I am going in June and am unaware of the eating possibilities. I will be there for a week and am open to ANY suggestions- high and lower end. I want to eat my way through the city. Suggestions of additional resources would be appreciated as well.
So much has changed since I was there 12 years ago (like the other half of the city, across the river, being built)that the only sure thing I can offer, assuming it's still there, is that famous xiaolongbao place in a park. I can't remember the name, but it's surely listed in every guide book, and if Gary Soup checks in I'm sure he has all the details.
The restaurant at the Peace Hotel was very good, especially for cold dishes, when I was there.
Whatever you do, don't miss nan xiang.
I just returned from some days in Shanghai. I used a post from Gary Soup about old-line Shanghainese restaurants, which I found very helpful. (Gary, if you're reading this please contact me. I have something to send you.) I found the following four places all interesing and worth visiting and revisiting:
600 Fuzhou Lu
This place is not nearly as spiffy as the three that follow, which could be good or bad. I couldn't resist the dofu and preserved egg dish.
556 Fuzhou Lu
Not as good as the following two, but worth visiting for a look at some serious Shanghainese eaters and some good dumplings.
603 Fuzhou Lu
Excellent crab dishes. The service was spotty--some nights excellent, other nights laughably inattentive. Go for the food, expecially the river shrimp and crab leg meat dish.
255 Dalian Xi Lu (Hongkou)
4. No. 240 Lane, Beijing Xi Lu
18 Xizang Zhong Lu (newest branch)
Excellent food and excellent service. I visited the branch on Xizang Lu (second floor).
All these places have either English or picture menus, but knowing a little Chinese can make the meal go much more smoothly.
re: Michael Rodriguez
Hey Michael, glad you liked my recco's. I missed parts of this thread because I was preparing for my own Shanghai trip on 5/16 and am just now catching up on some of the older Int'l stuff.
As you noticed, Lao Banzhai is a great old place because you can run the gamut there from just ordering some dumplings to ordering a full banquet style meal and feel at home in either instance.
I've emailed you some details of my last trip.
Me too. I am leaving next week and would love some recent recommendations. So far I have:
Xiao Nan Guo
Please keep in mind that I am a first-timer with no Chinese-language skills. Also... I keep hearing about a fabulous dumpling place...I realize there are hundreds but is there one that is far better than others? One that is often mentioned here? In the Old City?
The "fabulous dumpling place" you keep hearing about might be the Nanxiang Steamed Dumpling shop in the Old City. It's the place that made xiaolong bao (Shanghai soup dumplings) famous, but unfortunately the quality of the dumplings has declined greatly over the past decade or so. Taiwanese upstart DTF is now famous for the very same dumplings, but is quite pricey. JIa Jia Tang Bao (discussed by me and others on this site) is just as good as DTF at a fraction of the price.
Another place to put on your list is Shanghai Uncle (several branches); it serves "updated" Shanghainese food that is still tolerable to purists like me, and has English menus.
A couple of guidebooks you might find especially useful for restaurant listings are "Time Out Shanghai" and the "That's Shanghai." You can probably find both at most major hotel newsstands/gift shops.
If you want some guidance in trying out street foods and low-end eats, here's a blog I discovered recently which is useful for that:
re: Gary Soup
Flattery will get you everywhere with me, young lady.
Another nifty little primer on Shanghainese small eats and where to find them is "Good Food Guide, Shanghai" by Angie Eagan, Justina Tulloch and Marybelle Hu, published by Marshall Cavendish Editions in Singapore. It's a little harder to find, but a good place to look for it would be in the gift shop of the Shanghai Museum at People's Square, which is good for that sort of thing. You can enter the gift shop without paying museum admission (but it's well worth it) if you approach the museum from the south side
I'm not sure which blog you are referring to, as I have schized out into two separate bloggers. If you email me reports from Shanghai (after posting first on CH, of course) I'll publish them verbatim in my newer blog, of which I am gary AT:
re: Gary Soup
Gary..just took a peek at your own blog and cannot wait to get back here laer and really dive in.it looks great!!!!! I know I am going to spend a long time at the computer this afternoon.
Will check out the museum bookshop as soon as I arrive.
Many many thanks for some great information and happy anticipatory hours..
Just want to report that I have returned from Beijing and Shanghai and to thank Gary and everyone else who was so helpful. I can now confirm that the dumplings at Nanxiang in the Old City (2nd floor dining room) are inferior to those of both Jia Jia Tang Bao and of DTF. And I had NO trouble whatsoever with my lack of language skills. Local people were most kind and helpful, especially when it came to helping a foreigner discover the joys of local cooking! Most everyplace had an English menu.
Least favorite dining experience: The Whampoa Club in Shanghai.
I was there during 9/11, things have changed.....
Jean George Vongerichten (great chef from NYC - Jean Georges, Perry Street..etc)
opened a place in Shanghai.
Three on the Bund
No.3 The Bund, 4th Floor
3 Zhong Shan Dong YI Road
Entrance on 17 Guang Dong Road