Beat the Heat: Great Salads and Sandwiches in Shenzhen

Beat the Heat: Great Salads and Sandwiches in Shenzhen
By Pete Cowell ,

For many, the thought of the unassuming sandwich or the subdued salad might not immediately inspire pangs of hunger. However, with the onset of the blisteringly hot weather in Shenzhen, salads and sandwiches are a fantastic dining option that won’t bloat. Although there are plenty of places around town where you can get a hearty beef stew or a succulent Australian steak with mountains of vegetables, for many residents the extreme temperatures of summer in Shenzhen repress their appetite and so a lighter dining experience is called for. Many expats only have a short time to grab some lunch, and a sublime sandwich layered with imported Italian meat, cheese and olives might be the answer. Salads are a naturally healthy choice, and there is a great range of options for some fun al fresco dining in Shenzhen.

Over the past year, several new eateries have opened up in Shenzhen that serve salads and sandwiches amongst a host of other goodies. Although there are well-established restaurants like McCawley’s Irish Pub or Trattoria Italiana Da Angelo where you can get your summer salad fix, I want to highlight some of the lesser-known or smaller businesses that help to make up the gastronomic landscape of Shenzhen. No matter if you simply want a chicken Caesar salad for lunch or require something with a bit more of a foodie flair for dinner, there are a number of places located in the usual expat hangout areas of Shekou and Futian. Here are four of the best:

1) Rapscallions Café Bar 瑞布斯 View In Map
Although having only opened their doors last month, Rapscallions is quickly becoming a favoured destination for expats living in Futian and beyond. With their mantra “Foodies of the world unite”, they seek to provide a variety of fusion dishes, all freshly prepared by the two owners Aiya and Yumi. With a familiar selection of toasted sandwiches like bacon, lettuce and tomato or imported ham and cheese, as well as healthy salads, they seem to hit the right notes in attracting diners from the surrounding office buildings who need to grab a delicious, no-fuss bite at lunchtime.

Although there is still some construction work going in the venue next door, the large outdoor area adjacent to the bar is a great space to relax during the warm evenings. The stylish indoor seating area is also possibly one of Shenzhen’s first designated no-smoking zones in a restaurant. 

Add: Shop 138, Coco Park North, Mingtian Lu, near Fuhua Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 8359 7131
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-Late

2) Roasters 西式农庄
Situated in a residential street in the heart of Shekou, Roasters specialise in freshly cooked rotisserie chickens, the meat from which they use for practically everything else they make. The main seating area in the restaurant is very small, although there is further seating available in the back bar – fondly christened “The Coup”, complete with farmyard murals on the walls, as well as a table outside. They have a range of fresh salads from their deli counter, such as potato and artichoke, available for takeaway or to eat in. Try a belly-bursting roast chicken sub for around 50 RMB as you sit outside and watch the interesting street life of Shekou drift by. Roasters is also becoming very popular due to their convenient home delivery service.

RoastersView In Map
Add: Shop 105 Haichang Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
Tel: 0755 2685 5212
Opening Hours: Daily, 11:00-Late

3) Mama’s
For those of you who crave a kebab at any time of day, Mama’s is the obvious choice. The restaurant was opened several years ago to provide the expat community in Shekou with a taste of all things Mediterranean and Lebanese. Although the halal beef and chicken kebabs are very popular, Mama’s also produce some delicious light salads that move away from the usual chicken caesar – although you can still get a tasty caesar with char grilled chook if you want. Why not try a mouth-watering Greek garden salad with imported feta cheese and olives, or sample the delights of a traditional Lebanese Fahtoosh bread salad, served with tomatoes, parsley, and olive oil, garnished with lemon juice.  

Mama’sView In Map
Add: Shop 108-109 Haichang Lu, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen
地址:深圳市南山区蛇口海昌街海尚国际裙楼108 – 109号铺
Tel: 0755 2685 0910
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-00:00

4) Rustico
This humble one-man operation has been in existence for a little over a year, and while possibly not in the most visible location, Rustico offers some of the most authentic northern Italian food in Shenzhen, including divine salads and sandwiches. As the name suggests, the most important virtues of the food in Rustico are the combination of simple earthiness and high quality ingredients. Although edging towards the pricier side of the market, as soon as you get your teeth into some Parma ham with aubergine and sun dried tomatoe, served on focaccia bread baked on the premises that morning, you know that you are paying for genuine Italian produce that has been treated with passion and care. For owner Mirko, Italian food is a labour of love, and you really can taste this with every bite.

RusticoView In Map
Add: Shop C19, Coco Park, Mingtian Lu, near Fuhua Lu, Futian District, Shenzhen
Tel: 158 2046 3379 (Mirko)
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00-21:00; Closed Sun

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