Expat's choices: fresh flavors in Wuhan


Donar kebab


Kebab Platter

Looking for some new restaurants to sample this summer? In this article, three expatriates recommend three recently opened dining spots worth a visit.


1st Turkish restaurant in town

As the first Turkish restaurant in the city, Desert Moonlight serves halal Turkish food in a homely atmosphere. This restaurant has a justifiably good reputation among international students and it is buzzing with foreign customers during meal times. Some people living in Hankou even spend the hour or two it takes to make the trek to enjoy a doner kebab roll. Talha Ahmed Raja, a student at Tongji Medical School who recommend this restaurant to us, is one of them.


People will feel like they have entered into a restaurant in Turkey due to the authentic Turkish atmosphere. The chandeliers, wall paintings, even the tea cups are all imported from Turkey. The bilingual menu consists entirely of Turkish delights. They serve genuine Turkish dishes such as Hummus Salad, Donar kebab, Turkish rice pudding, and Turkish tea and coffee.


"I think the most popular dishes are the doner kebab, the Turkish pizza and the traditional tea," Talha commented, "the taste of food is pretty close to the authentic thing." Ouyang Jinbo, the owner of Desert Moonlight explained that their recipes are handed down from the owners of China's first Turkish restaurant, Istanbul.


Another important thing to note is that portions are generous but the price is reasonable (a donar kebab sells for under RMB 30), which makes it a budget dining spot.


Desert Moonlight opened a new branch near the Mafangshan Campus of Wuhan University of Technology in May. Also, more Turkish dishes will be introduced at the new store as it is capable of serving over 50 kinds of dishes.


Address: Outdside the Yanbo Gate of Wuhan University (武汉大学烟波门外商铺)

Ground floor of Incubator Building of Wuhan University of Technology (街道口珞狮南路理工大学孵化楼底层)


A mix of ice cream & cocktail

Can people have brain-freezing ice cream and wine together? Jenn Lounge is doing exactly that.


Allister from Australia is the owner and manager of Jenn Lounge. After working three years as a bartender in Australia, Germany, and Holland, Allister can make almost any classic cocktail, but his favorite is a milkshake cocktail, a unique drink that he invented. Milkshake cocktails come in five varieties, mango, strawberry, lemon, banana, and coffee; the milkshake cocktails have a vodka, tequila, or rum base blended with ice cream. "It tastes like a milkshake with a hint of alcohol." Allister said this sweet drink is quite popular among local female customers.


Address: Located upstairs at Jenn Coffee Bar, Han Street Pedestrian Street (close to Gate 1 of Wanda Plaza shopping mall) 简咖啡三楼,汉街步行街(靠近汉街万达广场1号门)


Fish & chips and craft beer

Bubble Lab, a bistro opened earlier this year, is now a hot dining spot for homesick Brits, Aussies and others, primarily due to its lauded fish and chips.


Bubble Lab serves up Australian-style fish and chips. Large chunk of juicy fish (usually sole) coated in a batter come with chunky, thick-cut chips alongside the traditional condiment of tartar sauce, and goes perfectly with their craft beer.

Jacobs, the founder of local expatriates online community Wuhan Social, said Bubble Lab specializes in IPAs. Its brewer brewed three IPAs using a variety of hops; he also takes pride in other varieties of craft beer, including Scotch Ale, Helles, Pilsner, and Vanilla Imperial Stout.


Address: Bubble Lab at Jingdi 1903 E1, Jinghan Avenue, Hankou (near Dazhilu Metro Station Line 1 Exit D) 京汉大道大智路金地·京汉1903 E1 气泡实验室