When we lived in Doha we brunched a lot, on reflection maybe we brunched too much if that’s possible! In Cairo we didn’t brunch at all, yes we had lunch out on a Friday usually at our favourite place but it wasn’t ‘brunch’. We’ve now been in Shenzhen for 3 months and things are finally settling down so we decided it was time to check out the brunch offerings near where we live in Futian.
My initial search for a weekend brunch was pretty disappointing, I messaged a few hotels and they didn’t get back to me. This is something I find really bizarre, hotels promoting their restaurants but not responding to inquiries. Anyway, as I was just about to give up, the Four Seasons shared some of their restaurant details online and responded to my brunch inquiry within just a couple of minutes. Top job FS Shenzhen! They advised me to buy brunch via We Chat as it would give me a pretty significant discount paying 498RMB per person (for those of you who like a price comparison that’s about 254QR/56GBP so slightly less than the prices we used to pay in the Middle East). Saturday arrived and so did the eternal brunch question – breakfast or no breakfast? We opted for no breakfast which was a wise decision. After a quick selfie we Didi’d to the Four Seasons and headed upstairs to Foo Restaurant.
It definitely had the ‘Four Seasons feel’. From the décor in muted browns, grey and cream, the lovely art work and flowers to the smiley, welcoming staff. I had requested a quiet table and we were given a recessed booth which was perfect.
The staff pointed out the various food sections – seafood, a live noodle station, outside BBQ, sushi and sashimi, eastern and western dishes, the dessert section and an icecream stand. We placed our drinks order and immediately headed for the seafood.
There was an array of lobster, crab, mussles, and prawns complimented by a selection of salads.
After about 30 minutes of trying to get as much meat as I could out of 1 crab leg Greg commented that I had lost my brunch strategy; I was out of practice and he was right. The lunchtime sitting is 2hr 30min, I hadn’t maximized my eating potential. Sticking with seafood we headed to the sushi and sashimi kitchen. The selection was fairly small but wow, it was such good quality, especially the salmon sashimi. Greg loved the octopus but I wasn’t convinced. I had an unfortunate incident with an octopus in Spain which has kind of put me off them.
Greg then decided to try the live noodle station – this is where I think his brunch strategy went wrong. In my opinion we can get noodles anywhere in Futian and I make them at home all the time, plus they are really filling. They were tasty and the serving was huge but he also agreed that it was too early to be carbing up.
Meanwhile I was busy tucking into fresh oysters which had been brought over to our table. Luckily for me Greg isn’t a big oyster fan so I got the serving to myself. With a lovely glass of white wine we were definitely enjoying this brunch.
Half way through the noodle eating a trolley with different cuts of beef arrived! I am not sure what we tried as our Mandarin isn’t that great yet but it was so tender and juicy with a lovely tangy BBQ sauce. Greg asked her to come back so he could have seconds but we never saw her again much to his disappointment!
By now we were getting full and had to be more selective in our food choices. I had eyed up a delicious looking mediterranen mackerel dish and Greg fancied the BBQ. The mackerel tasted every bit as good as it looked.
The BBQ outside offered meat, fish and vegetables cooked over Jack Daniels infused chips. Cooked to order Greg chose a rack of lamb ribs, the fat had been rendered down until it was crispy and the lamb was a little pink with a hint of JD smokiness.
With our attention turning to dessert (mainly for research purposes you understand) we were given a complimentary red velvet cake which is one of the hotels signature dishes. I pretty much demolished that while Greg tried out the macrons and eclairs. By now we were absolutely full and a bit tipsy.
The Four Seasons was a great introduction to brunch in China and I am looking forward to trying out other places so I can make some comparisons and get my brunch strategy back. For me it was exactly the standard and quality I have come to love and expect from the Four Seasons brand both in terms of the quality of the food, abience and service. No, it didn’t have the traditional Middle East Friday brunch buzz, there were no fishbowls or peg games, it is more relaxed and refined than many brunches I have been to but that’s fine with me.
What to expect: For Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch Foo restaurant offers a buffet priced 588 + 15% service charge and is inclusive of free flow house wines, Prosecco, beer, juices, coffee and teas. Children aged 5 and below eat free and 6-12yrs receive a 50% discount. There is a seperate children’s area where they have their own buffet and entertainment including a clown! The dress code is smart casual and you can expect friendly, efficient service and an array of top quality dishes.