There was a time when Friends was the biggest TV show in the world. Everyone was asking if Ross and Rachel would end up together and guys tried (and failed) to hit on girls with Joey’s “How you doin’?” line. With the show enjoying a renaissance on Netflix and reaching new fans, it’s perhaps not surprising to see a Friends themed café opening up in Shekou.
Smelly Cat, located in the tech park area of Shuiwan, 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.
What’s perhaps surprising is that the drinks, snacks, and desserts are actually not bad and reasonably priced. They do a solid cheesecake and the vanilla hot chocolate came with Friends written in it.
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.
Sometimes the simplest food is the most satisfying. Few snacks sum this up better than the jacket potato. Despite its universally accepted awesomeness though, there has been no real place to get a proper jacket potato in Shenzhen. That is until Plus Potatoes opened recently.
Located nearby Seaworld in the neighborhood of Shuiwan, this small snack shop is run by Andrew; a very welcoming Malaysian with a passion for potatoes.
To my mind, two things make Plus Potatoes stand out. One, they source only the fluffiest potatoes and they bake them from start to finish. There’s no cheating or shortcuts with steaming or boiling the potato beforehand. Two, the variety and creativity of the fillings. From the classic Tuna Mayo and the delicious Chili Shrimp to the eye-catching Sweet Potato, Ice Cream, & Popcorn.
Potatoes isn’t all they do. There is a mouthwatering selection of burritos, pitas, baked rice, and savory tarts too.
Hopefully one day there will be a Plus Potatoes on every street corner, but for now, you’ll have to make the trip down Shuiwan way. You won’t regret it.
As Shenzhen continues to boom with young entrepreneurs and start-ups, Bee+ is opening their second co-working space in Futian. What separates Bee+ from other shared working spaces is its real emphasis on the social side and to creating a genuine sense of the community.
As well as offering working spaces, Bee+ have an impressively stocked café and a draft craft beer range to rival most bars in town. The organizers are very proactive too in hosting events with a wide and eclectic mix of things going on including beer tasting nights, dancing classes, and wine and cheese nights,
The Bee+ approach is certain to attract the young and entrepreneurial types in the city. It’s a very organic way to connect people together who otherwise may never have met.
Bee+ appears to be on the rise with partnerships already secured with global corporation such as Calvin Klein, BNP Paribas, Colgate, and Orange. As it establishes itself in Shenzhen further, that list is sure to grow.
Address: Bee+ Shenzhen, Fortune Building Space, No. 88 Fu Hua San Road, Futian, Shenzhen
Hilton property joins Team Members from around the world in preserving environments and furthering responsible travel and tourism
Shenzhen, Guangdong / China – (March 24th, 2018) – Hilton Shenzhen Shekou Nanhaicelebrated Earth Hour by Night Story Telling Activity. The hotel is taking action locally to engage in sustainability efforts – from water stewardship and energy conservation to reducing waste and community projects.
During the Earth Week, hotel initiated a series of public service activities, for instance, Go Green initiatives, Ocean Plastic Cleaning activity, World Water Day activites, the Planting activity and the Night Story Telling activity, to deliver the hotel’s determination on energy saving and environment protection.
Hilton views responsible travel and tourism as integral to its business, which is why preserving the environment is a cornerstone of Travel with Purpose, the company’s corporate responsibility strategy to create shared value for Hilton Team Members, Guests, business partners and communities. Hilton’s commitment to the environment is embedded across the business and supported by LightStay: an award-winning, global corporate responsibility performance measurement platform. LightStay was developed and implemented by Hilton to provide a one-stop solution for reporting environmental, operational and social impacts. To learn more about Hilton’s commitment to preserving the environment, visit cr.hilton.com.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,200 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company’s portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
About Travel with Purpose Travel With Purpose is Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to furthering responsible travel and tourism through investing in positive social and environmental impacts. Travel with Purpose focuses on creating meaningful opportunities for people and opening doors for youth; investing in community resilience through skills-based volunteerism, disaster relief and human rights; and reducing the company’s environmental footprint through responsible operations and sourcing. Visit cr.hilton.com to learn more.
The Kidz With Heart event presented by Captivating International and Shenzhen Charity Federation was a resounding success. Celebrating its 10th year, Captivating International has grown from strength to strength, developing charity projects around the world. This successful organisation was started in 2008 as a Hong Kong Charity with partnership links to Australia and the US. From there, founders Andrew and Julie Colquhoun, took the idea of helping impoverished children from remote villages in China, and over the years this charity work has extended to include seven different provinces throughout China as well as Kenya and Nepal.
The first of two annual events, the 7th annual Kidz With Heart event held at Shekou International School’s Jingshan Villa campus on Saturday 17th March, had more than 175 children from 29 countries taking part in a fantastic day of sports. A range of different events comprised the mini Olympics for children aged from 5 to 11 years old, with each child taking part in seven activities. Basketball shoot, soccer shoot, long jump, bean-bag toss, 3-legged race, a limbo competition and archery were a few of the exciting events on offer. Children and adults alike cheered on the participants and everyone competing received a T-shirt, a medal and a goodie bag for their efforts, as well as a great sense of achievement. The winners of each event also had the chance to display their country’s flag on the winner’s podium while being presented with their gold, silver and bronze medals at the end of the event.
In addition to the brilliantly organised events, delicious food was also on offer. Trafalgar from Shui Wei, Futian, provided hot dogs, burgers, kebabs and fries; Artisans Pizza provided – yes, you guessed it – pizza and Maximo provided creamy gelato, all at reasonable prices. You had to be an early bird to sample the ice cream though as it sold out before 11.30am! What was even better is that each of these sponsors donated 60% of their sales from the event to Kidz with Heart, and considering the roaring trade they did this should be a substantial contribution to a really worthy cause. Next time, which will be at SWIS on 24th March, Trafalgar and Artisans Pizza will be back with more savoury delicacies, along with ice cream from Alexander’s. Make sure you bring an empty stomach and a full wallet to sample one of everything and contribute further to Kidz With Heart.
To accompany the great food, the first Kidz With Heart event this year was sponsored by a plethora of other companies, including Raffles Medical who also hosted a first aid station at the event. The silver sponsors were AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection and KidKraft; while Five-Star Sports, GPA Global, QSI, JEC British Early Learning Centre, NVD New Vision Display and First Code Academy were all Bronze sponsors. Of course, none of this would be possible without a location, kindly provided by Shekou International School with China Merchants Shekou Holdings and Jingshan Management Group. The next event will be sponsored at gold level by WIK Development and Manufacturing Service, making it WIK Kidz With Heart, and will be sponsored at silver level by ISNS and AMROSIA Global Sourcing and Inspection. Bronze sponsors will be GPA Global, NVD New Vision Display, Five-Star Sports and JEC British Early Learning Centre.
The second-to-none organisational skills of the volunteers organised by Gary Ellis from Shenzhen College of International Education (SCIE) at this first event ensured that everything ran swimmingly. Special thanks to Tom Simpson and Jenny Wu from SCIE who were MCs for the day. The next event will have volunteers from Shen Wai International School (SWIS), International School of Nanshan Shenzhen (ISNS) and The Academy, with Tim Mitchell and Chu Qi starring in the role of MC.
We haven’t got the final figures yet, but Kidz With Heart is hoping to raise around 350,000RMB over both weekends this year. All funds raised go to a range of charity projects run by Captivating International, with a focus on helping impoverished children in China reach out for a better tomorrow. These projects are the Healthy Village Program which provides health information, medical checks and basic healthcare supplies to remote villages; Greenhouses for impoverished families; Vocational High School Scholarships which sponsor girls to finish high school; My First Job Program, sponsoring girls who never had a chance to go to school to become a chef or home services worker; and Pig Project where two breeding pigs are given to a single-parent family or families with physical disabilities in remote villages.
This is such an important cause that it’s worth popping along just to eat pizza or a burger and cheer on the children competing – even if you don’t have children yourself! And if you missed it on 17th March don’t worry, the next one is 8am-1pm Saturday 24th March at Shen Wai International School, Shekou. Registration has closed for this event but make sure you put it in your diary for next year – kids only!
Shekou International School is one of the most well-known international schools in Shenzhen. It is a not-for-profit private school which funnels all proceeds back into the school, which is clearly seen in the state-of-the-art facilities which are renovated every year. Established in 1988, SIS has a reputation for high quality education for expatriate children from around the world, and it prides itself on its Secondary Program and exceptional level of university acceptances.
If you ask the students what they like about SIS, they’ll tell you it’s the small, caring learning community where teachers and students form relationships and share a love of knowledge. They’ll also tell you that at SIS students have an opportunity to take on projects, service learning and challenges that they might not be able to tackle in a larger school.
Staff will tell you that SIS is a unique community because of the exceptional students, and the fact that their colleagues are passionate educators is a given. 75% of the faculty have a master’s degree or higher and it is not uncommon to see SIS staff presenting at leadership conferences throughout Asia.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program is studied at both ends of the school – the Primary Years Program (PYP) is taught from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 5; the Diploma Program (DP) is taught in Grades 10 and 11. The curriculum in Grades 6 to 9 is based on the US Core Education Standards, and adapted to extend children’s learning from the Primary Years Program to the Diploma Program. Focused around enquiry-based learning, the IB program gives students a firm foundation in the PYP, during which they learn how to ask the right questions, how to find answers, how to collect, collate, organise and analyse data, make interpretations and conclusions and then evaluate their findings. Students become eager, autonomous learners by Grade 5, which stands them in excellent stead for their progress onto the DP course.
The aim of the Diploma Program is essentially to prepare students for university. It is an exam-based program which matches university expectations from around the world, and is linked directly to the enquiry-based learning students have done in previous years. Alongside six subject areas – Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts – within which students can choose one or two courses, there are also three core areas of study which every student has to complete. The DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is possibly the most important aspect of the DP core skills students learn at SIS. This course teaches students about the philosophy of knowledge and education, it explains how different people learn and produce new knowledge, and how that knowledge is used and communicated. The Theory of Knowledge links to all curriculum areas studied, as well as any future studies the students may complete. It is often a favourite subject of the students as it gives them an opportunity to critically examine different topics, have discussions with their peers and teachers and talk about their own opinions on a range of matters.
The second core area is Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). This can be conducted as three separate projects or combined into one which includes all the elements. The aim is for the students to become involved in the local community in an innovative and productive way, by using their imagination and creativity to design and carry out a project over 100 hours supported, of course, by the staff at SIS. Robert Stearns, the Head of School, has a great deal of experience in this area, and has guided students in projects such as arranging for refugees in Hong Kong to learn how to kayak.
The final core area in the IB Diploma Program is the extended essay. This enables students to demonstrate and put into practice many of the skills they have learnt at SIS by allowing them to choose their own research question, plan their line of enquiry, carry out their research and present their conclusions. The extended essay is also an impressive piece of writing that can be used to aid university applications.
In addition to the study programs throughout the school, SIS also runs a ‘Week Without Walls’ program of their own design. During this, students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 spend a week at another location either in Hong Kong, mainland China or Malaysia. This enables the students to put into practice their skills as global citizens, as well as giving them invaluable cultural and adventure experiences.
A strong advisory program throughout the school ensures that all students’ needs are provided for, whether academic, social or emotional. Paula Brunning is the High School Counsellor at SIS and part of her purview is to help the students find the best university match – not just within the country they want to live or the subjects they want to study, but also which university would suit their personality and character the most. The acceptance rate is extraordinary. One hundred percent of students from SIS are accepted into university and most of them get into their first choice of university, whether they apply to the USA, the UK, Canada, other European universities, Korea, Australia or Hong Kong.
The students themselves believe that SIS is a great school with a rewarding study program. One student explained that the IB Program exposes you to different subjects, is challenging and rigorous, and it makes you a better critical thinker. Other students share similar positive opinions: The teachers are all caring and professional and have a good relationship with the students; SIS has a comfortable environment and is student driven; it has small classes where everyone is friends and it feels more like a family; it’s easier to find your own voice at SIS than in a bigger school; the environment pushes you to be a better student.
In a rapidly growing city where the choices for our children’s education are ever-widening, SIS provides an established and reliable study program which ensures students have the best possible opportunities in the future.
Chinese Name: 蛇口国际学校
Place Address: Jing Shan Villas, Nan Hai Road, Shekou, Shenzhen 深圳市南山区蛇口南海大道鲸山别墅
CNN, published an in depth article about the finished 200 million dollar collaboration with the V&A Museum and China Merchants sitting on the sea in Shekou, Sea World. Just hop on the Shekou Ferry from Hong Kong and it is a short cab ride away.
Shenzhen is fusing design, art and technology in unprecedented ways.
In the time since Les 5 Chef’s opened its doors in Shekou, the fine dining restaurant has built up a reputation for its high quality cuisine at reasonable prices. So when they announced the opening of their new restaurant called Les 5 Chef’s Miznon, naturally it caught the curiosity of many a food lover in the city. Shenzhen Party went to check out the latest culinary endeavor.
At first glance, Les 5 Chef’s Miznon is probably not what most people would have been expecting from the people behind the original Les 5 Chef’s. The interior consists of exposed foundations with bright graffiti and blackboards of food specials. From the Hong Kong style open style bar, hip music plays onto the streets where there are the neighboring hole in the wall restaurants and stores.
One of the restaurant’s partners is Harry, who spent 35 years opening restaurants, hotels and cruise liners before embarking on Les 5 Chef’s. For him, Les 5 Chef’s Miznon has a very clear and distinct concept. “Les 5 Chef’s is international fine dining. Here, at Les 5 Chef’s Miznon, we make gourmet street food. It’s Middle East style. We serve roasted vegetables, chicken, stuffed pita. Its high quality ingredients, high quality taste, for a reasonable price.”
The idea for Miznon came about when Harry kept receiving requests from customers at Les 5 Chef’s. “We have a lot of Israeli customers and they came to me many times, ‘Harry, we love your food, but can you do our food.’ I was many times before in Israel and I know how to make their food so I said, ‘Yes, but we will make a completely different concept to the 5 Chef’s.”
“It took time to find the flavor. Israeli taste is very specific so we adapt the food so that everybody likes it. For example, for the Chinese taste, we will give a little bit of spiciness inside, so the customer can order it spicy if they want to have spicy or not.”
In fact, it is from the restaurant’s Israeli origins that the restaurant takes its name Miznon, which means ‘Canteen’ in Hebrew. Although to refer to Miznon simply as a canteen would be to do a disservice to its extensive and exciting food menu.
Customers can choose from twenty four different pitas including meat, seafood, and vegetable fillings. The Roasted Chicken is one of the stand-out items on the menu, which goes well with any of the ten roasted vegetables dishes. That is all without mentioning any of the soups, salads or noodle dishes.
Harry is asked to pick out some of the most popular dishes. “For me, it is the Lamb Chili Onion Pita. We use only the Lamb Tenderloin so it is very soft. The next one is the Falafel Pita, because we have lots of options for vegan people and vegetarians coming here. There is also the Roasted Cauliflower. First it is cooked, then roasted. We use only Greek or Australian olive oil to roast it. It is one of the best sellers.”
While picking the roasted tomatoes straight from the vine and as you try the roasted cauliflower and ask yourself if cauliflower has always tasted this good, one thing starts to become clear; Les 5 Chef’s Miznon uses only the finest, freshest and healthiest ingredients. “Our beef is coming from Australia. Our vegetables we pick up every two days from a farm four hours from here by driving. The hummus, every day we make fresh three times. We peel the chickpeas. It’s a lot of work, but it’s much smoother this way.”
Another element of the concept at Les 5 Chef’s Miznon is the complimentary sauce station, which customers are encouraged to take advantage of. “We have here 8 sauces. We have for European tastes and Chinese tastes. We give the recommendations, but I really have to say that they find their own taste,” explained Harry.
Yet to say Les 5 Chef’s Miznon is somewhere only to come to enjoy a meal would be only part of the story. It’s as much a place to meet friends to chat over some drinks. The restaurant boasts draft craft beer all the way from Ingolstadt, in the heart of Bavaria. Herrnbrau is available in four different beers and cannot be found anywhere else in China, let alone Shenzhen. At RMB20 for 300ml, it’s most likely the best value you will find around too.
The spirits menu is equally generously priced and well stocked. When you can get yourself a rum or gin for RMB25, it’s no wonder then that many customers end up staying at Les 5 Chef’s Miznon long after they have finished their meal. As Harry says, “What we do is we close when the last customer has left. So sometimes we are open till three or four o’clock.”
Place Name: Les 5 Chef’s Miznon
Place Address: N0.143 Shekou old street, Nanshan District, Shenzhen深圳南山蛇口老街143号
Place Phone: +86 135 2889 0561
See below for more information on Les 5 Chef’s Fondue Festival, which runs from 21st December 2017 to 21st January 2018. There are also some fantastic lunch specials and drinks offers available at Les 5 Chef’s Miznon.