Bringing British Love to Shenzhen China
Let’s face it, if you’re new to China, you probably have had the “meltdown” that many foreigners experience when they realize many of the home-style staple foods are nowhere to be found and the restaurants who try to offer it will introduce what would appear to be a bad copy or desperate attempt. Almost like the copy eggs you can find in China (yes they exist) that may have the outside look but you’ll quickly there’s nothing “egg” about it upon first bite (speaking of personal experience here).
Thankfully, there are hidden gems in Shenzhen China offering amazing dining experiences created by many expats who’s earned the “veteran” card for being in China long enough to start a spot that cures the “meltdown” felt by many foreigners by offering amazing food and drink locations from their home cities tucked around Shenzhen, China.
George is one of those veterans who arrived in China back in 1997 from the U.K. working in the printing industry. Feeling that same void of not having a good British pub offering the friendly atmosphere: the Sunday Roasts and many other staples you’ll find in just about every British Pub, set out to start his own in 2012. Buying out a former Spanish restaurant behind the Taizi hotel, he transformed it into George & Dragon Pub.
Sunday Roasts Held at George & Dragon Pub
A British Pub – Not a Bar
There is a huge difference between a US bar and a British Pub beside the obvious choice of drinks:
- British pubs are known to be more family-friendly: Often a family will go to a pub for a Sunday Roast or Saturday Lunch
- Sunday Roasts: While on the topic, George and Dragon Pub like many British pubs offer a Sunday roast which will typically feature dominating meat, potatoes, and veggies (a must-try). Paul, the chef at George and Dragon Pub, provides a unique international menu which – being from NY – can be expected.
- Atmosphere: Like many British pubs, you don’t have to be here for long to realize a bond with the regulars which has a contagious feel that quickly welcomes you in and makes you part of this family. This is an atmosphere hard to create in most places – especially overseas
Pig Roasting Done Right
About every day at George & Dragon Pub, there is a special event from “Burger and Beer” Tuesdays to “Barbeque Chicken and Ribs” on Thursdays. One event that happens spontaneously once/month is the Pig Roast. If you are a pork lover living in the Shenzhen area, you don’t want to miss this event. It’s hard to find something more amazing – if you’re a meat-lover – then a pig roast. The slow roasting allows for an incredible flavor and if done right, a crispy and delicious skin that puts most bacon to shame.
Enter the “Black Box”
George & Dragon Pub has an amazing deep grill I’d like to call the “Black Box” which is used to roast half a pig (called “Pig in the Box” by staff) for five hours while being infused with Cajun seasonings. I know first hand that nothing comes close to a slow-roasted pig when it’s seasoned right and given the proper amount of love. After the 5 hours are up, the pig is flipped for 15 minutes to form a crispy skin. This isn’t your mum’s breakfast bacon by any means. The skin is roasted and has a hard outer texture and chewy inside – I’d call this a great crackling.
Something to Experience in Shenzhen China
My first time experiencing this – I was blown away by the taste (after being blown away by the amazing aroma). After five hours of slow roasting, the pig is flipped (see video) to that the skin can roast and make for a great crackling. This is served all you can eat with homely sides such as mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, and macaroni. For the only 118RMB, its worth the cost and is a great event to take a date, friend or just yourself.
There isn’t a set time when the pig roast will be, but every month, the new calendar can be found on their website with all of the events for the month.
Top Picks from the Menu
- Fish & Chips: Done right and a top choice for regulars
- Sunday Roast: A British pub favorite featuring roasted pork, lamb or beef with veggies, potatoes & Yorkshire pudding.
- BBQ Chicken and/or Steak: This is not your typical BBQ that is cooked naked and dumped in sauce, but done right on a charcoal grill.
- Homemade Sausage: the sausage here is made in house and has 4 types: Cumberland, Garlic/Herb, Sage/Onion and Italian.