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Mar 16, 2009 07:54 AM

Chun (Spring) restaurant, Shanghai.

Anyone been? Here is a WSJ article on Chun (Spring) restaurant in Shanghai. We plan to be in Shanghai later this year and would like to go here.

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  1. chun is excellent... if you can get in! though arguably it should be easier to get in than jesse (xinjishi), another shanghainese favourite

    2 Replies
    1. re: e_ting

      I rate Jesse as the restaurant with 2 nd best Shanghaiese food we've been in Shanghai. We have never gotten in without reservations. Service is not in the same class as hotel restaurants.

      I would rate XinJiShi well below Jesse. In XinTianDi area, DiYuan (Butterfly Garden) offers better food , service and plainer decor at lower cost .

      The best Shanghaiese food we had was at Fu1088 (Luck1088) . Although the 300 rmb/person minimum would be well over twice the cost at Jesse., without matching service.
      `Subjectively, meals at Jesse is a better value than Fu1088.

      1. re: catraveller1

        oops, yes i meant jesse (as in jishi), not the numerous xinjishis

    2. i went to Chun once and it was both packed and not all that i went to the similarly sized restaurant next door (i forget whether it was to the right or left) and it was great...the owner was super friendly, found a seat for me (as solo diner), and gamely helped translate the menu with the help of my Mandarin while i've heard good reports on Chun, consider the next door option too...

      1. Yes, very good value and worth the reservation to get in.

        Jesse also excellent... Make sure you preorder the fish with onion oil - can't remember the exact name...

        1. I'll add anther vote for Jesse (Ji Shi on Taiping Lu, not one of the Xinjishi spinoffs), Their red-cooked pork belly is considered best in town, and I couldn't argue with that I have yet to try Chun (may do so in April) but have heard many positive things about it.

          1. I will be headed back to Shanghai in a bit over a month. On my first visit, I was not able to secure a last minute booking to Chun (Spring). Do you all think that this is still a great choice for someone with only three nights in the city and who has no Chinese language skills?

            Which place, Spring, or the original Ji Shi, would be more welcoming to language-challenged outsiders? Can I get a few more details about both spots? I am asking now because from what I read, advance booking is required for both restaurants.

            (I would like to concentrate on Shanghai cooking and certainly plan to revisit Jia Jia Tang Bao and DTF).

            From my solo trip in 2007:


            10 Replies
            1. re: erica

              Chun is a one small chamber like room (2 big tables, 2 small), I don't think there is a menu, and I don't think the owner (who takes the orders) speaks English. I think the food is overrated, possibly because it was mentioned in the NYT in an article about Shanghai a few years ago, possibly because its a very small restaurant and the owner treats guests so well. There are better places to experience Shanghainese food though.
              Xin Ji Shi has an English menu, but I know that certain dishes must be ordered in advance, and I think you would need to speak Chinese to do that. Much better food than Chun, but also more of a traditional restaurant setting than Chun. The choice depends on whether you are more focused on food or experience. With three nights, why not go to both?

              1. re: erica

                No language skills necessary at Ji Shi.

                1. re: Steve

                  Many thanks! So it seems as if Ji Shi has made the list. Just to be certain, we are speaking about the restaurant at 41 Tianping Road, right?

                  1. re: erica

                    That's the one. if they have the wild herbs and tofu, definitely get that.

                    1. re: Steve

                      I certainly will. Anyone else care to recommend favorite dishes at Ji Shi??

                      1. re: erica

                        If you aren't counting calories, try the red-cooked pork belly. The Ji Shi chicken is a must try, too.

                        1. re: Xiao Yang

                          Xiao Yang: Many thanks!! I never count calories on vacation. Come to think of it, not at home, either! Thanks for the recs..I now have Ji Shi on the definite list.

                          1. re: erica

                            We have never been Chun, but have eaten at the other Shanghainese restaurants on that block. Chun is so small it is get in without reservations.
                            Our friends told us the quality of food are similar, although each restaurant have special dishes.

                            Foodwise, I like Fu 1088 better. There is a 300 rmb/person minimum there and the service is not commensurate with the price level.

                            JiShi is a step below Fu 1088 for food.

                            XinJishi (at XianTianDi) doesn't do shanghainese dishes as well as the local Shanghainese restaurants around Chun. Xin Jishi has much better decor and service. They also have your favorite expensive Cantonese biz dinner showpieces on their menu.

                            1. re: catraveller1

                              Fu 1088 sounds wonderful from the posts I've just read here! Many thanks for that. I will begin researching in earnest soon and return with a new thread and further questions. We will have 4 nights only, so need to choose wisely.

                              1. re: erica

                                We were at Chun in July 09 and thought it was fabulous and we'd go back. We had our in-China tour company call to make the reservation and then we showed up with a guide for the first 10 minutes to order. I think this place is a must, we ate all over Shanghai, HK and China for 3 weeks and looking back--this was our best meal overall when combined with experience and food.