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Late Night Eateries - Street Restaurants
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Siu Yeah'r

Siu Yeah'r is Cantonese for late night drinks and eating establishments. These places are prolific, and tend to open on the pavements between 6 to 8pm. If you Enjoy the Latin style of sitting outside late at night and sharing snacks and drinks with friends, then this is for you.

Despite other meanings of this phrase, the term Siu Yeah'r actually means 'Little death'; and I have been victim of numerous "Little Death's" on the backstreets of Foshan - all exceedingly enjoyable. For clarification, you can take this as a Cantonese joke, meaning: tomorrow morning may not happen for you. On one occasion I remember staggering homewards at 7.30 am, although most of these places close around 4am in general. However, China does not appear to have invented liquor licensing hours yet; so enjoy the moment, and repent at your leisure...


These restaurants tend to be grouped together and sometimes it is difficult to know exactly where one finishes and the next begins. As a generalisation - they are cheap and cheerful, but usually have particular food they are famous for. Changes to traffic flow, Policing policy, or renovations may affect each location substantially.

General opening times are from around 5pm for 12 hours or so. Outside tables are usually not available until 6pm or 8pm - depending upon location. Most will close around 4am, but on a quiet night expect them to be finished much earlier. Conversely, on a busy night they may still be open until dawn or later. They will definitely close around 7am.

Where to Go:

You will not find many of these establishments in 'Select neighbourhoods' such as Bai Hua Plaza and near the Foshan Hotel. They are lower class, convivial, and very enjoyable. I will list some of our favourites, and please add your own to this list via email:

Tong Sam Yuen
This restaurant specialises in Oysters and Rice Porridge, although it also has a BBQ and a great range of dishes. Outdoor tables start at 8pm, and it also features a large indoor room with a 60 inch TV set - often showing English Football via cable.

Oysters come in 3-sizes, and are very fresh - the prices are something ridiculous like: Y2, Y3 and Y4 RMB for truly massive ones! They are either served whole, or adorned with a choice of dressing - the Garlic one being totally delicious. Whilst many other places sell Oysters, we have never had a bad one here - and we have eaten thousands of them!

The main dish is 'Sik Juk' or rice porridge. This can have many additions, the most common being meat and cabbage. I sometimes find this a touch bland, so occasionally add salt (Yim). This is excellent for soaking-up the beer if you worry you may have had a little too much.

Other dishes are numerous, but of note is 'Guy Bay', which is a chicken drumstick BBQ 'd Chinese style. It comes looking like a cross with the centre opened out, and is very nice to eat. Adventurous culinaires may also like the dried squid, which is served heated through, with a dip of soy sauce and fiendish wasabi. They also offer a very good stir fry, which can be made to your specifications of meats and vegetables. We like this place because the staff are friendly, the patrons are friendly, and we always enjoy good food.

To find this restaurant, go to Dong Jian Century Plaza and head up the road just before keeping KFC to your left. After half a mile you will meet a set of traffic lights. Go over these straight on, and stop 30 yards later. It is the second restaurant of two.

Down The Alley
This area is a lower class, and I only mention it here because it is very close to the above. Between the traffic lights and Tong Sam Yuen is an alleyway set at an oblique angle, that runs past a small supermarket. This leads straight through a Foshan Chinatown. At the far end is the parallel street you could also have reached by driving right and then left at the traffic lights. However walking this way is pretty boring, whilst the alleyway is an adventure.

This area has half a dozen Siu Yeah'r set back from the road, and the recommended one is the second one you reach from this direction. It is very hard to tell where one finishes and the next begins, so keep central until you are sure. The food is very acceptable without being outstanding, but you will need a Chinese speaker with you to help ordering.

Ho Sum Lao
This restaurant is also nearby and one I have spent many hours at. Again start at Dong Jian with KFC on your left, and go 100 yards up the road to the first road junction. Turn right and cross the road. There are a lot of local streetbar's along this stretch of road and behind in the China Town. Ho Sum Lao is the very last one of these on the block, and just before the T junction at the end.

The Owner and family are very welcoming, although do not expect English, and only some of the staff speak Cantonese. They offer excellent spare ribs, hot pot, and a great Hong Kong noodle dish served in a very large bowl. Duck's Bill's are also well worth sampling, or you can go inside and look at a few pictures of food taken from their menu.

The patrons are extremely friendly, so if you are alone - expect to get caught up in a drinking and merry-making activities. Foshan's English teachers also use this bar sometimes, and especially at week-ends and holidays. However, it is the locals that make this a great place for me, and it is also the place I met my wife a few years ago.

The Turtle Place
This mirrors our entry listing under Restaurants, but is edited for this category.

The Turtle Place is very easy to find, and comprises a main area of 7 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 restaurants are very good, 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 Siu Yeah'r begins around 8pm. Being a secluded enclave, there are a thousand people or more here during the heights of summer. All four restaurants cater to the demand, and still serve inside also. This has a better ambience and is more welcoming for foreigners trying Foshan late nights for the first time. There is a recognisable 'Buzz' about the area that is missing somewhat in other locations. The road outside is also a preferred taxi halt, so getting home afterwards is not a problem.

Within this area you can order virtually anything and enjoy good food in pleasant surroundings. Between 10 and midnight on a balmy summer's eve is perhaps the best time to go here, although they do serve outside these hours of course.

University refers to the back streets around Foshan University, which is centrally located just off Foshan Avenue at the beginning of Jiangwan 1st Road. The University itself occupies the area noted on the Google map as Tiejun Park. The restaurant area is located about half a mile along Jiangwan First Road on your right. It is marked by a set of traffic lights, and the street you are looking for winds its way into a native community to your right.

I decided to list this under Siu Yeah'r and not restaurants - simply because this area is a mix of the two, and is generally a very cheap place to eat. Most of your choices of eatery are pretty basic, but it is a very interesting place to hang out. They are used to seeing occasional Foreigners here, as the University does have Foreign students from time to time. My good friend Neil actually studied for his Masters here in 1996.

The food is pretty good and the selection mirrors other locations in this city. What can be very entertaining is that very often you will be joined by passing students looking to chat and practice their English with you. If you are in the mood for this - then have a great time!

If you like this style of eating and drinking, then Foshan abounds with similar establishments - thousands of them! I have only highlighted a few that I know to be good - and have been to many that are 'ok' and probably quite missable. I have also excluded trendy 'Garden Bars' from this page, as these can be found listed under 'Trendy Bars'
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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Image: Bank of China behind You, KFC in front of You. Dong Jian Century Plaza, Foshan

Image: Same place, opposite view. This is a very good private hospital on the corner. It is deceptively large and rises 5-floors.  DJ Cafe ahead on right. Kingdom hotel left 200 yards.

Image: DJ Cafe, near Dong Jian Century Plaza, Foshan

Image: Bull Bull Restaurant. Right side, alley to wetmarket

Image:  Hao Shun Lao restaurant, near Dong Jian Century Plaza, Foshan

Image: Alley to the wetmarket at the side of the private hospital. Bank of China behind you

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Image: Turtle Restaurant

Image: Turtle Restaurant

Image: Turtle Restaurant area - this car park is full of tables at night
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