OUR brief visit to Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province was mostly spent at the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) Loft, a compound which used to be a manufacturing area but has since been converted into an art and design district.
After its renovation to become an art scene district in the city in 2005, OCT Loft has since been a venue for people and friends who want to hang out in boho-themed coffee shops, art museums, restaurants, boutiques, and art and design school.
The 55,365-square meter compound paid attention to the architectural designs, bricked pavements, and mossed and vined walls that gave character to the entire loft. It was gently drizzling when we came. After exploring the “Ink at Current” exhibit, the 10th International Ink Art of Biennale Shenzhen curated by Dong Xiaoming, we were more than excited to grab lunch at Pu Yung Tang restaurant.
The food served for us were of Southern Hakka cuisine. As the dishes we ordered were served to us one by one, we couldn’t help by marvel and be curious because of how exotic some of them looked. While a part of us were hesitant to taste some of the dish, we also wanted to be adventurous and to not miss a chance for a full Shenzhen experience if only for the food we ate.
We were served with Chinese Hairy Fig and Keel Soup, Steamed Bass with Green Pepper, Chicken with Red Onions (take note of the head of the dead chicken they decided to also serve, to our amazement and curiosity), Duck Fried with Wine, Sesame Oil, and Soy Sauce, Steamed pork with black bean sauce (which is very much like Filipino humba, it tastes so good!), Salt-baked Babylon Shell (which I was hesitant to taste but turned out really good as well), Scrambled Egg in “Stone” Pot, Long Bean Casserole, Stir-fried Cauliflower, Sautéed Lotus Root and Okra, Fried Rice with Mushroom, and Brown Sugar Steamed Bun for dessert.
One thing I also noticed about Chinese dish, green tea seemed to be a more natural beverage during meals more than water is. Possibly, this is a healthier option.
Although some of the dishes looked different from other Filipino dishes our culture had been used to, I enjoyed all the dishes served. They have explored different tastes that we found very appealing.
We were later told that the building where Pu Yung Tang restaurant is located used to be a beer brewery facility and all the other structure surrounding it within OCT Loft are their different manufacturing buildings.
When you find yourself in Shenzhen, it is good to visit this art, design, and food zone – a perfect escape and a good breather from the hustle and bustle of the city life, without actually living the city.