The Nanfang / Blog

“Ghost Mall” No More, Dongguan Behemoth Becomes Culinary Paradise

Posted: 07/8/2014 8:59 am

south china mall When you’re in a big mall in China, you’ve likely said, “I’m hungry. Let’s go to the food court and see what restaurants they have.” Somebody has finally taken that concept and made an entire mall out of it

The newly-renovated South China Mall in Dongguan, long known for being an empty, abandoned behemoth, is once again a commercial success, having served 80,000 customers on June 1. However, it’s recent success is in defiance of its humble beginnings as a white elephant.

Having opened to grand fanfare in 2005, what had once been dubbed “the world’s largest mall” was bereft of customers just a year later as stores abandoned their leases. For seven years, the South China Mall remained largely deserted of any life as its own existence remained a legacy to its failure.

READ: Dongguan’s “Ghost Mall”

This year, however, the South China Mall got a new lease on life. Gao Tiechuan, president of the the South China Mall responsible for its restructuring, changed it from a US-styled mall to one that caters to Chinese interests, reports Want China Times. Namely, the focus was put on food offerings rather than clothing shops.

Gao scaled back the scope of the mall to attract local diners instead of trying to cater to the entire Pearl River Delta. Besides hosting branches of popular local restaurant franchises, the mall now offers more affordable domestic brands to attract budget-minded clientele.

The RMB 200 million (US$32 million) renovation also did away with previous mall fixtures like a fountain and a bridge that only got in the way of the crowds.

Now brimming with shoppers, the South China Mall is operating on a customer strategy whereby 40% of sales are from its restaurants, and 30 percent are from “experience stores”. In this new set-up, traditional retailers only account for 30% of the mall’s sales.

Photos: South China Mall

Haohao

Here’s a Map of Shenzhen Restaurants Featured on Food Doc “A Bite of China”

Posted: 05/16/2014 4:53 pm

map shenzhen bite of chinaThe second season of the documentary A Bite of China has been somewhat of a letdown compared to its stellar first season.

Having a winning formula of telling human stories through mouth-watering depictions of explicit food porn, the new season of A Bite of China reverses the polarity of the narrative in order to encapsulate a theme on a broader, nationalistic level.

But no matter the narrative, it’s the subject of A Bite of China that still makes it compelling television. And as the show takes many of its cues from Cantonese cuisine, Shenzhen residents can take pride in knowing their city is well represented on the show.

Here’s a map of the 21 (!) Shenzhen restaurants featured on the second season of A Bite of China in just the first three episodes alone. 

Here the restaurants ordered by episode, dish, name, and address:

Episode One, “脚步”

buttered tea1. Buttered Tea 酥油茶

Yangjin Mazang-Style Restaurant 央金玛藏式餐厅
Area C, Huanle Coast Bay, #8 Baishi Road, Nanshan District
南山区白石路东8号欢乐海岸曲水湾C区

2. Lotus Root Packed with Glutinous Rice and Osmanthus Flower 桂花糕米藕
Jiangnan Kitchen江南小厨
Stall #499, Wancheng City, #1881 Bao’An South Road, Luohu District
罗湖区宝安南路1881号万象城499商铺

3. Soft Dessert Curd 嫩豆花
Sichuan Dessert Curd 四川豆花
2nd Fl, Jintai Market, Jingtian North Road,  Futian District
福田区景田北路金泰市场2楼

4. Lantian Belt Noodles 蓝田裤带面
Xi’an Old Wang Family 西安老王家
1st Fl, New Xin Tower, #117 Zhenxing Road, Futian District
福田区振兴西路117号新欣大厦1楼

pungeant noodles5. Shanxi Pungeant Noodles 陕西臊子面
Xi’an Old An Family 西安老安家
B1 Nanguang Tower, #5 Huafu Road, Futian District
福田区华福路5号南光大厦B1楼

6. Jumping Fish 跳跳鱼
Xiang Man Tian 湘满天
#619-42, Jian’an First Road, Bao’an District 宝安29区建安一路619-42号

7. Shandong Flatcakes 山东煎饼
Yimengshan Fried Chicken 沂蒙山炒鸡店
#1 Xiangnan Road, Nanshan District 南山区向南路1号

8. Chaozhou Spring Noodles 潮州春卷
Chaojiangchun 潮江春
4th Fl, Baoli Cultural Plaza, #33 Wenxin Fifth Road, Nanshan District
南山区文心五路33号保利文化广场A区4楼

9. Vietnamese Spring Noodles 越南春卷
Spring of Xi Language 春之曦语
Stall L337, Haiya Binfen City, #99 Jian’an First Road, Bao’an District
宝安区建安一路99号海雅缤纷城3楼L337铺

Episode 2, “心传”

twice cooked pork10. Twice-Cooked Pork 回锅肉
Bashufeng 巴蜀风
2nd Fl, Yuehai Amalgamated Building, #104 Longcheng Road, Nanshan District
南山区龙城路104号粤海综合楼2楼

11. Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles 武汉热干面
Cailinji 蔡林记
1st Fl, New White Horse Wholesale Clothing City, People’s North Road, East Gate, Luohu
罗湖区东门中路人民北路新白马服装批发城1楼

12. Weizhou Stinky Tofu 微州臭豆腐
Drunk Man Pavillion 醉翁亭
3rd Fl, Central Commerce Building, Fuhua First Road, Futian District
福田区福华一路88号中心商务大厦3楼

13. Buckwheat noodles 饸饹面
Buckwheat Noodle Store 饸饹面馆
Xindi Station, Nanshan District
南山区大新地铁站

14. Han Middle Bread汉中面皮
Han Water Restaurant 汉水源餐厅
Zhenxing Hotel, #3007 Hongzhi Road, Futian District
福田区红荔西路3007号振兴宾馆

15. Bracken Root Sticky Cake 蕨根糍粑
Maozhai Guizhou Sour Soup Hotpot 苗寨贵州酸汤火锅
1st Fl, New Xin Tower, #117 Zhenxing Road, Futian District
福田区振兴西路117号新欣大厦1楼

oyster16. Baked Oyster Cake 蚝烙
Village Kitchen 乡村小厨
Jinwei Bar Street, Taibai Road, Luohu District
罗湖区太白路金威啤酒街内

17. Large Meatballs 狮子头
Large Dragon Lantern Jiangnan Restaurant 大红灯龙江南菜馆
1st Fl, Building A, Chang’an Garden, #19 Baihua West Road, Futian District
福田区百花西路19号长安花园A座1楼

18. Dudu Pot 嘟嘟煲
Shengji 胜记
East Gate, Lizhi Garden, #1001 Honglong Central Road, Futian District
福田区红岭中路1001号荔枝公园东门

Episode 3, “时节”

iron grill fish19. Iron-Grilled Fish with Bread 铁锅炖鱼贴饼子
Old Liu Fresh Fish Emporium 老刘野生大鱼坊
Inside the Lake Xiangmi Villa, #6068 South Shenzhen Boulevard, Futian District
福田区深南大道6068号香蜜湖度假村内

20. LihaoStir-Fried Preserved Meat 藜蒿炒腊肉
Little Whistle Bar and Restaurant 小啸酒馆
#13 Changxing Road, Nanshan District
南山区常兴路13号

21. Xinjiang Hand-Made Rice 新疆手抓饭
Zhongfayuan 中发源
1st Fl, Wantuo Garden, Jingtian Road, Futian District
福田区景田路83号万托家园1楼

Shenzhen residents: If you see some you like, you can actually order it. There’s no better way for you to decide where to eat than by sitting on the couch and watching it on TV.

We still have to say: it’s too bad the epic tree climbing scene in the first episode has been outed as plagarism of a BBC documentary which been further debunked by scientists who say even the tree is fake in that scene.

But, we’ll always have the food porn: every last explicit shot of hot, wet, juicy meat makes Shenzhen the culinary San Fernando Valley of China.

Photos: Weibo, wabuw, nipic, shopping 58, coolroid, chaozhou, bzcm

Haohao

Guangzhou restaurants busted for adding addictive poppy powder to food

Posted: 10/15/2013 10:00 am

If food at some Guangzhou restaurants tastes so good you can’t wait to go back, this could be why.  It turns out a couple of restaurants in the City of Five Rams have been adding poppy powder – which is highly addictive, and illegal – to their dishes.

Want China Times reported:

The irregularity was first uncovered by the Guangzhou Food and Drug Administration in June last year. During a spot check of 70 of the city’s restaurants, inspection officials found that two of the restaurants were using the addictive poppy powder in marinade bags.

The kitchen staff at the two restaurants initially told inspection officials that they had no idea what was in the bags, and claimed that were delivered in that way by suppliers. However, they later reneged and admitted that the bags contained poppy powder.

Both restaurants were fined RMB50,000.

Despite the highly addictive nature of poppy powder, consuming it may be among the least bad things you might eat at Guangzhou restaurants.

(h/t Shanghaiist)

Haohao

Now we have proof: Guangdongers eat more than anyone else in China

Posted: 10/1/2013 11:00 am

It almost doesn’t matter where you visit in China, locals will refer to it as a “culinary capital”. That term has been used for Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Qingdao, Chengdu, Changsha, Tianjin, and on and on.  But there is a culinary capital among culinary capitals, and that’s Guangdong province.

Our fair province was ranked first in a survey held by Baidu, which aimed to find which province or city had the most gluttonous people. We won the title of China’s biggest eaters, which will come as no surprise to those who live here.

Want China Times had the story:

“Eating in Guangdong” is a remark that all mainland Chinese recognize. There is a well-known joke: Guangdong people eat everything that can fly except planes, and everything that has four legs except a desk. With such views ingrained in the culture, it is no surprise that Guangdong came first in the Baidu survey.

Guangdong food is not just popular in Guangdong. Cantonese food makes up the majority of Chinese food found abroad, further cementing the local fare as the standard-bearer for Chinese culinary traditions.

(h/t Shanghaiist

Haohao

McCawley’s Irish Pub opens its doors in Guangzhou

Posted: 09/22/2011 1:55 pm

McCawley's GZ

McCawley’s Irish Pub is among the most famous and well-patronized pubs in Shenzhen. It’s first outlet opened in Shekou in 2003, and it threw open its doors near Coco Park in Futian in 2003. It’s been so well-received that it’s now expanding beyond Shenzhen city limits.

The latest McCawley’s outlet is in Guangzhou’s Pearl River New Town. It opened officially on September 10, so is so new that few people know if its existence yet. It’s a 1,000-square metre behemoth of a pub which serves up cold draft beer and burgers akin to McCawley’s Shenzhen.

Spread out over two floors, on arrival the first thing everyone will notice is the amazing façade that stretches over 30 meters wide. Fitted in hard wood and stained antique the façade is finished with old lanterns and brass goosenecks. Giant brass letters spelling out McCawley’s confirms you have arrived at the right place.

Our Beer Garden is the first retreat you will pass as you enter our welcoming tiled entrance then are greeted by a floor to ceiling traditional Victorian Bar, with wood paneling, intricate wood carvings and generous bar counter. The ornate finished ceiling and cast iron mezzanine on either side finish off the magnificent entrance that pulsates natural ambience and character

On either side of this Bar, is The Deck, which can be best described as chic alfresco. A combination of warm tones, natural slate and funky artwork combine well with our brass finished pressed metal ceiling to form a unique setting for a casual lunch, girls night out or even the next corporate function. The concertina doors open the entire façade to reveal another area to explore or to simply step outside to answer that important phone call.

But wait, there’s more…. Time to go upstairs A polished copper sweeping-staircase, takes you to our second floor where you will find three clearly defined sections.

We have The Back Room – an intimate section that easily seats 60 persons, with high comfortable mahogany drink stands, leather chairs and private booths.The seating offers the privacy when required or the perfect location to soak up the atmosphere during that big sporting event.

This version of McCawley’s is actually a joint-venture between McCawley’s and Delaney’s pub in Hong Kong (located in Wan Chai, but I’m sure many pub goers already knew that). One expects more famous Hong Kong establishments to begin dipping their toes into Mainland waters.

McCawley’s Guangzhou is going to have some tough competition in the area though, as both The Brew and The Tavern are set-up nearby. The Nanfang will be at the new McCawley’s this weekend, so come by and say hello.

You can check out the new McCawley’s here.

 

Haohao

Shekou to undergo major transformation

Posted: 02/28/2011 11:29 am

Seaworld Square in Shekou is a bar and restaurant oasis for many in Shenzhen. But as anyone who’s been there recently can attest, construction can be seen everywhere. Not only in the square itself, where a number of bars have been closed, or around the newly-opened metro station, but also near the now-aging Nanhai Hotel. To put it simply, the area is going through a major face lift which will see some high end eateries and hotels opening up in the next couple of years.

The Shenzhen Standard provides some details:

The Marine World Hotel located next to Nanhai Hotel is said to cost 800 million yuan to construction and will cover 56,000 square meters. The hotel will have 320 rooms and managed by Hilton Hotels, this will be their first seaside hotel in Shenzhen when its completed in 2013. Building of the Marine World Hotel will be the first phase of the overall Marine World upgrading project.

China Merchants Group, is a major developer of the Shekou area, will spend and additional 60 billion yuan in the nest five to eight years to fully upgrade facilities in the Shekou area. The Marine World urban compound, Taizi Bay terminals for passenger cruisers and Shekou Network Valley are among the key ares also said to undergo upgrading. Aside from the hotel project, commercial ares located around the Minghua ship will also undergo construction and renovation that will turn the area into an international food street for exotic food and other specialties.

The square has aged a bit from its heyday a few years ago. The giant flood in 2007 certainly didn’t help. Nonetheless, the area retains its quaint charm and community feel. The question is, will the influx of new high-end establishments change the area’s vibe? And if so, will it be better or worse?

Haohao
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