PANYU Road in Changning District is home to many eateries, new malls and other retailers. Despite the busy surrounding area, the road is rather quiet and peaceful, even during peak lunch hours. Though as we took a stroll, we found that the crowds were actually to be found in eateries such Noodle Chat and I.Sushi, and other interesting spots along the road.
Frenchman Gilles Pardon opened L'Alcove three months ago, citing a lack of French outlets in the neighborhood. L'Alcove literally means a small, quiet room in the house where you can chill and relax - and this is exactly the concept Pardon has aimed to create in his eaterie. This unpretentious restaurant and lounge serves authentic, traditional French food of the kind you find in a French mama's kitchen: from cream of mushroom soup for 40 yuan (US$6.5) and quiche Lorraine (50 yuan), to tender beef slowly cooked in a French wine sauce (128 yuan), salmon roulade (98 yuan) and raclette (88 yuan). Snacks start around 40 yuan and mains from around 75 yuan. A simple lunch costs 50 yuan and dinner is about 150 yuan per person without wine. The atmosphere is authentic French: a chilled space to eat and drink with friends till 2am daily. There's a big selection of French wines, liquor and cocktails as well.
Opening hours: 11am-2am
Address: 390 Panyu Rd
I.Sushi is a two-storey eatery with a traditional yet innovative menu, aiming to take popular Japanese dishes to another level. The restaurant can seat 40 people, with an average spend per person of about 150 yuan (US$24.4). With tablet computers as the menu, diners can sort out items with ease - for example, by popularity or type. Traditional fare like nigiri is on offer, and recommendations include the assorted sushi combo at 118 yuan. Other a la carte offerings include tuna, salmon belly and surf clam at 58 yuan. Around two thirds of customers are foreigners, and some items are not found on traditional Japanese menus cater for their palate. The "dream series" consisting of special rolls in more than 20 varieties is one of the I.Sushi signatures. The most popular two are butterfly roll - made of prawn, eel, crab salad and avocado, and moto that is made up of spicy tuna, crab salad, crab roe and avocado. I.Sushi also provides set lunches and delivery services to cater for its busy customers, with the price ranging from 38-58 yuan per set. A range of drinks are available with a top up for 5-8 yuan.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 11am-11pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-12am (Last order is half an hour before closing time)
Address: 1/F, Times Building, 390 Panyu Rd
Along the quiet street this is a busy eatery, especially during lunch hour. The pleasantly decorated shop serves a variety of dishes, with the emphasis, as the name suggests, on noodles - both with soup and dry. The soups are tasty and the owners promise their food contains no MSG. Recommended dishes include kungfu beef noodle soup with beef brisket at 38 yuan (US$6.2), and tripe and tendon and beef noodle soup with homemade tomato sauce at 30 yuan. Vegetarian options include noodle soup with three types of mushrooms at 36 yuan. Carefully selected rice dishes are also included on the menu. Steamed rice with Shanghai-style "lion head" stewed meatballs served with greens at 32 yuan is the chef's choice. Noodle Chat also has Taiwanese dishes on its special menu, including three cup chicken at 45 yuan.
Opening hours: 11am-12am
Address: 1/F, Times Building, 390 Panyu Rd
Ling Nail Lounge
While small, this manicure and pedicure lounge stands out, thanks to its colorful signs. It's sited in a cosy two-storey premises, with pedicures on the second floor. With around six therapists at any time, the nail bar provides one-on-one service to give customers the best attention. It also provides a wide range of other services, including eyelash extensions, spas, hand and foot massage and waxing. The bulk of customers are people who live nearby, with around half foreigners. One of the most popular manicure and pedicure services is the application of Harmony Nail Gel for 158 yuan (US$25.7) to 208 yuan, with add on glitter QQ Gel at 50-100 yuan. Signing up for a membership card with the lounge entitles patrons to discounts. Membership cards offer discounts.