Eat

Feast on Crispy Skin PigeonShen Ji Restaurant, Guangzhou, China

Hate pigeons? You’re not alone. Shooing them away from public squares may give you a sense of satisfaction, but the Chinese enjoy an even more permanent way of banishing these pesky creatures – they eat them. Visit markets around Guangzhou and you’ll see birds plucked and preened for sale, but for some of the city’s best pigeon head to Shen Ji restaurant, which sells up to 500 birds a day.

Pass the painted flock at the entrance and settle into the back room with mountains etched on the walls and framed photos of cooked birds gazing at diners with glazed eyes. Choose from an array of flavoured pigeons, including tea and ginger, and squab persevered in bean curd. However, it's the roasted variety – dished up hot with crispy skin and tender meat – that's the clear winner. Each bird arrives with its head cocked between a body cleaved in two, ready to be set upon by chopsticks or fingers. Order yourself side of crunchy cucumber cooked with fragrant sesame oil, garlic and chilli and wash it all down with a beer. Revenge has never tasted so surprisingly sweet.


Each pigeon costs 33 yuan, about US$5.

When you’re used to referring to these creatures as ‘rats of the sky’ it can be a little daunting putting one near your mouth.

Shen Ji
+ 011 (020) 81731339

The restaurant has wi-fi, so don’t forget to tell the world your revenge tally. You 1. Pigeon 0.

Tags: china, food, unusual experience

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