Aussie pies hit Shenzhen
Harry’s Cafe De Wheels has had a food truck at 1979 shopping complex for sometime now, but they have recently opened a new bigger location in central Futian. The history of Harry’s dates back over 70 years, and as the name suggests, it was originally a moving truck that went around to various locations, usually serving sailors and soldiers. As the years passed, ‘Harry’s Cafe de Wheels’ gained new fame as a tourist attraction. A visit to the caravan became a ‘must’ for visiting celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum and Marlene Dietrich. In 1974, Colonel Sanders stopped at Harry’s and enjoyed the food so much that he ate three ‘pies and peas’ while leaning on his walking stick in front of the caravan. A picture of Sanders taken during the visit still hangs in the caravan today. Harry’s specializes today in the same basic food that was popular back in the 1940s, such as pies and mushy peas. During the 1970s Harry’s introduced hot dogs, mostly to appease the American sailors.
The Futian location, which is conveniently placed on the outside of Wongtee Plaza and very near the metro has adequate outdoor seating should you choose to soak up the sun or get some fresh air. The interior has a ‘diner’ feel to it with booths and retro seats. There are numerous pictures on the wall of Harry and his business over the years. This lets you soak in the history and feel part of the journey. The staff are attentive and friendly, and I was quickly ushered to the counter to place my order.
The menu is quite simple, which is as it should be for this type of establishment, with pies and hotdogs being the focus. The prices are all low to mid-range and this is a great budget option in what is normally a very expensive area. The most famous of the pies is the ‘tiger pie’ named after Harry the founder of the company. His nickname was ‘tiger’. The pie is the size of a fist, has the look that a pie should too. It contains chunks of meat with some gravy. Just what the doctor ordered! And like any pie should be, is topped off with mashed potato and the best part of all, mushy peas. A rare sight for Shenzhen. Have to be honest, it doesn’t look the most appealing, but the how beautiful can a pie look? It tasted good and was good value, that good enough for me. For 36 RMB you can get a lot worse in SZ.
The fish and chips was a very pleasant surprise indeed. Firstly because I didn’t not expect to see it on the menu, secondly because it was great! Fish and chips is difficult to find in SZ, and when you do it is usually hideously expensive and mediocre in quality. But look no further the solution to that problem is here. At 32 RMB this presents truly exceptional value for money. The portion is generous, with several chunks of battered fish to tuck into. The batter was crisp, but not as crispy as I’d like, and the fries were cooked perfectly. The only downside was it was tad salty for my liking, but I’m sure that could be sorted with a quick request to the staff.
All in all this was a pleasant dining experience. If you want fine dining then go elsewhere, but if you want a hearty meal at a decent price then look no further. I firmly believe we haven’t seen the last of Harry’s
Shenzhen 1979 New Heaven for Culture and Life
1011 East Qiaoxiang Road