Here are all the restaurants we featured in our November 2019 issue:
Image by Ryan Gandolfo/That’s
Benwo Cafe is the definition of a hidden spot. Tucked away behind one of the many office slash retail buildings within Phoenix Creative Park, located roughly a kilometer southwest of Haizhu’s popular Taigucang Wharf F&B area, Benwo (the philosophical phrase meaning ‘one’s self’ in English) is a private place that likely wouldn’t show up on many people’s radars.
Sporting a pizza station on the left side, baked goods in the middle and a coffee and juice bar to the right, Benwo is bound to have something you’re craving. The cafe offers pizza, pasta, brunch-esque items and a range of hot and cold beverages. We settle on an iced latte (RMB22) and a burrata, parmesan and ham pizza (9-inch for RMB78, 12-inch for RMB108).
The latte is what we’ve come to expect at just about any decent cafe in town – your typical espresso and steamed milk beverage. But the pizza, to our surprise, has us bobbing our heads in approval. With a bulbous batch of burrata centrally located on the fresh ’za, which is also topped with prosciutto and arugula, we have to admit our expectations are more than met.
Who’s going: millennial workers, pizza pengyou
Good for: snackin’ and chattin’
Nearest metro: Fenghuang Xincun (Exit A), 7 minutes’ walk
Image by Tristin Zhang/That’s
We start our dining experience at Le Banquet Bistro with the popular Antarctic scampi with caviar and sea urchin (RMB118), which is prepared raw and is an absolute delight – for our palates, anyway. Other highlights from the menu’s appetizer section include the French oyster platter (from RMB238 per half dozen) and Boston lobster with vegetables and black vinegar (RMB108).
For mains, house recommendations include the lamb chops, Boston lobster, Atlantic cod and steaks. We ignore our server’s recommendations, though, and throw caution to the wind, ordering the classic seafood spaghetti with pesto sauce (RMB88). The pasta comes topped with juicy prawns and mussels, and the pesto sauce and noodles are authentic – rekindling memories of our 2016 trip to Italy. To our surprise, Le Banquet offers diners a complimentary salad or soup when they order an entree (for the time being, anyway).
If you’re looking to play posh and dine on dainty European dishes, Le Banquet might as well be your first choice in Guangzhou.
Who’s going: CBD dwellers, in-the-know foodies
Good for: a romantic dinner, quality European fare
Nearest metro: Linhexi (Exit D), 5 minutes’ walk
Image provided by Pig Out
Pig Out serves up mini-burgers, fries and pizza, with fresh ingredients used in their pies and juicy angus beef and flavorful toppings combining for a pretty badass burger. We try the ‘Beer Me Burger’ (RMB31) and ‘Wasa-be Hot Burger’ (RMB33), as recommended by the cook.
Topped with old cheddar and mozzarella cheese and bacon, the Beer Me Burger is cooked with a unique beer sauce of your choosing (Pig Out’s sauces include lager, IPA and stout, as well as good ol’ BBQ.) It truly hits the spot, and is quite filling given its smaller stature. We next move on to the Wasa-be Hot Burger, which comes topped with mozzarella, a wasabi-infused mayo or ketchup and teriyaki-glazed bacon. It’s another winner, as the wasabi taste comes through while not overpowering the rest of the flavors.
Pig Out also does milkshakes and ice cream, and they do them right. Among their ice cream options, you’ll find Nutella chunk and a creative beer-flavored ice cream, which boasts a sweet and nutty aftertaste (and just enough of a malty flavor to tell that beer is in the mix).
Who’s going: cheat day eaters, beer drinkers
Good for: brew-cooked burgers, hanging out(side)
Nearest metro: Tiyu Xi Lu (Exit D), 5 minutes’ walk
[Cover image by Tristin Zhang/That’s]