Here are all the restaurants we featured in our October 2019 issue:
Image via Poke Wood
If you’ve ever eaten a poke bowl – you know, the popular Hawaiian dish that blew up in the mid-2010s – you’d know why we’re excited about Poke Wood’s new shop in Guangzhou. Like most poke eateries, Poke Wood’s DIY poke bowl (RMB42) is broken down into four steps: You first select your base, followed by your desired protein, sauce and toppings.
We opt for white sushi rice and lettuce for the base, salmon and shrimp for protein, honey mustard for a rich dressing and broccoli, corn, mushrooms and avocado (extra RMB8). We find Poke Wood’s main menu item to be a perfect lunchtime meal, and more than enough for two people to enjoy. The salmon and shrimp are both fresh and tender, while the avocado, rice and other veggies blend perfectly with the light honey mustard sauce.
We cap the meal off with one of Poke Wood’s ice-cold beverages (September heatwaves are no joke). We settle on their honeydew soda (RMB22), which, despite its name, isn’t as sweet as expected.
Who’s going: hungry and healthy eaters, the poke posse
Good for: healthy eats, fresh seafood
Nearest metro: Zhujiang New Town (Exit A2), 15 minutes’ walk
Image by Tristin Zhang/That’s
The edibles on offer here are predominantly Italian, although the back of the menu boasts an unexpected mix of Asian fare, such as Japanese teriyaki chicken steak and bak kut teh from Singapore.
We start our dining experience off with a classic appetizer: prosciutto with cantaloupe (RMB42). It’s a well-struck balance of flavors: The sweetness of the melon melds with the savory Parma ham to create delicious morsels. Wash this starter down with a glass of Campari or Martini vermouth (both RMB48) and you’re in business. For a main course, we recommend ordering one of Vino’s high-quality steaks or the lamb chops (RMB178). The chops are up to our high standards, although we must admit the meaty dish looks nothing like the photo on the menu.
As an Italian restaurant and bar with the name ‘Vino,’ the absence of wines on the menu is beyond perplexing. For the drinkers among our readers, we will note that beers and cocktails are on offer.
Who’s going: Chinese couples, girls indulging in selfies and food porn
Good for: views, date night
Nearest metro: Canton Tower (Exit A), then take the tram to Party Pier; 15 minutes
Image via Waiting coffee
Don’t be fooled by the name – Waiting coffee offers up much more than Americanos and those basic desserts that your friend Kathy can make in her sleep. On our visit, we order the shop’s eggs benedict with salmon (RMB68) and pancake breakfast set (RMB68), along with their ‘dirty’ coffee (RMB32) and orange-infused coffee (RMB30).
A refreshing yet energizing cup of java with its fair share of milk, the dirty coffee is a great choice, while the orange coffee flirts with mediocrity – the longer you sit on it, the more it becomes coffee-flavored orange juice. No thanks.
As for the food, Waiting coffee certainly keeps us waiting, so to speak. However, once our dishes hit the table (roughly 10 minutes apart), we’re impressed by the hearty meals. The pancake breakfast set includes a little bit of everything: a couple of hotcakes, sausage, bacon, perfectly-cooked scrambled eggs, yogurt, mushrooms and a salad. But the real winner, as per usual, is the eggs benedict. There’s just something about a well-executed poached egg sitting atop an English muffin with hollandaise sauce lathered on top that’s tough to beat.
Who’s going: the neighborhood, coffee and brunch enthusiasts
Good for: eggs benedict, cool frappes, romantic tunes
Nearest metro: Tiyu Xilu (Exit B), 10 minutes’ walk
[Cover image via Poke Wood]