Situated on the Dongguan-Shenzhen border, Chang’an remains to be one of Dongguan’s most modern townships. Just around the corner from bar street—and virtually in the shadow of the town’s flagship Pullman hotel—sits Gecko Bar and Grill. A real little jewel in the crown, Gecko is one of a few places to get decent pub grub for miles around. Some may remember the Gecko in Dongcheng a few years back, which sadly closed. But fear not, there is still a slice of culinary naughtiness well within reach.
I first visited the spot around three years ago and rarely pass through Chang’an without making an obligatory pit stop. American sports jerseys and TV screens-a-plenty greet you as you enter, but don’t be fooled by the stereotypical sports bar vibe and décor. The delights within the food menu will literally leave you salivating and spoiled for choice. For me, the epitome has to be the Boss Burger: two 200g, lightly peppered patties served with bacon, cheese and all the trimmings. Add their British-styled chunky chips to the mix and you won’t be saying a lot until you beat it—or it beats you!
Other hot picks include the Meatball Mariana sub sandwich and their juicy Buffalo wings, but Gex, as I like to call it, really prides itself on their pizza. Some may consider it a touch pricey, but if there’s a group of you, what’s the harm in splashing out on a 20 inch, traditionally oven baked beast? And yes, they actually have real mayonnaise on standby!
Let’s not forget the place is a bar, too, so as the evening draws in and the booze starts flowing, a lively atmosphere will inevitably ensue.
I’ll tell it straight. Gecko is the kind of place I am willing to travel over half an hour just to eat. That’s how good I think their burgers are. I would even go so far as to say that I’d challenge anyone to show me a better burger in Dongguan.
It may be a little out of the way for those based in Dongcheng, but it really is worth the trip—providing you can also set aside a good hour to let it digest. In an ironic way, I’m kind of glad I don’t live in Chang’an because I would probably be a fair few kilos heavier. As it stands, I keep it as my dirty little secret that I visit once a month or so and that has absolutely nothing to do with the sex shop next door….honest!
Address: Shop 5, Second Ring Rd, Tao Li Garden, Chang’an Town