“How you doin’?”
A paradise for FRIENDS lovers!
If you love FRIENDS, this place is a must! The atmosphere is just perfect, everything is linked with the tv-series and they’re always showing episodes of FRIENDS on a TV. The owner, aptly named Monica, spent 3 months finding the location and another 3 months decorating it. FRIENDS, the TV show watched in dozens of countries around the world, and the series coffee shop ‘Central Perk’ is possibly the most iconic and well known coffee shop in the world.
In Shenzhen it’s a small intimate venue, aptly named “SMELLY CAT” from the name of the café referencing Phoebe’s song, perfect for a relaxing sit and a caffeine hit and located in Shuiwan Inno-Valley Shekou. The TV show is on in the background should you want entertainment with your coffee. It’s a great place to work too, you can type away undisturbed as this is a relatively quiet place. The attention to detail here is quite staggering. The pieces, many of which are factory made bespoke pieces especially for this venue, will remind you of key parts of the friends series. From the obvious in your face references, to the little nods only hardcore fans will know.
Monica, the owner, keeps prices affordable because its ‘how you would treat your friends’. “Smelly Cat” is a place to come, relax with friends and not break the bank in doing so. The coffee beans are a blended mix from South America and have a smooth taste and a rich body. The cup size is very big, similar to the sizes served in the iconic TV series, and at 30 RMB for a latte it is excellent value for money. Refreshing to hear that! (joemacpherson 16th Jan 2019)
There are beer selections, Kombucha Sparkling Iced Tea fresh fruity selections, and cocktails are also available for those who want more of a New York feel to their café visit. Each cocktail is named after a FRIENDS main character and each has distinctive characteristics. The evenings have a café bar vibe to it, too.
With the theme of sharing in mind, in keeping since it’s all about friends. The FRIENDS burger was built up of daily fresh handmade bread for the bun, it was soft and tasted very fresh. American beef is use for the burger, it was well seasoned and juicy. The interesting part about the burger was the blended cheese sauce, made for a different taste sensation, but a welcome one. The burger is cut in half ready to share, and at 59RMB again I think it’s a great price point. Difficult to find a fresh filling burger for less than that.
They do a solid cheesecake and the vanilla hot chocolate came with FRIENDS written in it.
Smelly Cat, located in the Inno Valley tech park area of Shuiwan (Flower Fruit Mountain metro station Line 12 Exit C2 花果山 C2出口 十二号线), is a faithfully recreated version of the show’s Central Perk coffee shop with clear love and attention to detail for the sitcom; from the name of the café referencing Phoebe’s song, to the napkins printed with the lyrics to “I’ll Be There For You”, to the front window with that iconic “Central Perk” logo.
Smelly Cat is a must for fans of FRIENDS, but you might just find yourself coming back again and making it your hangout just like in the show. Also the service is very good. Highly recommended.