Situated approximately 26 kilometers northeast of Dongcheng, Hengli feels a bit like Changping’s lesser known brother, yet delve into its bar street and a hidden expat treasure is revealed. Take a short walk from McDonalds and you will see the last thing one would expect: a London underground tube sign!
Winners is one of a select few British bars /restaurants in the Dongguan region. It screams ‘old blighty’ as you enter, with numerous British nostalgia items on display. The vintage policeman’s uniform behind the bar is particularly eye-catching. I was greeted by a cheery young Cockney chap who came to take my order and the atmosphere was intriguing, with all the staff dressed in 18th century redcoat blazers milling about the place.
For my liking there could have been a few more traditionally British meals available on the menu, but admittedly I was tempted by several options offering that ‘taste of home’ prepared by their authentic English chef. As it was almost evening I felt something hearty was in order. I originally considered the steak, however, eventually I opted for the mushroom soup, which in all honesty was a little too salty for my palate, followed by the Norfolk chicken, a take on hunters chicken with melted cheese and barbeque sauce, which was more than satisfactory.
Washed down with a cool glass of apple cider, for a brief moment I closed my eyes and felt like I was back in the U.K. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the wide range of genuine British ales and stouts on tap and sensed it would be quite easy to lose track of time while working my way through them. My colleague ordered the classic battered fish with chunky chips. While it wasn’t quite North Sea cod from the coast of Grimsby, it was still tasty, and let’s face it, how many other places in Dongguan are you going to come across mushy peas?
Just a short taxi ride from the surrounding towns of Changping, Dongkeng, Qishi, Shipai and Chashan; Winners offers an enjoyable slice of British culture.
Find the restaurant here.