Shenzhen: Toro inspirations

Shenzhen — cultural melting pot

Map showing Shenzhen in China

In the 1970s, it was still no more than a small fishing village but rapid investment since means that today Shenzhen is the second largest city in China, home to 14 million people. As people flooded into the the booming city, Shenzhen was able to collect many different traditional cooking methods and ingredients from all over China and reinvent them with its own twist.

As a harbour city, Shenzhen and particularly Shenzhen Bay is home to some of the finest seafood restaurants in the world, which have a healthy obsession with sourcing the very freshest seafood.

Typical Shenzhen street food — Congee

Simple to cook and highly flavoursome Congee is a rice porridge type dish which is the ultimate comfort food. It is highly popular in Shenzhen, where it is often prepared by vendors and sold as Cantonese street food. Made by boiling rice for a long time with lots of water, it can be served in a number of ways and with ingredients such as meat, fish and aromatics like coriander, pepper and soy sauce.


Congee is often eaten with fried bread sticks called youtiao. Popular variants include mung-bean congee, ormosia (black rice) congee, gingko (nut) congee and minced pork congee (with salted egg). More traditional serving of congee would contain ingredients such as a strong but delicious paste of salted duck eggs, bamboo shoots and Chinese mud carp fish among other ingredients.

Teahhouses of Shenzhen

Shenzhen’s hot and humid subtropical climate means its Cantonese residents like to spend their leisure time drinking lots and lots of herbal tea in the many local teahouses, which are often full up by 11am. This vibrant cosmopolitan cafe culture means the teahouses are always innovating new snacks and dishes to keep the customers occupied and the conversation flowing with the tea.   

Experience a taste of Shenzhen

At Toro, our menu includes a Traditional Chicken Pot which celebrates the refined flavours made possible by the cultural melting pot of Shenzhen.

Toro’s Traditional Chicken Pot

*image credits

Congee by iandeth