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Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Smelly Cat Cafe & Bar hits the Shekou area

Friend's Owned Cafe Makes its Way to Shenzhen

Review overview

Overall Value9
Coffee 8.5

The Pros

  • Fast wifi
  • Great Value
  • great decoration
  • service
  • coffee size
  • coffee taste

The Cons

  • no bathroom
  • location
  • if you dont like friends
Central Perk theme

No, it’s not Central Perk, it’s ‘Smelly Cat’

Friends. A TV show watched in dozens of countries around the world.  The series coffee shop ‘Central Perk’ is possibly the most iconic and well-known coffeeshop in the world.  And now it’s in Shenzhen. Named ‘Smelly Cat’ it’s not an exact replica but instead, it’s a fanboy created a haven for friends fans. The owner, aptly named Monica, spent 3 months finding the location and another 3 months decorating it.  This has been a planned out opening and one that will hopefully spread enthusiasm through Shenzhen like a wildfire.

Funky Interior

It’s all in the detail

Opened 6 weeks this is a newcomer to the city’s cafe scene and a welcome one at that. Upon arrival, you’d think you were actually in New York with Monica, Chandler and the gang. The resemblance is uncanny. All that’s missing is Gunther bringing over your coffee. It’s a small intimate venue, perfect for a relaxing sit and a caffeine hit. The tv show is on in the background should you want entertainment with your coffee.  It’s a great place to work too, you can type away undisturbed as this is a relatively quiet place. The attention to detail here is quite staggering.  The pieces, many of which are factory made bespoke pieces especially for this venue, will remind you of key parts of the friends series.  From the obvious in your face references to the little nods only hardcore fans will know.

Friends Smelly Cat Cafe


The coffee here presents great value.  So often coffee is overpriced in this city, much to the chagrin of coffee lovers,  but not so here.  The coffee beans are a blended mix from South America and have a smooth taste and a rich body.  The cup size is very big, similar to the sizes served in the iconic TV series, and at 30 RMB for a latte, it is excellent value for money.   Tea is also available here (no surprise there it being a coffee shop) however this tea comes from Fortnum & Mason an old well-known brand from the UK.  The aroma and scent of this tea blew me away and it screamed luxury.  At 30RMB a cup it again screams value.   The owner wants cheap prices because it’s ‘how you would treat your friends’.  It’s a place to come, relax with friends and not break the bank in doing so.  Refreshing to hear that!

30 RMB latte

The prices are low because it’s how you would treat your friends

There’s a beer selection available too.  It’s a Beijing based craft beer company and the beers are each named after famous friends episodes such as ‘regina phalange’ or ‘you are my lobster’.  Ranges from 30-50 RMB so it’s again a good price especially for the Shekou area.  Cocktails are also available for those who want more of a New York feel to their café visit.  Each cocktail is named after a friends main character and each has distinctive characteristics.   The evenings have a café bar vibe to it, with future plans for open mic sessions and acoustic jamming.  The perfect hang out venue.  Brew Dog bottles are also available.


There is a selection of food available, from burgers to pizzas.  With the theme of sharing in mind, in keeping since its all about friends.  The Friends burger was a built up of daily fresh handmade bread for the bun. It was soft and tasted very fresh.  The meat is bought daily from the local market, it was well seasoned and juicy. The interesting part about the burger was the blended cheese sauce, made for a different taste sensation, but a welcome one.  The burger is cut in half ready to share, and at 39RMB again I think it’s a great price point.  Difficult to find a fresh filling burger for less than that.  The only downside is the burger has mushrooms on and I hate mushrooms

Great value burger


These arrived promptly, lathered in a tangy and rich tomato sauce.  It had a full flavour and was accompanied with a good portion of mozzarella cheese.  The taste as excellent and 39 RMB is a fair price.  However, due to the thickness of the sauce, some of the nachos became a bit soggy by the end.  This is known to the chef and they are tweaking the recipe for the future.

Nachos 39 RMB

Other options such as pizza ( 49-55RMB) and wings (39 RMB) are also available

Should you want something smaller, fresh cakes baked daily are also available.  Perfect to have with a coffee.  Selection varies each day and only a limited amount are made.

Fresh cupcakes made daily

Another bonus here is the fast wifi speed. 17 Mbps is very impressive indeed.  All in all, this is a great hangout spot, whether you’re a fan of the series or not.  Come and check it out, have a coffee, and chill.  You won’t regret it

Address is

Smelly Cat cafe&bar. 1F, Block B, Technology Buliding2, Gongye 6th Road, Nanhai Avenue 1057#, Shekou, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China.

深圳市南山区南海大道1057号工业六路科技大厦二期B座1楼 老友记主题店 王楠 15013603617

Shuiwan metro exit C

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for more information about shenzhen please follow my blog http://www.wanderlustwelshman.com

joe macpherson
the authorjoe macpherson
These are my honest and unbiased opinions. Love all things food and drink. Been in SZ 3 years and want to help others who love food but cant decide where to eat.