Ok. So first I must specify: I am French, and living in China for 7 years. So I admit I am kind of picky when it comes to French food... And what I LOVE about "La Maison", is that it is one of the very few restaurant that offers an authentic French experience, cutting on all the crap we so often see in French restaurants in China: fake Louis XVI furniture, arrogant atmosphere and ridiculously expensive prices.
If you've ever wandered "hey, where do the average French people like to go for diner? What do they really eat in France?" here's your answer: we go to friendly, down to earth restaurants like "la Maison" with a bar atmosphere, lots of good wines, good music and satisfactory, generously served home-style meals. Sorry to disappoint my Chinese friends here, but in normal life, most of us French human-fellow don't lounge in golden rococo chairs, while elegantly swallowing snails after snails with complicated silver cutlery, over-the-top atmosphere and obsequious staff. I mean, some of the old Parisian bourgeoisie might still live like that, but not you and I. Thank God.
So here it comes instead at La Maison: friendly atmosphere and warm-hearted Manager Fred, greeting you with a convivial smile, excellent selection of imported wines at reasonable price, and great selection of traditional French favorites, served "Family style" (aka in earthy portions): excellent imported cheese & cold cuts, HUGE salads that are "fun to eat" (with lots of goodies inside), foie gras, duck leg confit, beef tartar, grilled fish, gratin, eggs "cocotte" etc...all made from fresh, tasty ingredients, and cooked to perfection. Some of my all-time favorites are: the goat cheese salad with cured ham (careful, this is absolutely HUGE), the cheese platter and the duck leg confit. Delicious. There is also a nice selection of desserts, like creme brûlée and chocolate cake, but I have never been hungry enough at the end of my meal to have some. A small note about the wine, for travellers not used to China: in this country, wines are subject to ridiculously high import taxes, quite often up to 50% or even 100% of the wine retail price. So imported wine IS unfortunately expensive by default in China, especially the French ones. But from experience, I can say that a special effort was made at La Maison to offer a wide selection of French wine for under 300 CY (30-35 EUR). Try the excellent red "Brouilly" for exemple, priced at 280 CY (if my memory doesn't fail). Normally for this price range in Chinese restaurants, you get very average Chilian wines and headaches the next morning! In the summer, my favorite wine is the rose wine from St Tropez (quite uncommon to get in China, since very small production)...drank chilled in the sticky summer, it's the perfect thirst quencher!
=> How to get there? The easiest way is to hop in a taxi and ask "Shekou - Nanhai meigui" (pronounced "Shekow Nanhai Maygui . This is the Rose garden compound). Go down in front of the compound and walk down the street on your right a little (if facing the compound). La Maison is located on # 91. Since Shenzhen is composed of huge wide streets, most taxis won't know exactly where your restaurant is, so the best is to give them the nearest well known tall building or compound.
I'm also giving you the Chinese address, so you can keep it handy and show it to the taxi driver:
- If you feel like going out after your diner, it's easy! Quite close from the restaurant (less than 10 mn walk), there is the famous "Sea World", a big complex of restaurants, bars and clubs spread around an old dry-dock cruise ship. It's fun to have a walk there. Try the "Terrace" to shake your bootie in rhythm with a mojito. Ask La Maison staff in which direction to go, and simply head straight! Stop when you see lots of lights and a huge ship... You can't miss it! It's also easy from there to find a taxi in order to go back to your hotel (always keep your hotel card handy with the Chinese address!)
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