Guides for China
Foshan Tourist Guide (March
|Where to Eat:
Foshan has thousands of restaurants featuring
food from all parts of China and much of the World.
It would be ridiculous to try and list them all in this
brief travellers guide, so we will simply mention our
favourites and point you in the right direction. Please
be aware that Chinese food presented in China is quite
unlike the food available at Chinese restaurants in
UK. It is delicious, but totally different.
• Western Restaurants - This Page
Night Eats and Drinks
Cafes, beer gardens and juice bars
Tips for crossing the language barrier:
1. The very first question you will
be asked immediately upon entering is: How many people?
Answer: Hold up enough fingers to cover all expected
2. The next question they will ask
is what do you want to eat? They will then take your
order and dishes will arrive in the order they are cooked,
which usually means the easiest ones arrive first. This
is probably the sweet course if you ordered one. Best
to order this after the main meal!
3. Westerners usually prefer to have
an aperitif first whilst they peruse the menu and soak
in the ambience. This is a very big problem for Chinese
people, as they don't do this. However, order drinks
and tell them you will order in a while. If a waitress
become too persistent, then say "t'chi di"
or "sic fan t'chi di" and she will leave you
alone - if she speaks Cantonese?
Vegetarian food is dealt with on a separate page which
you can see here
We do not list 'Fast-Food' below either, and you can
find this here
Foshan has an excellent Indian restaurant called 'Little
India'. It is run by two real Indian guys (From Birmingham,
England), and caters for all Indian, Sri Lankan, and
Pakistani cuisine, whether on the menu or not. It is
expensive, but the food is pukka and halal. Both owners
speak excellent English, and know international cuisine
extremely well. Therefore if you know the name of the
English Indian dish you want to order, simply ask them
to make it. However, only the owners will do this for
you, as the Chinese staff don't really understand Indian
cuisine that is not on the menu. For instance, I changed
the listed Roti's for Chapatti's, and added a Tarka
Dhal without curry flavourings as a side dish. In UK
we would say this is 'Bostin' tucker!
These people also understand what real Indian food is
all about, although vegan's will always encounter problems
in China. However, this is not strictly 'Kosher' food,
and Jews may also find the majority of clientele not
suited to their personal disposition or view of this
world? Expect a meal for four people, including drinks
and special orders to come in just under Y1, 000 for
the evening. Not cheap, but it is very real and genuine
Indian cuisine! However, when you weigh this against
the fact that China must be the only country in the
whole wide world where it is impossible to buy even
a simple sachet of ready-mix madras curry powder, then
this is a very welcome oasis. The owners are also top
guys and pleased to stop and chat with you = very welcoming.
I am pretty sure this place closes at midnight, but
This is the only place that sells authentic Indian Curry,
and is a must do. To find this, stand on the street
(Fen Zhong Dong Lu) with your right towards the Foshan
Hotel. Walk forwards 100 yards and go down the ramp
which takes you into the centre of the traffic island.
Head straight across, and if you got it right, then
you will be on the same side of the street - on the
other side of this roundabout. Little India is located
20 yards away in front, and has a couple of miniature
elephants outside the door, the windows are of arabian
design, and the building is painted white.
Tel: 0757 82222254
Add: No 57, Fen Jiang Middle Road, Chancheng district
The only other eatery in Foshan that sells an edible
Indian style curry is Martino's. Curry dishes are not
on the published menu, but are excellent - if made using
a pre-bought curry paste of very satisfactory result.
You will need to ask Bill for this, and his main dish
is curried pork served on a bed of rice in quintessential
English style. A mean curry, and very well worth waiting
for. However, unlike Little India above, this is all
you get - so no paratha's, chapatti's, or Indian side
dishes. John's Bar also offers 'a curry', which is very
bland by comparison - although my dog enjoys it.
There are only two real Western Restaurants in Foshan:
John's Bar and Martino's. We include some others for
John's Bar has relocated to the patio of the Golden
City Hotel, opposite and right a bit from the Foshan
Hotel. You may need to navigate the weird traffic island
pedestrian underpass thingymagig again. This place is
great for authentic Western cuisine, although you may
not find everything of your liking on the menu. However,
their Mexican stuff is Top Hole. The draft beer is Tsingdao,
and they have projector TV featuring football matches
from UK (Soccer in American speaking), and F1.
They offer one of the best Beef Burgers I have ever
tasted, and their Italian cuisine is quite authentic.
Their menu offers both 'Fries' and British chips (Some
with skins on). Tomatoe is served as a vegetable or
salad, never as a fruit. The staff all speak very good
English, and it is very centrally located. It is the
only place in town for genuine Taco's. I always leave
this establishment well watered and fed - but I also
think there is something missing somewhere ... and I
have no idea what that may be?
For a nominal fee of Y100 per month, you can advertise
your company via cards and brochure on their notice
board. They supply internet, and international newspapers
in several languages free of charge to patrons. There
is also an outdoor patio with BBQ for the enjoyment
of late night reveler's.
This restaurant is open all day, and closes around 2am.
Address: c/o Golden City Hotel, Foshan.
Martino's is run by my good friend Bill Cheung and his
partner Peter. They are Canadian Chinese, returning
to run this restaurant in Foshan. They also serve real
draught beer in pint pots from Pearl River Brewery +
a vast selection of Western bottled beers, stouts and
Bill will cook you anything to order, although his Shepherds
Pie is a total winner for me. I usually eat this with
a side salad and Poutine Quebecoise (British chips with
gravy and cheese topping). He also delivers a mean curry,
whilst also great beefburgers, fantastic pizza, and
a great Mexican wrap thingymagig (Not on the menu).
He also serves a selection of delicious things called
'Pockets', which are in fact 'Toasties' in British English.
There are several TV's scattered around the joint, making
this an ideal location to chill from the Chinese streets
outside. The staff speak good English and will stop
to chat and pass the time of day, and have a laugh.
Studio couch seating and Chaise Long adorn the eatery,
and they host special Western Celebrations such as:
Christmas, Valentine's Night, Thanksgiving, and Halloween
as regular annual party nights.
This restaurant has wireless internet connection as
standard, free; and proffers a very relaxing atmosphere.
However, just as above - there is something quintessential
Address: No 1 Fu Hua Lu, Foshan, Guangdong, China.
Telephone: (0086) 0757 8328 5461 for Reservations, Advance
Orders & Free Local Delivery Service.
Open: 10 am until 2 am Every Day
Both of these places are expensive already, and then
add a 10% 'service charge'. However, they both serve
genuine Western food and stay open until at least 2am
- longer if there is a crowd in. Because they both use
the best fresh ingredients, serving time may run into
hours - , but this is nominally 30 minutes from order
When ordering steak, Chinese use the American % method,
with 50% equalling well done, and 10% equalling medium.
They have a very serious problem regarding serving bloody
beef meats. I ask for 1%, and usually receive medium.
rare, which is ok-ish. You may end up battling both
the waitress and the chef on this point, but stand firm
and chill with a beer. It will all work out one way
Caution: If you have ordered a sauce
to accompany the steak, then this will be added in full
or in part at table. There are probably around 8 main
sauces to choose from, but know that any one served
upon a 'sizzler' will splatter your clothes with fatty
dross unless you use the tablecloth as a protection.
A good restaurant will automatically do this for you,
and most don't!
By this I mean no disrespect, but use a simple expression
to describe Chinese restaurants that offer Western food.
There are only a few I would recommend as offering any
food as known on a Western dinner table. They are a
lot cheaper than grand hotels and the establishments
mentioned above. They are also ideal if your party consists
of Chinese people who do not like Western food very
much - my wife is one of these!
The Rhine Cafe
The Rhine Cafe is one of Foshan's most exclusive restaurants,
with a good steak entering it into the Western Restaurants
category above. However, I have also experienced horrible
pieces of stewing steak served here, taking half of
it home for the dog. Another reason is that it has a
mixed Chinese and Western menu, which again leaves me
considering it is not a dedicated Western restaurant
unlike the two above. It is located on the road between
Sunlight Apartments and Foshan's main cinema complex
and is the place every rich Chinese boy takes his new
girlfriend to impress her on the first or second date.
I have absolutely no problems with this restaurant and
do rate it very highly, but not as a strictly Western
They offer a special and separate steak menu, but some
are good and others not. I am told the Fillet steak
is about the best, but have not eaten this myself yet.
This is a large squarish lump of beef dressed appropriately,
lest there is any confusion. I believe they do sell
this rare, but expect a small argument before your order
is completed - it's the runny blood thingymagig again
- so a Rare Steak = 1% cooked, and 10% relates to =
Golden Sun Restaurant
Your best alternative is to head for 'Superline', and
the nearby restaurant called Golden Sun. Whilst this
is a small chain, the main restaurant is located a hundred
yards South of the Golden Lake Hotel and on the same
side of the road. The restaurant serves Chinglish food,
but at a very good price. The beef steaks are reasonable,
but again your best bet is a Pork Steak, British Chips,
and sides to your taste. Ideal for taking Chinese people
too also, as they will always find something satisfactory
on the menu. This place has three storey's, and is mostly
full at all times of the day and night. I say no more.
This restaurant closes at either 12 pm or 2 am, depending
on season, and has a full picture menu which is self
explanatory. For this type of restaurant I would rate
it Number One in Foshan City.
The Bull Bull Restaurant
This restaurant adjoins the Bentily Hotel and is 2 minutes
walk from Dong Jian Century Plaza. Starting at KFC,
walk up the sideroad to the cross roads 100 yards ahead.
Turn right and cross the road. The restaurant is 100
yards down and on your left. It is marked by being next
to a proper if small hotel (Bentily Hotel), and has
several gigantic black Bulls outside the entrance. The
local wet market is up the alleyway to the side.
I don't rate this restaurant quite as highly as the
Golden Sun, but it is very convenient if you live or
have business nearby. Some Western food on their menu
is excellent, whilst other dishes are slightly odd.
The pork steak is great and served as it should be -
with an egg on sizzler platter. They also offer a pretty
good curry and rice - which is served in a traditional
bamboo round. Again they mix English and Chinese foods
on the menu, so ideal for mixed cultural company. To
sum up and not mention particular dishes - whilst I
would most definitely go there again for sure, but it
would not be my first choice.
This is the old John's Bar located directly opposite
the Foshan Hotel. When John's Bar moved to the adjacent
Golden City Hotel; Jens' Bar was created in its place.
They have retained the outside patio area, and remodeled
the inside to reflect a more modern and international
look. The patrons are mainly Foreigners, and any single
women patrons who look attractive are probably hookers.
They have great TV and sound systems, and there is nothing
wrong with it at all ... except I am just not convinced
that for the price asked + service charge, that it is
authentic Western cuisine attracting such a bill.
Jens' Bar is very convenient for international visitors,
and is accessed by climbing a flight of stairs from
the pavement with entrance on the second floor (First
floor in UK speaking). You enter what is their bar and
snacks area, which as well as TV has internet available
and similar features. They also have a full restaurant
service on the forth floor which I admit to not trying.
However, I have studied the menu in detail, and it wasn't
convincing to me. Perhaps I do them a disservice by
not listing them in the category above - but this is
my opinion so there you are.
John's Cafe Conversation
This confusingly named restaurant is in fact the food
and drinks supplier for China Ceramic City in Shiwan
area; and is totally unrelated to John's Bar above.
The second floor cafe bar offers juices and beverages,
whilst they also run a small restaurant on the top floor.
The restaurant has a decent menu which sounds Western,
and almost is. The staff are efficient, courteous, and
speak good English. The pizza, curry, and spaghetti
dishes are all quite pleasant; but problems begin with
the side salads and bread dishes - which are generally
overly sweet. Meals take a long time to prepare, but
are all freshly made to order. Their baked potatoes
are served in a very interesting way - but are quite
edible and recommended in a 'Chinglish cuisine' sort
We gather they are not allowed to cook fried foods (Unpleasant
odours), as beefburgers and chips (Fries) are not on
the menu. However, we would have liked a Hot Dog as
option, which should not present a problem.
That stated - if you are spending a day in China Ceramic
City, then this place offers Westerners decent food
at reasonable prices and no service charge! Smoking
is allowed in this restaurant of course - but they do
not offer ashtrays as part of standard place settings,
and most patrons do not smoke. Given there is absolutely
nowhere else outside nor nearby offering Western food,
we do recommend this - if you are staying all day and
need a decent lunch.
The Danube Cafe
This restaurant is not in Foshan City, but located in
the nearby town of Long Jiang in Shunde County. I mention
it only because it is my favourite restaurant of this
type in China; and accepting the food served is a copy
of Western cuisine - it is excellently cooked and served
by pleasant and chatty staff who are also very efficient.
The restaurant spans four floors, with the ground floor
having a raised circular platform set with small tables
to the side of an intimate dance floor, and ideal for
newly dating couples. It is very romantic, especially
on those evenings the piano player takes up residence.
It is very ambient in all the right ways, as I dated
I recommend patrons try the pork steak on a sizzler
platter, side of fries, and broccoli with garlic. Many
other items are delicious also, as the food quality
is very high. The chicken wings are wonderful, as are
several Chinese style special dishes such as: rice and
meat served in banana leaves, gourd casserole which
is a full meal containing meats and vegetables, and
various barbequed items. Do not order sweet until you
have finished the main meal - as it will probably arrive
first. However, one highlight is the Indian pancake
chef who has a stand near the entrance door. He cooks
Chinese pancakes to order and is a very nice guy. My
favourite was banana crepe with maple syrup.
The restaurant is situated immediately opposite Long
Jiang Buddhist temple and the adjacent Vegetarian restaurant.
The Green bus from Foshan stops right outside the door
(But buses back finish at 8pm), or if travelling by
taxi - simply head for the big hill and end up on the
main road that passes directly North of the main temple
entrance. The local name for this establishment is 'Dun-O-Be'
with a pronounced last letter 'E'.
I am referring to a traditionally Chinese fronted modern
mall situated opposite Jusco supermarket in Nanhai,
and quite near the main Foshan bus station. This mall
is 4-storeys high, and occupied entirely by restaurants.
It closes before 10pm, except for those peripheral establishments
with direct street access. There must be several hundred
of them! It would take many months to visit all of these,
so here are some highlights:
On the third floor facing Jusco is a Vietnamese
restaurant operated by Vietnamese people. The food is
good, slightly unusual as you would perhaps expect,
and very tasty. Chilli dishes are delicious without
being overpowering, and Vietnamese specialties are predominant.
They specialise in dishes with lemongrass, and sea fish
(= no bones). The best fish is probably 'Yellow Flower
Fish or Wong Fa Yue in Cantonese'. Their Broccoli in
coconut sauce is very interesting.
Those with an eye for history may soon recognise that
Vietnam and Canton share millennia of common history
(and language), and this extends to culinary exchanges.
It is the cooking with lemongrass (Called "Lemingrass
hahaha", and other 'Thai' type ingredients that
marks this restaurant as special and apart from the
rest. Highly recommended!
Other Foreign Cuisine
Foshan has several Japanese restaurants, mainly located
inside major hotels such as the Foshan Hotel. There
is one at Tour Mall also, and one planned to open in
Bai Hua. The one located in the Foshan Hotel (Crowne
Plaza) has been established for many years and has an
Thai and Malaysian Cuisine
Opposite Dong Jian Century Plaza, but on the opposite
side from KFC, are two neighbouring restaurants purporting
to be Thai. They are actually Chinese Malaysian in origin
and do offer alternative menu's from the norm. You can
easily find them because they have Thai script and menu's
in the window (Thai script looks a very little like
Arabic, but definitely isn't). Whilst my then Siamese
girlfriend (Yupa) found both of these establishments
to be genuine, but they are hampered by the fact that
essential ingredients such as Lemongrass are unheard
of and unavailable in China. Whilst they do use equivalent
chilli's in cooking, they use too few, meaning the dishes
served are far milder than Yupa would serve at home.
However, both are definitely worth a visit, if only
to taste something totally different.
Foshan does offer a plethora of extremely good cuisine
and there are thousands of restaurants not highlighted
above. One of them is where I held my Wedding Reception
in Summer 2008, but to describe this needs maps, photographs,
and local information in Chinese - as it's location
is difficult to find and not easy for visiting foreigners
staying for a week or so.
This information is as supplied by China Expat's and
our friends, as dated 10th July 2010, and/or other reliable
sources. Please check this information yourself as it
may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best
to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible
for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide
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