10 Things to eat in Shenzhen and where

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Cauldron that gathers as many as 56 Chinese minorities, the city of Shenzhen is a colorful and rich blend of traditions and cultures which, of course, also include food. Here you can find specialties from different parts of the country, a true gourmet paradise! Originally, the population of this region was made up almost entirely of Cantonese and Hakka. However, to date, the vast majority of people living in Shenzhen are from all over China and probably don't even speak or eat Cantonese. The citizens of Shenzhen are very eclectic and international in their tastes regarding food, which is why the culinary specialties that can be enjoyed in this city are truly varied and suitable for all tastes.


  1. Dim Sum
  2. Congee
  3. Hot pot
  4. Seafood BBQ
  5. Spaghetti Lamian
  6. Char Siu
  7. Niang doufu
  8. Hongshao rou (Chinese braised bacon)
  9. Chow Mein
  10. Xiang su Ya (Roast Duck)
  11. Where to eat: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Dim Sum

Of all the recipes of Cantonese cuisine, Dim Sum is the favorite of foreigners who populate the area. With this term (which literally means "to touch the heart") they are indicated a series of small dishes, a bit like the Italian antipasti, the spanish tapas or the French hors d'oeuvre. It is said that, in ancient times, these delights were reserved only for the emperors of the Han dynasty, and then established themselves in tea houses, especially those along the ancient silk road. Dim Sum are therefore small bites with an attractive appearance that accompany tea time without weighing down the stomach too much. It is only recently that these dishes have also been offered in restaurants. What are these dishes? It is impossible to list them all, we can mention the most famous including Xia jiao, ha kau, har gow, delicate steamed ravioli filled with shrimp and bamboo shoots and Chun juan, the famous spring rolls.

  • Recommended to: anytime, any meal
  • Average cost: from € 3,00 to € 10,00 approximately
  • Main ingredients: pasta, shrimp or fish, vegetables or meat

2 - Congee

Looking not quite inviting, the Congee is a rice porridge usually eaten at breakfast. The rice is cooked for a long time and with a lot of water, to the point where the grains open and melt. It can also be served at dinner, especially for those with digestive difficulties, enriched with broth, vegetables or fish.

  • Recommended to: breakfast, dinner
  • Average cost: around 5 Euros
  • Main ingredients: cooked rice, broth, fish, vegetables

3 - Hot Pot

It is one of the Chinese specialties that are also well known in Italy. Also called Fondue Chinoise ie Chinese fondue, this dish consists of a very hot pot of broth which is placed in the center of the table and kept warm thanks to a small stove. The broth can be made with vegetables only, or with fish or meat. Sometimes the pot is made up of two separate parts, to accommodate meat and fish or broth with different levels of spiciness. To accompany the pot, the ingredients to be cooked in it are placed, all raw, which can consist of tofu, seafood, small portions of fish or meat, vegetables, mushrooms, spaghetti, ravioli and many others. It is a dish that favors conviviality, as everyone, with their own chopsticks, can cook the ingredient they prefer, just like you do with the French bourguignonne. Before eating, the cooked ingredient can be dipped into the various individual bowls which can contain soy sauce and sesame oil, hot sauce, soy and rice vinegar or other sauces as desired.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 10,00
  • Main ingredients: vegetable, meat or fish broth, various ingredients (vegetables, mushrooms, meat or fish), sauces

4 - Seafood BBQ

China is crazy about it street food. It is quite different from ours and, at times, the specialties on offer may seem at least strange to us, at times disgusting. This is not the case with these seafood specialties, cooked on the barbecue or on the grill. They are used especially oysters, or abalones, a large shellfish considered a delicacy not only in China but also in various other parts of the world.

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: around € 7,00
  • Main ingredients: seafood

5 - Spaghetti Lamian

It is a type of pasta among the oldest in the world and are also popular in Japan with the name of Ramen. What is particularly fascinating about this recipe is the preparation of the spaghetti, which is done strictly by hand and requires time, dedication, mastery and physical strength. The dough is quite simple, consisting only of water and an extremely glutinous wheat flour, able to provide the right degree of elasticity. A ball is formed, then transformed into a thin and very long roll of pasta, left to rest while you take care of the sauce, usually based on vegetable and meat stew. Here comes the most fascinating part of the preparation, namely the processing of the pasta. It forms a single very long spaghetti, which is quickly rolled up on the arms as if it were a skein of wool. It is then beaten vigorously on the work surface to give the spaghetti more elasticity, which are then cooked for a few minutes in boiling water and tossed in the wok with the stew.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 8,00
  • Main ingredients: water and flour, vegetable and meat stew based dressing

6 - Char Siu

This is a very common way to prepare pork meat, which includes marinating and cooking. Literally it means "roasted on a fork", indicating the custom of cook the meat on large skewers placed in an oven or directly on the fire. Before cooking, different parts of the pork are marinated in a mixture of honey, spices, soy sauce, sherry or wine.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 13,00
  • Main ingredients: marinated pork

7 - Niang doufu

The dish consists of del fluffy white tofu, stuffed and braised. It is a lighter variant of Chinese ravioli, usually stuffed with fish and vegetables.

  • Recommended to: lunch, dinner, snack
  • Average cost: around € 4,00
  • Main ingredients: tofu, vegetables, fish

8 - Hongshao rou (Chinese braised bacon)

It is a dish also appreciated in America and little known in Italy, and it is made from pork belly. The main ingredient is braised with soy sauce and sugar for a long time, so make fat and skin gelatinous, to the point that they melt in the mouth. The meat and the sauce also take on a dark brown color tending to red, hence the name of the dish.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 6,00
  • Main ingredients: pork belly, soy sauce, sugar

9 - Chow Mein

The name of this dish means "fried spaghetti" and maybe it is one of the best known Chinese recipes in the world, even in Italy. There are many variations, which include, in addition to spaghetti, ingredients such as chicken, pork, morsels of tofu or seitan.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around 5 Euros
  • Main ingredients: spaghetti, chicken or pork, vegetables, tofu or seitan

10 - Xiang su Ya (Roast Duck)

Lacquered Roast Duck is one of the most popular dishes in Chinese cuisine, a difficult recipe to prepare, which has its roots in the period of the Mongol Yuan dynasty (1206 - 1368) where it was an exclusive luxury of the emperor and the royal family. If prepared using the traditional method, the skin of the duck is removed from the meat blowing with a straw between one layer of skin and another, then hung with a noose and wetted with boiling water. In the next phase, the brushing takes place with the typical glaze which will provide the classic color and flavor.

  • Recommended to: Lunch Dinner
  • Average cost: around € 15,00
  • Main ingredients: duck, icing

Where to eat: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

Shenzhen, city of China, it gathers 56 ethnic groups and the cuisine mixes flavors and dishes from different regions of the country. In international hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists, you will find mainly traditional Cantonese dishes but also sushi, sashimi, seafood and sometimes even Italian dishes.

However if you want to taste the true essence of the city, try the ravioli and noodles that are prepared in an infinite number of ways and always at the moment.

1 - Phoenix House

  • Description: Inside the east wing of the Pavilion Hotel, this venue serves authentic Cantonese cuisine, including dim sun, every day of the week
  • specialty: dim sun
  • Average price: from 144,00 CNY (approximately € 18,60) per person
  • Address: 2012 Hongli Rd, Futian - Get directions

2 - Laurel

  • Description: inside a shopping center, this place is a guarantee because it serves excellent local food, in a very refined context
  • specialty: Xia jiao, ha kau, har gow, delicate steamed dumplings filled with shrimp and bamboo shoots
  • Average price: from 116,00 CNY (approximately € 15,00) per person
  • Address: Tairan 3rd Rd, Futian - Get directions

3 - The Drawing Room & St. Regis Bar

  • Description: restaurant with a priceless view (on the 100th floor of the Kingkey 100 skyscraper, the second highest in the city) and with an elegant atmosphere, offers European and Japanese dishes alongside national ones
  • specialty: pretzels for an aperitif and sweets for an afternoon tea or sushi for lunches and dinners
  • Average price: from 120,00 CYN (approximately € 16,00) per person
  • Address: No.5016 Shennan East Road, Luohu District 96F, Kingkey 100 Building - Get directions

4 - Grange Grill at The Westin Shenzhen Nanshan

  • Description: on the 25th floor of the Westin Shenzhen hotel, this venue serves the best meat in the city in a scenic and refined setting
  • specialty: wagyu steak
  • Average price: from 193,00 CYN (approximately € 25,00) per person
  • Address: 9028-2 Shennan Road, Nanshan District, The Westin Shenzhen Nanshan - Get directions

5 - Grandma's Home (KK Mall)

  • Description- Simple, cheap but clean restaurant serving Yhunnan cuisine made with simple and tasty products
  • specialty: mashed potatoes with shrimp, sweet and sour chicken
  • Average price: from 77,00 CYN (approximately € 10,00) per person
  • Address: No.5016 Shennan East Road 4 / F, KK Mall - Get Directions

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