I remember when I first came to Shenzhen, there were not a lot of “Hot Spots” that were showcasing great places of entertainment, dining, and shopping besides the Shekou area. It wasn’t until very recently that other hot spots, as I like to call it, started popping up around the Futian area and one of those spots – now very popular among locals and expats – is the Coco Park CMD area of Futian. This area has evolved into a great place for shopping, entertainment, and FNB. When I first came here, I was shocked to see the diversity of dining locations but one spot that stood out to me was a restaurant called “Shark.” This was pretty easy since there is literally a shark tank above the sign with real sharks swimming around. I initially thought they served shark and was a bit standoff from it until I heard more about it. Shark has been in the Coco Park area for about 2 and a half years and has really combined entertainment with F&B making them the go-to spot for those looking for a great dining, drinking or entertainment experience.
Shark is not a shark market but has a pretty diverse contemporary menu that changes twice per year by their head chef Mattias Riccardo Bregoli. I had the honor of trying out a few of their menu that has been changed as of a month ago. The major changes to the menu will show in the number of meats offered. Since the crowd at shark is about 70% local Chinese, Shark was a bit hesitant at offering too strong of a diversity of meats (typically the Chinese diet is more vegetables and starches), but lately, they have noticed that more and more locals are branching out and trying more meats. That said, Shark has brought in possibly the most diverse menu of meats of any restaurant in Shenzhen (Western restaurant – I’d say as many Chinese restaurants have meats no one would think of eating or seeing cooked). Among those meats offered at Shark are buffalo from Uraguay, and ostrich meat from South Africa. Just these two alone are meats that you will not see anywhere else. Since more and more Chinese are becoming adventurous, the staff at Shark are sure to educate them on the best way to cook their meets as many times, if you do not know how a meet should be cooked you can make a wrong request.
Because of this, the regular customers of Shark find themselves well educated in meat cooking levels sources and special characteristics. If you are looking from the outside, it would be safe to say that Shark is a steakhouse but their menu is much more diverse than that of a steakhouse consisting of great seafood, tapas, cold cuts, oysters, cheeses and a large drink menu. This puts them in more of a contemporary menu with special dishes from the head chef at guests requests
“Quite often we have people who just ask Mattias to create a special menu”
While visiting Shark, I first tried the bread assortment that comes to each table featuring a focaccia, a roll and a baguette all made in-house. It is served with a duck liver paste, truffle oil and a homemade butter with garlic. The baguette as my favorite. Later I would try a lot of the small dishes and oysters.
One of the seafood dishes I really loved was the salmon tartar. It was made from salmon from Norway topped with both salmon and beluga caviar. The caviar added a great flavor to the salmon. If your not familiar with a ta- tar, it is an extremely fresh dish served in a similar manner as your Japanese sashimi but sliced into small pieces and sometimes slightly cooked by a citrus like lemon or lime juice. I also tried the Girardeau oysters, which are imported from France. The oysters came with a few sauces: soy with wasabi, American ketchup and red wine vinegar with shallots. These were amazing oysters and didn’t really need much help to have an amazing taste save a little-squeezed lemon in my opinion.
My main dish was an Australian Black Angus Picanna. The chef personally brings these out and cuts them in front of guests which I feel adds a great personal effect to the overall dining experience. The steak came with potatoes and a mixture of grilled vegetables. When the chef brought it out of the kitchen and sliced it, it brought an amazing experience – mainly due to the fact that the steak was very easy to slice through and having the head chef so this for me showed his confidence in the cut of meat.
Also, its good to note that Shark has a vegetarian menu and brings in fresh vegetables from two organic forms twice per week. So for my vegetarian readers, there is a lot more to offer at shark than just meets.
A Place of Entertainment
Shark is not just a usual restaurant but also has quite a bit pushes to be a night lounge where people can relax, enjoy small dishes such as their tapas or cold cuts. They do this by having a kitchen that doesn’t close until 12:30 AM (or 1:00 AM occasionally) as well as hosting parties with specific themes and specials. Every day besides Monday, A DJ starts at around 9:30-2: 30 AM creating a good atmosphere for the guests to relax and enjoy a glass of wine inside or outside in the newly created terrace. Lights are also dimmed around this time to help create more of a romantic and relaxing atmosphere complete with drink specials from their bar. The bar at Shark is very robust with over 100 wines from around the world, custom cocktails and their famous “Gin Tonic” which is the most popular in the city. A neat thing about the gin tonic provided by Shark is that a station is brought directly to your table and the tonic is created in front of you. There are a ton of ingredients that go into this drink and each one has its own special features.
Each month, the manager will pick a theme and have a party open to the public. This can be a theme around the food, or a dress code and varies from month to month. To better facilitate such parties, there is a great outside terrace in front of Shark that is air-conditioned making it a perfect place to hang out in the otherwise – hot summer evenings.
- Shop 133, Block B, Coco Park, Fuhua Lu, by Yitian Lu
- 0755-8203 1999, 135 8235 5626