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Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

By Keelan Bowker O'Brien ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-10-28

Whenever I travel outside of Fuzhou, I always find myself acting as a public representative to my current home-away-from-home. Whether in Shanghai or Xiamen, people seem equally unsure of what Fuzhou has to offer for a passer-by. The truly curious can turn to the internet and any search engine will point them in the directions of hot springs, opera houses, and the famous “3 Lanes, 7 Alleys”. Absent from these results, unfortunately, will be the restaurants featuring foreign cuisine that have been popping up within Fuzhou over the last year or two. In my time in Fuzhou I've managed to find a few spots cookingwonderful cuisine from all over the world. If you're traveling through Fuzhou, or a current inhabitant, this list should provide you with a decent gastrointestinal bucket list of foreign fare for the duration of your stay.

Name: Cucina Snack Bar

Location:Xuesheng Avenuechengshiguangchang, Cangshan District (仓山区学生街城市广场), look for the big dutch flag!

Cuisine: Dutch Grill

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Nestled away in a shopping center opposite Fuzhou's Student Street, Cucina Snack Bar would be easy enough to overlook at first glance. This would, of course, be a tremendous disaster for anyone hoping to escape the major chain restaurants in favor of some authentic comfort food by way of The Netherlands. The snack bar has been an instant hit among just about every demographic as one can enjoy great food in a homely environment without emptying the contents of one's wallet. Personally, I'd recommend the KupsalonSalad- though, seeing as it is a combination of meat, cheese, and fries we'll use the term “salad” loosely. That being said, if you're a fan of slow-cooked BBQ, Cucina Snack Bar is sneakily home to the best ribs I've had outside of America.

Name: Hangsan Korean Bistro

Location:Pingxi Road 110 A. One yundonggongyuan in the Gulou district (鼓楼区五凤街道北二环西路222号A ONE 运动公园, 屏西路110号)

Cuisine: Modern Korean

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Up the hill at “A-One” Sports Park, there is a trendy spot making fantastic traditional Korean dishes with a modern twist. Hangshan Korean Bistro could have easily been teleported here from K-Town in New York City as the décor is sophisticated, the ambience mellow, and the cuisine is a mix of familiar and innovative. My favorite thing about this place (besides the fact that they carry soju!) is the bulgoghi, but since all their dishes feature homemade, chef-inspired sauces, it's hard to imagine leaving unsatisfied.

Name: Califresh

Location:DazhongSixiang 8, Gulou District (鼓楼区大中寺巷8,加州鲜卷)

Cuisine: Mexican American

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Just a short walk from the busy tourist area of 3 Lanes 7 Alleys there is a lovely cantina serving up delicious burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. “The dishes are what I like to call ‘cali-mex', with special characteristics,” chef and owner Jacob Cohen-Rosenthal explained to me. Mr. Cohen-Rosenthal's foray into the restaurant industry is an interesting one. While living in Beijing in 2011, he invited some Chinese friends over during the National Holiday to try burritos and had a very warm reception. Later that week, the chef took to the streets of Beijing with his burritos sold out within hours. Years later, his business has evolved from doing door-to-door burrito delivery throughout Fuzhou to where it stands today. Califresh is without a doubt a must-visit for any day-tripper.

Name:Aladdin's

Location: First floor of the Sino International Plaza on Wusi Road,Gulou District (鼓楼区五四路137号信和广场)

Cuisine: Turkish

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Owner Aladdin Colak is somewhat of a celebrity in Fuzhou. He arrived in Fujian's capital over 20 years ago by way of Turkey and was one of the city's first foreign residents. Throughout the years he has been featured on many television networks, even doing a series about travel in Turkey for CCTV. Earlier this year, he opened up the restaurant which carries his namesake in the Sino International Plaza in downtown Fuzhou. The restaurant itself is beautifully arranged and the staff is well trained, but where Aladdin's shines in its cuisine. My favorite dish was the Kofta- seasoned lamb meatballs served with rice- but I was also pleasantly surprised by the Turkish house salad which features a tangy vinaigrette over red cabbage, goat cheese, and walnuts.

Name:Deer Garden Signatures

Location:Behind Baolong, beside in88 bar御鹿园,在宝龙后面,尚水国际楼下,in88酒吧隔壁

Cuisine: Modern Hong Kong Cuisine

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Deer Garden Signatures recently opened its doors outside of the Baolong shopping center. Like many restaurants on this list, Deer Garden Signatures achieves their coup de maître with an emphasis on ingredients. In order to imbue them with an entirely authentic taste, all of their specialty soup-and-noodle dishes are steeped with private-stock, deep sea, Canadian fish bones. This provides the foundation for some truly out-of-this-world combinations; another area where Deer Garden Signatures impresses. That's because everything, even the broth, is completely customizable. During my visit, I treated myself to a Malaysian-style Laksa soup but I could have just as easily had Taiwan beef noodles, Japanese Udon and fish, or perhaps simply some chicken-noodle.

Name: Texas 88Q

Location: 166 Jingda Road, Gulou District (井大路166号鼓楼区。井大路永辉旁边), besides the Yonghui!

Cuisine: Texas BBQ

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

A late edition to the list- Texas “Ba-Ba”Q is a great place for a meal. Sure, their waiters and waitresses wear cheesy cowboy costumes, but that's all part of the experience, right? As the son of two Texans, I'm inherently incredulous when it comes to any restaurant that labels itself “Texan” outside of the lone-star state, but Texas 88Q does a great job of preparing their food. If you get a chance to go, I'd recommend their 4-hour smoked BBQ chicken with a side of their “tex-mex sloppy joe”, which is a red beans and rice dish mixed with BBQ sausage and topped with cheese.

Honorary Mentions:

Name: Wine 101

Location:180 Jiangbin Road (江滨大道180号,碧水芳洲门口)

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

While it could have easily made it on this list for its Italian cuisine, Wine 101 earns a mention for its ridiculously deep wine collection. Headed by an internationally-trained Sommelier, Wine 101 is a great place to take a date. The restaurant's secluded location and intimate environment make it a wonderful place to unwind (and uncork) after a long day. Beware: the menu changes daily and is written entirely in Chinese, soif your language skills aren't up to snuff I recommend keeping a translator handy, otherwise you may find yourself pantomiming your intent to order Chicken Carbonara.

Name:Zefan Coffee Training School(泽帆咖啡培训)

Location:218 Second Ring RoadWest, Beside the Liming professional technology academy (黎明技术学院)

Must-visit foreign cuisine restaurants in Fuzhou

Zefan Coffee Training School is a fantastic place for any coffee-enthusiast to visit, both for the fantastic coffee arrangement as well as for training courses that the school provides. Among their catalogue of coffee one can find not only Columbian coffee, and Italian Roast but also Kenyan and Chilean available. Even if coffee isn't your cup of tea, so to speak, you may still findtheir selection of ice cream warrants a visit.

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