Metro Ke Xue Guan Line 1 HUAQIANG BEI FOOD STREET SHENZHEN
Huaqiang Bei is the epicentre of food in Shenzhen. Actually none of the restaurants are in Huaqiang Bei Rd itself. This is in response to the necessity to make every square inch of that hallowed street available to shout the virtues of mobile phones at maximum volume. To eat you go to the adjoining streets, Yannan, Huafa, Zhenxing, Zhenhua and Zhenzhong. And there are restaurants by the score.
We’re a bit traditional when it comes to eat streets. We think that they’re for joyous but down market eating and Huaqiang Bei provide a lot of opportunities for that sort of eating. If you go through the alleyways intersecting any building on the right side of Huaqiang Bei going north, you’ll find an area that performs the double duty of acting as a loading area for the shops and feeding the populace. This is the Mei Shi or fine eating street. It consists of a large number of holes in the wall serving up good but cheap food to the masses. We rarely miss a chance to go to the Xi Lan La Mian 137 1430 6455 which serves up halal Lanzhou noodles. It’s hard to exceed $30 for two and it’s good. Make sure you pay attention to the various exhortations on the menu against wine drinking and pork eating. Actually in the square the Moslem presence is strong. Even the Chaozhou Congee restaurant announced that it was halal, a strong statement for that pork ridden area.
If you feel like going a bit more up market, Huafa Rd which runs parallel to Huaqiang Bei is as stuffed full of restaurants as Huaqiang Bei is with mobile phone merchants. We like the Min Jian Wa Guan Wei Tang Guan 8376 7999. This is a chain themed in a rural Hunanese style, specialising in slow cooked soups. Outside you can see several large Ali Baba pots; these are actually slow ovens for cooking the soup. And since it’s Hunanese it’s HOT. The fake red chilies hanging outside tell you that.
And while we’re on the subject of chilies, Lao Yuanzi corner of Zhenhua and Zhenzhong Rds has built up something of a reputation amongst the foreign community of Shenzhen as a foreigner friendly restaurant. It has some English speaking staff and an English menu. It advertises itself as Sichuan-Hunan food. Being Shenzhen, the Hunan dishes predominate.
Western Food? Well there’s the Latin Grill 8322 2553, yet another Brazilian barbecue which specialises in Brazilian music and which can be fun. And there is a Rainbow Cafe 8329 3318 in Zhenxing Rd.
When you’ve finished with everything else, and before you go home, visit Ahmet and Abdul at Kashgar Bread Huafu Rd. and buy some of their delicious authentic Tadjik naan bread from Xinjiang.
Address: Huaqiang Nth Rd Futian Metro Hua Qiang Lu line 1