Locomotive Theme Restaurant: On the Orient Express

20170402134010The northern town of Shilong recently became the last stop at the far end of Dongguan’s metro line and is also an interim station between Shenzhen and Guangzhou. If you ever find yourself there and are looking for some decent Western fare, fear not, a rather novel place is, but a stone’s throw away.

Take exit H from the subway, then bear right past the row of shops for about three hundred meters and you will spy a decommissioned train lying dormant on the opposite side of the road. At first, I thought it was merely a monument. On closer inspection, I spotted a menu outside, promoting steak, no less.

For me, themed restaurants can be hit or miss, but I have to admit this place seems to have nailed it. Naturally, they have slightly revamped the interior, but the two carriages do a good job of showcasing some of the train’s history. The staff explained that the train originally used to run from Shilong to Hong Kong and was commissioned in 1911.

Getting down to the meat and veg, the place had a fairly extensive menu. For a special online price of 138 RMB, we ate one salad, two soups, two mains and a dessert. I decided on the steak and to my pleasant surprise, they actually cooked it medium-well as I requested, albeit with the regrettable cumin garnish that seems to be in vogue these days at many Chinese-Western eateries.

Wine on hand was a decent selection of Chilean and French reds, however, I went for a wheat beer. My palate was finally sated by the blueberry cake that’s served with dragon fruit slices, which all rounded off the meal quite nicely. I particularly liked the parting gift of their passport-themed loyalty card. For every visit, you’ll get a stamp and can subsequently claim small meal rewards.

All in all, I loved the place. When I dined there on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the restaurant was neither too crowded nor empty. I felt it could also make the ideal setting for a quiet romantic dinner for two. I would definitely recommend it as the perfect pit stop for anyone utilizing the link between Dongguan metro and the Shilong line to either Shenzhen or Guangzhou. Other than that, it is simply a great spot for those looking for a dinner in a place that is outside the norm.

Address: Inside Shilong Xihu City Park, the junction of Huanhu Middle Rd
and Lingnan East Rd, Shilong