Where’s The Beef: Eight DG Steaks You Should Try

DG carnivores sink their teeth into eight select locations to find the perfect steak.Beef is not the go-to meat in China and is the least consumed out of the three mains (beef, chicken and pork). However, according to a report by Drovers published in 2018, beef consumption has taken a sharp increase since 2014 and is greater than domestic production. This causes a large percentage of beef to be imported from Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S.

With all this in mind, of course you can find a steak here. But is it good? There are obvious differences between Chinese and Western tastes. The majority of steaks you find at restaurants here cater to a local clientele and are thin and cooked well-done (almost cremated). Most Westerners have given up on finding a juicy steak that is cooked to their specifications due to the majority of places being “not to their taste” to say the least. Some people don’t even bother trying to cook at home.

Get ready to explore eight steak houses in Dongguan that exceed expectations, each with their own unique dining experience. We carefully chose the spots based on location, recommendations, style and price to bring our readers a mix of options. For the top chefs and grill masters out there, we also offer a few locations to buy raw and cook at home.

Everyone likes their steak cooked a certain way, so we have gathered six meat enthusiasts offer their feedback. Dive into eight mouth-watering locations for those of the carnivorous persuasion—vegetarians proceed with caution.

Hometown Classic

Grateful Q
Cut of Meat: Tomahawk Ribeye, 1.1 Kilogram
Sides: Shrimp, Asparagus and Baked Potato
Price: 660 RMB
By Stephan Barton

Grateful Q, owned by business and life partners Tina and Dave, is known to many expats for its tasty American fares and warm atmosphere. The décor is dominated by the psychedelic art of eponymous jam-band, The Grateful Dead and has recently been upgraded to include large swivel stools at the bar and large tables comfortably seating larger parties.

The steak was New Zealand grass-fed beef, slow cooked at a low temperature for about four hours before being given a quick sear to beautifully brown the outside. As a result, it looked invitingly crisp while proving incredibly soft and uniformly pink on the inside. Dave affirms that his love for grilling meat manifested itself when he was just a kid and he sees this particular cut as his pride and joy. He said this is a custom steak dinner and the order needs to be placed 24 hours prior to the visit.

Tip: Be sure to bring an appetite (or better yet a friend or two) when you face a steak that could not be more impressive if it was called Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.

Longest Contender

Pizzeria Calzone
Cut of Meat: Fillet, 250 Grams
Sides: Choice of Rice, Pasta, Potatoes or Mixed Vegetables
Price: 189 RMB
By Stephan Barton

When Pizzeria Calzone first opened its doors nearly 16 years ago, Dongguan’s food scene looked nothing like it does today. Thanks to an impressive menu and consummate professionalism, brothers Miguel and Paulo have never looked back. With the pizza oven right by the entrance and an open kitchen, the customer is guaranteed a front row seat throughout the proceedings. The restaurant is decorated with a Mediterranean rustic flair and reminded me of pizzerias in Italy.

Make no mistake, steak is serious business here.

“We never run out of steak,” Miguel said. “If you ordered 60 tonight, we would have them on your plate.”

The meat was Australian grass-fed, vacuum packed but not frozen. It was brought to the table on a Portuguese volcanic hot stone heated to 300 degrees. This allows diners to put the finishing touches on their own steak and cook it to their exact liking. Ours was tender and buttery and paired with a robust Portuguese Alentejo red wine.

Tip: So the steak is cooked to your liking on the hot stone, try ordering it “bluish” rare.

Best kept Secret

Hideaway Bar
Cut of Meat: Bone-In Ribeye, 800 Grams
Sides: Fries and Sautéed Vegetables
Price: 299 RMB
By Simon Cartagena and Marcela Maya

We have found our new “go-to” at the Hideaway Bar. Conveniently situated in the middle of the Houjie hustle, this is a secluded den set in a former school building remodeled to resemble a classic New York style steakhouse. Home to the best bone-in ribeye in town and charmingly built around an old banyan tree that is worth a visit all on its own.

Owner Scott places particular interest in providing quality cuts of beef paired with quality service, cooking and wine. With Scott’s years of experience as a steakhouse cook in New York, the quality of the food is already guaranteed. The Hideaway started out as a spin-off to Scott’s other bars in Houjie, Dreams and Heaven, and has taken a life of its own, transforming into a restaurant, deli, winery and culinary school.

Let’s get to what we’re here for, the bone-in ribeye. The Hideaway promises precision cooking as the chef uses a thermometer to measure readiness of each steak on the grill. It is deliciously seasoned with garlic, herb butter, salt and pepper. This steak is fit for not just one, but two people to enjoy.

Tip: Pair this steak with any of the widest arrays of imported wines you will have the chance to see in Dongguan. Be sure to ask Scott for suggestions.

Your Choice

The Butchery House
Cut of Meat: T-bone, 700 Grams
Sides: Sautéed Zucchini, Bell Peppers and Mushrooms
Price: 291 RMB
By Simon Cartagena and Marcela Maya

With three locations in Guangzhou, The Butchery House opened its fourth location in Dongguan.

The deli-side of the business offers access to an array of frozen meats, seafood and poultry for you to take home. However, if hunger strikes you then and there, Italian Chinese owner Yuri and his niece Jessy will gladly take the cut of your choosing and cook it as a dine-in dish at no extra cost.

Our dish of choice is the T-bone, hardly topped by any other cut of beef when it comes to steaks. Classically seasoned with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and the sides are a class act from Yuri and his crew since they do not originally come with the cut. If you’re familiar with a T-bone, you know a thick layer of fat is to be expected, however, the fat at the Butchery House comes torched crisp, resulting in a mouthwatering and satisfying layer that evens out the characteristic toughness of meat.

This cut is 416 RMB per kilogram, and the sizes range from about 600 grams and up, which is more than enough to satisfy two people.

Tip: If you’re still hungry after having the beef, make sure to ask for the house Tiramisu. You will not be disappointed.

Date Night

Pauly’s Kitchen
Cut of Meat: Filet Minion Sous Vide, 180 Grams
Sides: Roasted Veggies
Price: 398 RMB
By Nich Finalayson and Salomé Thériault

Tip: The portion is just right for one, or two could share with another main dish. The perfect spot for a romantic evening.

Pauly’s is a “new” spot in town but might seem a little familiar to anyone who previously visited Green Bistro. The new restaurant is tastefully decorated and provides a bright, open café and bistro aesthetic, including an open concept kitchen. The service and team are super friendly and personable, including Lilly and Paul, who make a point to come by and strike-up a conversation with every patron. The music is just at the right level to set a nice ambience yet allows conversation.

The steak was packed with flavor, perfectly seasoned and succulent. The marbling of the beef helps it to maintain great flavor when cooked but yields no fat or gristle on the cut to chew through.

Talk to your server about the cut and have them recommend the right part of the strip for you, as flavor and texture varies throughout.

Tip: The portion is just right for one, or two could share with another main dish. The perfect spot for a romantic evening.

Worth the Price

Cut of Meat: Australian Wagyu Beef Tomahawk, 700 Grams
Sides: Roasted Vegetables
Price: 855 RMB
By Nich Finalayson and Salomé Thériault

Hostaria is one of the well-known Italian restaurants in town, but we didn’t have to tell you that right? They have a reputation for well-made classic Italian cuisine, and often play host to everyone from couples, groups of friends to large corporate parties. The décor leans toward rustic Italian with a hint of industrial (exposed brick and metalwork). The service is truly professional and attentive, from the time you walk in to each course along the way. You can tell Jan and his team have done this before.

The cut of meat is BIG (it’s a tomahawk steak after all), and is charged at 120 RMB for every 100 grams. A hungry meat lover could certainly down the whole thing, but this cut is really suited to be shared, along with a few other courses and dishes, with a small group. The cut is thick, yet it keeps a consistent texture through each bite when cooked medium rare. It’s not tough, nor is it too raw inside. The seasoning is light and allows you to fully appreciate each glorious bite.

Tip: Though the price might be daunting, your colleagues and taste-buds will thank you for ordering this one, and that way you can put it on the company’s card.

After Hours

Cut of Meat: Prime Beef Fillet, 200 Grams
Sides: Sautéed Vegetables and Fries
Price: 139 RMB
By Rachel Wright

Holly’s This is an ideal place to unwind after work with a proper steak dinner and not have to worry about a formal setting. Cut of Meat: Prime Beef Fillet, 200 Grams Sides: Sautéed Vegetables and Fries Price: 139 RMB

Holly’s is the perfect backdrop for your corner bar and has a location in Dongcheng and Houjie. More commonly known for their bar food, their prime beef fillet steak is ideal for a quick but delicious dinner in a lowkey spot after work. Anyone who goes in the late evening is often greeted by the music of their house band, playing fan favorites in the busy, smoky and dimly lit atmosphere as old movie posters decorate the walls.

The tender steak is cooked medium (make it to your specifications) and simply seasoned with a black pepper and salt rub and comes with your choice of sauce. I opted for a brown sauce but did not feel it was necessary due to the meat already evenly flavored. The sides cost extra, ranging from 10 RMB to 15 RMB, which I did not mind given the reasonable price of the steak.

Like at most bars, it is easy to make friends. I met Guan, who joined us for conversation and was promoting Donna Bianca Chilean red wine, which paired well with the dinner.

Tip: This is an ideal place to unwind after work with a proper steak dinner and not have to worry about a formal setting.

Take a Staycation

The Copper Grill (Hyatt Regency Hotel)
Cut of Meat: Ribeye, 300 Grams
Sides: No Sides (Cost Extra)
Price: 398 RMB
By Rachel Wright

This location is recommended for the weekenders who want to treat themselves to a vacation around the waters of Songshan Lake. The restaurant is part of the hotel and overlooks picturesque waters with floor to ceiling windows allowing for an exquisite dining view. The inner walls of the restaurant are decorated with wooden blocks that, combined with the flame powered pizza ovens and grill, gives a high-end country home feel.

The kitchen is very open and I watched the chef, Bob, through the window of the meat freezer take a joint of beef from the shelf to the butcher block and slice it to my preferred thickness equal to 300 grams. He said customers can choose if they want a thicker cut or not (of course the price would increase). From there I watched as he simply seasoned the ribeye with oil, salt, pepper and a nonspicy chili powder. It was grilled to medium perfection on the gas grill, before being presented with a roast clove of garlic and black salt. The steak was juicy and tender with the little pieces of fat cooked to a mouthwatering crisp.

Tip: Have a weekend away at this beautiful hotel and enjoy a customized steak to your liking.

Guide For the At-Home Carnivores

This one is for the grill masters out there who want to buy and take home. Impress your friends and family at the next gameday, afternoon barbecue or holiday gathering with meats from these locations.

The Butchery House
As previously mentioned, this location not only offers a dine-in option, but you can buy cuts to take home and prepare yourself. They have outstanding customer service with Jessy, who speaks English, Italian and Chinese, recommending cuts from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. For those who are on a budget try the Angus ribeye, which is about 90 RMB for 350 grams, but if you want to splurge try the Wagyu beef imported from Australia for about 400 RMB.

Moving further down the road to Wanjiang and another level of grocery shopping is METRO, which offers a surprisingly versatile selection of beef from Australia, Canada, China, Brazil and New Zealand. This food warehouse has done away with the need for a membership card. Choose from frozen beef to keep for later, or pack a parka and step into the walk-in refrigerator to take a thawed-out selection. Remember to make room in your fridge at home, this place is for buying in bulk.

More Foods
Hidden in Nancheng, More Foods, also known as Mofang, boasts a large selection of international foods and kitchen appliances. Having a selection of steaks is just one of the many reasons to go there. They offer options of grain-fed beef from Australia and Canada and cuts of ribeye and sirloin steaks. They also offer a small selection of ground beef—the go-to option for the easy meal preppers. Their prices range from about 75 RMB to 340 RMB depending on the cut.

Bester Farms
Bester Farms is a carnivore’s dream only selling meat (of course a few spices and wine to match). You are in for a treat when you soon discover the giant racks of ribs from Australian beef or the New Zealand tomahawk steaks. They also offer a tantalizing selection of T-bones, ribeye and chuck eye steaks (it is impossible to list them all). Although the barbecue season is over, why let that stop you from firing up the grill for one more get together?