Somewhere Else!’”
Though not an Italian restaurant, Somewhere Else does a mean Bolognese (RMB48), homemade pesto with toasted pine nuts (RMB45) and, our personal favorite, homemade beef meatballs in tomato sauce (RMB55) served over your choice of spaghetti, penne or spirals. We’re told freshness and quality are a priority, so the tomatoes and olive oil are both imported, the ground beef is shipped in from Argentina and any cheese you see was pressed in Italy.
Curious how the pesto or double whammy arrabbiata sauce (RMB48) is made? Pull up a chair in front of the open kitchen and enjoy an exclusive peek at the chopping, sauteing and plating that takes place behind the scenes.
Pasta is just part of the new shop’s gastronomic repertoire, which caters to ‘get in, get out’ individual style lunches. The busy patron can also sit down to a robust salad paired with a pink grapefruit soda (RMB25), sparkling wine of the month (RMB40) or the weekly cocktail (RMB50).
Feeling nonconformist? Dig into a lettuce-free salmon fillet salad (RMB70) tossed with sweet cherry tomatoes, baby potatoes, pumpkin, corn, cucumber, green beans and capers under a piquant lemon and mustard dressing. The medley of flavors and pleasing crunch had us scraping the bowl spotless.
Vegan and vegetarian diners can opt for the textured quinoa salad (RMB50), piled high with roasted eggplant, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts coated in a bold cumin vinaigrette.
The classic – but of course chunkier – chicken Caesar (RMB60) will feel extra comforting Somewhere Else, where familiar faces duck in and out like traditions around the holidays.
As tempting as it is to fill up on one of the many wholesome pastas or salads, you’ll be kicking yourself if you forget to save room for a warm slice of banana coconut crunch or pecan pie (RMB30). Delivered daily from Let Them Eat Cake – a small business owned by an expat in Guangzhou – these irresistibly yummy desserts taste just like Mom used to make. Ask for a dollop of whipped cream and wait for the sweet, heavenly goodness to envelop your soul.
Established mainly with the efficient, individual diner in mind, the space lends itself to casual, quick meals as well as interesting pop-up events, which McKenzie hopes to introduce later this year. Think culinary theme nights equipped with guest chefs ready to take you somewhere new, somewhere exotic… Somewhere Else.
Who’s going: people who want to go Somewhere Else
Good for: great homely pastas, chunky salads, amazing daily cakes