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Tourist Guides for China
Foshan Tourist Guide (March 2010)

This page introduces all types of food available in Foshan. What was intended to be a simple page listing all eateries soon grew out of control, so we have divided content into the following categories:

Related Pages:
• Restaurants - Introduction - This Page
Western Restaurants
Chinese Restaurants
Vegetarian Restaurants
Fast Food
Late Night Eats and Drinks
Trendy Cafes, beer gardens and juice bars

For those seeking quick information, we will list some of the most notable restaurants below as short extracts from our fuller listings and descriptions on the related pages.

You will find MacDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Star Buck's near virtually all major supermarkets and shopping malls - especially the new ones.

Western Restaurants

John's Bar
Located in the Golden City hotel, on the traffic roundabout near the Foshan Hotel. Meeting place for many foreigners and offers full international cuisine and real draught beer. Notable for delicious burgers, fries and British chips, and has a good range of mexican dishes. There is also a John's Cafe in China Ceramic City

Jen's Bar
Located where John's bar used to be, directly across from the Foshan Hotel (Now Crowne Plaza). Again offers a full range of western food and beer, plus large screen televisions, often following sports channels.

Long since closed unfortunately.

Hooley's Irish Bar
Located on Ji Hua 6 Road, near Foshan radio and TV tower, (22 Creative Park - just across from K-Party). Hooley's offers everything a westerner would expect: Full range of imported beers, beer on draught, Guinness of course. The food menu is extensive and appealing, offering something for everybody, including vegetarians. They have a large function room and cater for parties.

Hooleys also have bars in Guangzhou and Zhong Shan. Please visit their website for more information.
Hooley's Irish Pub and Restaurant,
102, Unit 22, Creative Park, Ji Hua Si Road, Changcheng District,Foshan.
tel: 0757-82264606

Little India
This is the only dedicated restaurant serving genuine Indian curry. It is very popular with the foreign community and serves halal meat. It is also a good place for vegetarians. It is run by two personable Indian guys, and is located diagonally across the roundabout from John's Bar and 2-minutes walk from the Foshan Hotel.

Vegetarian Restaurants
Foshan has only two that have stood the test of time, and others come and go frequently.

Folk Arts Buddhist Restaurant
This is located opposite the Carrianne Hotel on Zumiao Road, and is part of the Renshou Buddhist Pagoda Temple complex. It is found to the far end and can be accessed from the street via a small door that leads you inside. Bear left and you will finds the restaurant. Food is excellent and all is vegetarian. You may need help from a Chinese speaker to order what you prefer.

The Place Up The Alleyway
This is actually a very good restaurant, and is located just off Dai Fu't Lo (Lingnan Dong Lu) so get yourself to Foshan TV tower and on that side of the main road. You need to go North on this road, ie - the tower is on your right and you are headed away from it as it recedes behind you. You will come quite quickly in a cab to a set of traffic lights where all the traffic either goes left or right. Your taxi driver will want to do likewise. Be forceful and make him go straight ahead! The road narrows considerably, and you need to stop at the first sideroad on your right - about 80 yards down this road. Go down the sideroad about 30 yards and there will be a row of shops set back on your right with the entrance to the vegetarian restaurant is the last doorway.

The food is excellent and pukka vegetarian, and the bill is small. Again Uncle Sam has been advising them on culinary arts, and they are developing a wider range of dishes, as evidenced each time I have been there. You will need a Chinese friend to help you order, however, there are some photo's of dishes, and the main vegetables are on show outside the kitchen, so pointing and mining will work also.

Four other Foshan vegetarian restaurants have opened and closed within the last couple of years, although our information is that there is still one survivor located in Nanhai 'Gui Cheung' = near Jusco.

Chinese Restaurants

The Artist's Place
This establishment is probably the most picturesque of all Foshan's many eateries and a must visit!

The unusual foyer houses an arts museum to your right and above, whilst a second doorway leads out to a secluded courtyard set with tables, Chinese lanterns, and BBQ stall. Indoor eating halls and rustic private rooms, many with patio's overlooking ponds and streams cater for all tastes.

In keeping with the ambience, the food is excellent. There is a picture menu to help foreigners order, although many staff speak good English. I have written about one of our visits in my missive '7-days Before Christmas 2009' Page 6.

To get there follow Foshan Avenue (Foshan Daido) towards Guangzhou until you reach the very major road intersection. Head immediately right (Guangzhou) and passing Osram factory, take the first exit, which is Wen Hua Bei Lu. After 300 yards turn right, and the restaurant is just passed the first minor intersection on your left.

The Little Sheep
This is a most excellent restaurant foreigners should get the hang of pretty quickly. It is actually part of a National chain, with branches also in Hong Kong. It features Inner Mongolia cooking at it's very best, and is a version of cook in the pot. The tables all feature a central gas hob, onto which is placed a large cooking vessel with a central divider. One side is herbs, spices and coconut milk - and the other is chilli hot! You will need a local person to help you order, and do experiment.

This place is humming by 6pm, so either: rock-up earlier, book in advance, or go after 9pm (10% off and open until midnight). However, the best staff also leave around 9pm, so this really isn't a blessing.

Location: If you are in a taxi, then simply say "Siu Fai Yeurm, Gui wah mmm lo". It is located between Fung Dong Zhong Lo (Feng Jiang Central Road) where it becomes Gung Gong Nam Lo (Feng Jiang South Road) and Fo'san Dai Doh (Foshan Avenue).

The Turtle Place
This is very easy to find, and comprises a main area of 4 restaurants surrounding a massive car park, with a second tier just around the corner. This whole area is also a good spot for outdoor food and drinks late at night. All four restaurants are very good, and I have been to them all. However we will focus on the most interesting one for first timers.

Location: Go to where Jia Hua 5 Road becomes Jia Hua 4 Road - and this is where it crosses Foshan Avenue (Daido). Turn into Jia Hua 4 Road and it is 50 yards on your right. During the daytime you can park here, but late at night the car park becomes a sea of outdoor tables.

The Turtle Restaurant is immediately on your left as you enter this enclave, and if entering from the car park the seating area is too your right with toilets and private rooms behind. To your left, or via the front entrance are numerous tanks containing all manner of life. The emphasis is on fish and shellfish, but also shown are the vegetables of the day accompanied by a very large notice board with colour photographs or replications of all the main dishes on the menu = excellent for foreigners. You may not want to look into all of the containers in this area, as some contain: Alligators, snakes, toads, and turtles - the reason we have named this restaurant so.

This restaurant is probably one of the best for first-time visitors to Foshan, as the total range of food on offer is quite astounding, and the cooking is extremely good + ordering what you want is extremely easy.

The Chicken Restaurant
The best British style spare ribs are sold at 'The Chicken Restaurant', which is located on the Western aspect of Dong Jian Century Plaza and 100 yards up the road that passes KFC to your left, and virtually opposite The Bank of China.

This restaurant actually specialises in steamed chicken, a version of Toisan Chicken. However, Expats will be well aware that Chinese take perfectly great spare ribs, and chop them into one billion pieces = not good. This place sells the only spare ribs I would recognise from UK = 6-inches long + sauce. Eat with your fingers time, but they supply plastic gloves. Their Toisan Chicken is the star dish; and rates as 'good'', but from a different planet regards Mama's home cooked version. Compensating: there are pictures of the dishes on the walls, so simply point at one and you are immediately understood. I have also been teaching them that British people like to have a few beers before eating a main meal - something that seems to have crossed the culture divide; even if it leaves me prey to teaching their son 'Ingerwishy' upon occasions.

Xi'an Restaurant 1
This is next door to the 'Chicken Restaurant' is a pukka Xi'an restaurant - you know it because it has life-sized Xi'an warriors just inside the door. To order a Xi'an 'Ham-bo-Bah', simply make a 6-inch round with your index finger in the air. Simple. It will come served with complimentary Gutierrez chillies inside = awesome!

This is actually an excellent restaurant, but you will need to go there with a partner who is not Cantonese to get the best out of the menu. Notable dishes include: small hotpot of any specified meat or fish, served on top of a candle-powered stove; hand-made noodles; meatballs; and several other dishes that are too complex to explain concisely.

Tour Mall
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. There must be several hundred of them! It would take many months to visit all of these, so here are some highlights:

Vietnamese Restaurant
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 predominate.

Hunan Restaurant
There are several eateries offering Hunan Cuisine here, and I most enjoyed the one located on the 3rd floor. This has its entrance facing away from Jusco, and is towards the road junction end of the building. Just inside the doorway is a massive fish tank which you have to navigate past.

I chose this restaurant specifically because for Chinese New Year 2007 I was invited to join an extended Hunan family for their celebrations. My thinking is that if they chose this restaurant for a very special celebration, then it must be the best and most authentic one in town.

This meal was quite massive in the quantity of food served, but I remember a gigantic whole leg of roast lamb as being particularly enjoyable. A large fish was also present, as were numerous smaller dishes. Most were cooked with hot fresh chilli's of the 'evil red, long gnarly' kind. Every kind of meat was represented, along with numerous vegetables and some very unusual dishes.

I have been to several other restaurants within this complex, but do not remember anything notable about any of the food. By this I do not mean it wasn't any good, I simply mean that it was comparable to what was on offer locally near my home. However, there are numerous restaurants I haven't tried, so do go there and take 'Pot luck' - you will not be disappointed I am sure.

Other Restaurants

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.

Japanese Restaurants
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 excellent reputation.

Korean Restaurants
Foshan people do enjoy food from South Korea, and there are several outlets. The one in Tour Mall was closed last time I was there - but I think this was for refurbishment and not a change of ownership or cuisine.

There is another on Ji Hua 6 Road, and travelling East out of town, you will find this on your left about half a mile after exiting the underpass. This serves very good food and the staff speak good English, are helpful and courteous.This area used to be home to several hundred restaurants before the main road was widened and upgraded in 2007. Now only a few dozen remain, but the area is starting to pick up again and new outlets are moving in.

In order to find other food from different countries, you will need to travel to Guangzhou. Whilst Foshan professes to have some of these, they would not remotely serve what you as a foreign native would expect to encounter by way of native cuisine. I will only mention two of them, but both are totally excellent and worth the trip.

The French Restaurant
This is located very centrally at the end of Beijing Road, where it joins the river promenade. This restaurant is expensive, and serves high-quality French dishes in a suitable environment. Everybody I know who has been there tells us this restaurant is superb!

This is of course an Italian restaurant, and located very near Guangzhou East Railway Station. Location: if you consider the exit of this station where the bus station is located to be your starting point - then you basically need to be in about the same position on the other side of the block. We walked it in about 10 minutes, heading right to the end of the block, right, and right again. Luiggi's is about 600 yards down this road on your immediate right.

The menu is very Italian, but I actually went for the fillet steak - which was mouth-wateringly superb! I was there at lunchtime, and what you do is order your main course, then help yourself to sundries from the salad and meat serveries set to one side. They also had proper bread that did not contain honey or extra sugar; and I later learnt they make this themselves. I highly recommend this restaurant for anyone in dire need of a fix of proper Western food. Top class!

I did sample and also see other Italian dishes, and my impression was that they know exactly what they are cooking. The chef is Italian; and no, they do not serve pizza. In Italy only pizzerias sell pizza, restaurants do not. Next time I am ordering the lasagne, which after tasting a small mouthful, was totally genuine and delicious.

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. Our intention is to offer advice that is easy for visiting foreigners staying for a week or so. Some of the exceptionally good or unique restaurants are a little out of the way, and even locals have difficulty finding them. However, we are happy to guide you to other locations should you send us an email telling us what you are looking for. It is our pleasure!

Please see our section pages for further information concerning the above restaurants, and many others for each category

This information is as supplied by China Expats 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 only
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