Shenzhen, home to tech gurus and promising innovators, is fast becoming China’s Silicon Valley. As serious business deals start ramping up, an innovative culinary scene is heating up too. After all, restaurants play as important a role as corporate boardrooms. Classy establishments promise casual and comfortable environments for all-important networking sessions or for celebrating after closing multi-million dollar deals.
Many of them are spots that serve up modern Cantonese cuisine, but there are also plenty of options from Northern Chinese specialists to European bistros with a fine range of great wines. The latter would certainly come in handy when impressing clients. This explosion of great eats has also become a boon for travellers on the lookout for good eats. Here are the best restaurants in Shenzhen to dine in style.
Shenzhen may not have many fine-dining restaurants to speak of, but this new restaurant might be the one to kickstart a local trend for haute cuisine. Ensue is led by Calfornia-based chef Christopher Kostow, who is the man behind three-Michelin-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood. In Shenzhen, Kostow offers a five- or nine-course dinner degustation that blends Californian farm-to-table culture and techniques while infusing local flavours and Chinese produce. One can expect interesting creations from this unique combination, such as Australian ribeye with baijiu sauce and Yunnan mushrooms, or water turtle soup with black truffle shavings. The restaurant also has a bar on the second level where diners can indulge in a cocktail or two, crafted by mixologist Beau du Bois. The bar shares the same culinary philosophy as Ensue.
Address: 40F Futian Shangri-La Hotel, 4088, Yitian Rd, Futian District, Shenzhen, China
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 5.30pm – 11pm (Restaurant), Tue-Sun 5pm – 1am (Bar)
Duke’s looks more like a jazz lounge than a full-fledged restaurant. This restaurant is luxuriously decorated all over with rich wood accents and leather-upholstered armchairs and banquettes, making it a perfectly comfortable setting for business discussions and dinners. The menu here is what one would expect of a European bistro, with fresh salads, appetisers and a good range of grilled meats and seafood. The Australian Wagyu tomahawk steak is a must-have item and an Instagram-worthy dining showpiece as well. What’s also worth checking out is the wine cellar here, stocked with more than 390 premium labels that will appeal to both wine lovers and casual drinkers.
Address: 3F The Langham Hotel, 7888 Shennan Boulevard, Futian District, Shenzhen, China.
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs 6pm – 1am, Fri–Sat 6pm to 2am
Magpie is what you would expect of a hip, new-age restaurant. The small space boasts an open kitchen, counter seatings and small plates for sharing. But don’t let appearance fool you. Magpie offers a reimagination of traditional Manchurian and Northern Chinese cuisine, mixing honest cooking and innovative presentations together. Chef Cadence Gao is clearly unafraid of pushing boundaries. Diners might find fried pig’s brain or a tartare of horse meat on the highly seasonal menu here.
Address: A5-125 OCT Loft North Section, Wenchang Street, Overseas Chinese City, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China.
Opening hours: Tues-Fri 6pm–10.30pm, Sat-Sun 11am–2pm and 6pm–10.30pm
This beautiful fine-dining restaurant in the hip OCT neighbourhood is a wonderful exploration of China’s organic farms. Voisin Organique lengthy tasting menus weave European techniques with local flavours, giving diners an insight into the wealth of native produce. Diners can expect creations like a soup with ten different kinds of wild fungus and crispy wild pigeon with rice wine sauce. The staff are friendly and observant, attentive to your needs but not intrusively so.
Address: 117 Futian Creative Culture Park, Qiaobei Yi Street, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China.
Opening hours: 5.30pm– 11.30pm
Zhuo Yue Xuan
When in Shenzhen, one must have a taste of the local Cantonese cuisine. The award-winning Zhuo Yue Xuan at Four Seasons is one of the standout Cantonese restaurants in Shenzhen, led by chef Ting Wai Wan who trained in nearby Hong Kong. The menu sees modern takes on classic Cantonese dishes, such as fried orzo pasta in XO sauce and double-boiled pigeon soup perfumed with generous shavings of black truffle. The same innovative approach is applied to dim sum as well. The restaurant also comes with 10 private dining rooms, great for hosting business lunches or presentations.
Address: Four Seasons Hotel Shenzhen, 138 Fuhua San Road Futian District, Shenzhen, China.
Opening hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm–10.30pm
The story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore