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My Rest. Choices for Shanghai + Beijing

I'm off to China shortly and just want some input on my dining choices thus far.. Some we'll wing but I'd like to have most of it all set up before leaving.

Deciding one night between Ji Shi and Ye Shanghai? (d)
Lost Heavan (d)
Cheng Cheng (d)
Jia Jia Tang Bao (snack or L)
Shintori (L)
Gu Yi (L)
Crystal Jade (Sunday brunch)


Kejia Cai (L)
Noodle Loft (L)
Din Tai Fung (L or snack)
Hua Jia Yi Yuan ( D)
Yu Xin (D)
Wuyutai Neifu Cai (D)

Any suggestions or tips for my choices?

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  1. Haven't been to Ye Shanghai, but it's apparently more than twice as expensive as Ji Shi, (according to reports on what dianping.com reviewers spent) and couldn't possibly be twice as good.

    Hottest table among locals these days is Xin Xiang Hui, a Sichuan restuarant with multiple locations.


    Don't miss Jia Jia!

    1. Lost Heaven is quite solid on the Yunnan cuisine, but also consider Southern Barbarian (56 Maoming Nan Lu, 茂名南路56号生活艺术空间E区2楼近长乐路, 021-5157-5510) which is a bit cheaper and still excellent.
      For Sichuan food, I'm a big proponent of Di Shui Dong (multiple locations in Shanghai, 021-6253 2689), but Pin Chuan (47 TaoJiang Road, 021-6437-9361) is also quite good and the atmosphere a little more elegant.
      You're definitely on the money w/ Crystal Jade. Their dim sum is killer, but if you're looking for Cantonese food, you may want to try Hengshan Cafe (308 Hengshan Lu, 021-6466-4953). Unfortunately, however, they don't serve dim sum, or as the Shanghainese say, "dian xin."
      Shintori is definitely a solid hit, but if you're looking for a fancy, Asian-fusion, I would strongly recommend People's 7 (805 Julu Lu, 021-5404-0707) which is right next door. This restaurant also doubles as a bar/lounge and their food is both delicious and served with creative presentation.

      As for Beijing, well, just head to "Gui Jie" (Dongzhimen Nei Da Jie) to take care of all your cravings. The folks at Chow may be a little tired of my linking to this article -- http://www.chinatravel.net/feature/Hu... -- but it does give you loads of information on a great, centralized dining-mecca.
      Also maksure to hit up Quanjude for the famous "kaoya" (roast Beijing duck).
      I hope some of these tips work out for you. Happy eating . . .

      1 Reply
      1. re: dannyrogue

        i like both Lost Heaven and Southern Barbarian, but the OP should know that despite some regional overlap, they are very different animals...Lost Heaven is kind of glam, more expensive, dark, and very art-directed...foodwise, despite the Yunnan label, it's best and most signature dishes are more Burmese/tribal dishes (e.g. that amazing tea leaf salad) than they are classic Yunnan...Southern Barbarian has a minimalist, stripped-down cool vibe (would not be out of place in the East Village of NYC or San Fran or some other N.American loft district) and serves yummy, straight-up Yunnan food for very moderate prices and has the best artisnal beer/ale selection in all of SH...

        i love Dishui Dong for Hunanese too...the fried eel w/ chilis is one of my favs...i like it better than board favorite Guyi...

        i have mixed feeling about Pinchuan -- the glossy vibe isn't my style and i like some of grungier Sichuan places in SH better...but they do a tofu w/ crab roe that's pretty much the perfect blend of Shanghainese and Sichuanese cuisine...

        i've never had dimsum at Crystal Jade but i thought their dinner-fare was overpriced and barely decent the one time i went...

        For the OP, i would consider dumping Crystal Jade and/or DTF if better options present themselves...unfortunately i'm currently blanking on the names of my two fav SH Sichuan restaurants...

        and in Beijing, i highly recommend adding Kaorouji to your list...

      2. Ye Shanghai instead of Ji Shi? No way....
        Di Shui Dong is OK for Sichuan.
        Lost interest in Shintori years ago.
        There are lots of places better than Quan Ju De in Beijing for the duck. Lots of people rave about Made In China, the restaurant in the Grand Hyatt.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Peech

          Sorry to be pedantic but Di Shui Dong is hunan food, not Sichuan! For Sichuan food there's a new place which is well worth checking out, Citizen Sichuan on Donghu Lu, my new favourite Sichuan restaurant!

          My friends who live in Beijing swear by Da Dong for Beijing duck (Quan Ju De is for tourists), they took me there in my last trip, great stuff!

          Yeah, People's Seven is good (if you can figure out how to get in the place), you reminded me I've not been there for a while

          1. re: E Woks

            E Woks,
            My condolences for tripping your spice-o-meter. You are in fact correct that Dishuidong is Hunan-ese, an oversight on my part.
            Concerning People's Seven, just make a reservation and they'll tell you the code to their fancy-pants exclusive door-button / light-thingy mechanism.

            1. re: E Woks

              I'd second Da Dong. After relying on Quanjude for decades, then switching my allegiance to Made in China (still my fave place to dine in Beijing overall) in the past 3-4 years or so, I must say that the best Beijing duck I've ever tasted now belongs to Da Dong.

              1. re: klyeoh

                In Shanghai,
                For the spicy stop, I recommend Ninas Sichuan In Wujiaochang. This is a chain Sichuan resto like Xin xiang hui (Spicy Joint). The wujiaochang location is the best but is far away from downtown in Yangpu. Spicy joint is very popular and succesful. I think 6 locations and counting. They offer VERY good value. Need to book in advance though or you will be a waiting.
                For Xiao long Bao, I still recommend Nan Xiang. Jia jia tang bao is good but nan Xiang is still the best for me and my shanghainese wife (I can forsee comments on this forsure).
                For dim sum, I recommend jing cai xuan (exquisite bocuse). They have a location in New Jing Jiang tower. Great cantonese dim sum.
                For shanghainese, I recommend xiao nan guo, and jade garden as well.
                Happy chowing...

                1. re: hquanshang

                  I believe Xin Xiang Hui only takes reservations for the first seating, so if you don't like to eat early, be prepared to wait in line.

                  I understand the pull of the tradition of the Nanxiang experience (it's still really a temple of worship f xiao long bao), and have been going there since 1992, but respectfully disagree on the quality of the XLB nowadays. And my Shanghainese wife agrees with me..

                  1. re: hquanshang

                    The branch of Xiao Nan Guo that was at the Ruijin Hotel at 118 Rui Jin Er Lu has closed. The guard at the hotel gate said that the restaurant was supposed to be moving to a different hotel.

              2. re: Peech

                Did NOT like Made in China, they served us maybe 1/4 of the edible (and delicious) parts of the duck, and the attitude of the staff was unbearably snobby. It was also expensive (the second-most expensive meal of a trip that encompassed Tokyo, Kyoto, Taipei, HK, Shanghai and Suzhou - the first being at the apparently late and certainly unlamented by us Sens and Bund in Shanghai). I know a lot of people here like Made in China but must disagree strongly.
                In Shanghai, Di Shui Dong and Hengshan Cafe are both very good - the shrimp with garlic and hot peppers at DSD and especially duojiao (pickled chilis) whole fresh turbot and the roast goose at the Hengshan are very fond memories.

                1. re: buttertart

                  I was also disappointed with Made In China, my poorest meal experience in Beijing - sevice in particular was well below expectation although the duck and pancakes were fine as was the cabbage and chestnuts.

                  I had much better meals at the China Grill (Park Hyatt) and Sureno and Bei (the Opposite House) the latter was particularly stunning.

                  1. re: macsym

                    We also had the cabbage and chestnuts. I found the sauce a bit soupy but my husband, who is fonder of wetter foods than I, loved it.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I agree about the soupiness but the flavour was good. and the saffron evident. I also had the spinach with sesame seeds. The spinach itself was good but I thought the rich, rather 'chocolate' like sauce overpowerd the vegetable, so IMO it defeated the object of having a green vegetable.

                2. re: Peech

                  Quan Ju De in Qianmen street Beijing is almost the worst duck I have eaten. Oily and salty.
                  Not sure about Da Dong, have heard very good comments about that though. ;)

                  I loved the Guijie, tons of food over there. Better then the snack streets at Wangfujing and Qianmen.

                3. Quick update:
                  So since I've posted on this thread last, I've discovered a great Yunnan spot called Legend Taste (http://kl.am/1WLT ) on Kangding Lu. It's not the most traditional Yunnan restaurant in Shanghai, but the food is great and it's not too expensive (around RMB 200 per couple with beers . . . way less than Lost Heaven). I highly recommend. Highly.
                  Also, at the advice of this thread I gave Gu Yi a try. It's good. It's very good. It's on the same level as Di Shui Dong in my opinion. The prices are similar although Gu Yi definitely has a fancier, more formal atmosphere. I would rate Di Shui Dong's ribs higher, but overall both restaurants are good and worth a try.

                  1. Beijing Roast Duck

                    BJ Duck Restaurant
                    Bianyifang Kaoya Dian
                    China BJ Quanjude Roast Duck Corporation
                    China Garden Restaurant
                    Fengyimen Huanggong Group


                    Baiwanzhuang Barbecue Restaurant
                    China Huazheng F & Co Ltd (Japanese Style)
                    Fangxinyuan Barbecue Restaurant


                    Badaju Instant-Boiled Meat Restaurant
                    Donglaishun Restaurant
                    Hutulou Restaurant

                    Beijing Imperial Cuisine

                    Beijing Hui Zhen Restaurant
                    Gloria Showcase
                    Huizhenlou Restaurant

                    More Beijing food and restaurants

                    1. Let's say my wife and I want a multi-course Imperial cuisine banquet, is there a restaurant that will do that for just 2 people in Beijing? If so, where is a good on in Dongcheng district?

                      1. Jishi over Ye Shanghai ANY DAY, that is just a no brainer. But you would have to get reservations in advance, at least a day or two.

                        You left out Charmant (Xiaocheng gu shi) which has really awesome home-style Taiwanese cooking. Their peanut smoothy is the best dessert in the city.

                        One of my favorite places for a slightly fancier meal (but one that averages about 100rmb a person) is Xian Qiang Fang above the Wing On department store on Jiujiang Lu. Ít´s run by the same people who do Yong Foo Elite but the food is much better here, and the ambience is excellent--you´ll feel like you´ve been transported back into Lust, Caution-era Shanghai.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: jhau727

                          I guess it should be expected for an English language discussion board about Chinese food, but most of the Shanghai restaurants recommended here cater to the expats working here, are over priced, and not very good.
                          There aren't many unique Sichuan restaurants in Shanghai, most of the decent Sichuan restaurants are these enormous dining hall affairs that I find it a bit overwhelming. Sichuan Citizen is a bit smaller than the other ones, but the food is really bland, I think they tone down the spice for the foreigners the restaurant caters too. Even though it is always very crowded Spicy Joint on the same block is much better (and cheaper).
                          Di Shui Dong's has gone way down in quality in the past few years, don't go. GuYi is slightly better though not great either; I try to avoid chain restaurants completely, I'd prefer a more unique dining experience. My Hunan recommendation is for Guo Yuan, though it is a bit out of the way. Check out this review: http://www.smartshanghai.com/blog/116...
                          Or go to Hunan Xiangcun Fengwei Guan, for a more conveniet location (168 Wulumuqi Lu
                          )Crystal Jade is equally bland. Even though it is also a chain, check out Ding Tai Feng instead. They might just serve the best xiaolongbao in the city (and certainly the most expensive).
                          People's 7, Ye Shanghai, Lost Heaven...do Chinese people even eat at those restaurants? Chinese attendance is not a requirement for good Chinese food, sure, but these 3 restaurants seem more focused on presentation and ambiance than food that tastes good (People's 7 especially), and so attract more tourists for the show than city residents for the food.
                          Xin Ji Shi is an actually good Shanghainese restaurant, but you should really go to the one on Tianping Lu.
                          Try Lan Ting, or Chun for a more local Shanghai experience.

                          1. re: hafnerd

                            the only Chinese people who eat at People 7, Ye Shanghai, and (most especially) Lost Heaven were probably dragged there by foreign friends. The same can be said for Ding Tai Feng. I do sort of disagree with Crystal Jade, at least when it comes to their dim sum, they have some decent offerings.

                            Good spicy Sichuan or Hunan food in Shanghai is hard to come by as most locals can't handle it and most spots tame spice levels. I've more or less given up on the "popular" Hunan joints (like GuYi) which are mediocre and instead found a few smaller Guizhou spots, including one near Jingan Temple that do a decent job when it comes to spice.

                            1. re: modernleifeng

                              I think a lot of Chinese people eat at Ding Tai Feng, but they are probably from Hong Kong or Taiwan. It might just be too expensive. Still, I think ,despite being a chain, it is one of the most consistent restaurants in Shanghai.
                              There are now 4(?) Ding Tai Feng restaurants in Shanghai, how many Crystal Jade's. They seem to pop up in the same places. I think lately Crystal Jade has suffered from a lack of consistency, I also used to like it, but I've found the quality is no longer as good as I'd find in another dim sum restaurant like Ding Tai Feng.
                              It's strange that despite having so many people from Hong Kong living in Shanghai, the city really lacks many good dim sum restaurants. Another dim sum chain worth checking out is Royal China in Jiu Guang mall in Nanjing. They have a lot of choices that the previous restaurants I mentioned don't have, like pigeon, so I think more people from Hong Kong come here.

                              I don't know why consistency is such a problem in restaurants in China. Di shui dong used to be good, thats why its famous in Shanghai, but its time has passed, now I would use the word terrible to describe the oily slop they serve. Same with GuYi, used to be good, but no longer (still better than Di Shui Dong).

                              1. re: hafnerd

                                i agree re: Dishui Dong -- it's gone so far downhill as to be borderline inedible (and both locations are equally terrible)...too bad, as i used to really like the deep-fried eel...

                                i'll stick up for Lost Heaven though -- some dishes are spotty (the papaya salad is a starchy travesty), but the Burmese Tea Leave salad and the Miao fish are yummy stuff...

                                Have been to the Wulumuqi Lu Hunan place you mentioned about a year and half ago...while i was taken there by Hunanese friends who loved it, it didn't do the trick for me but perhaps was the dishes they ordered (some very boney frog) didn't appeal to me as much as other dishes might have...

                                for Sichuan, do you like La Zi Yu on Anfu Lu?

                                1. re: Simon

                                  Lost Heaven has some decent dishes though for the most part, its incredibly mediocre. That's fine, I have no problem with it, but the thing is that they claim its Yunnan food and yet it couldn't be further from that, more like a mix of se asian with a few Chinese ingredients, meant strictly for expats.

                                  1. re: Simon

                                    I think a lot of people would agree with me that La Zi Yu on Anfu Lu has lost almost all of its former glory. More than three years ago now, the food was great and it received well deserved hype. I don't know when it happened, but they have gone way down hill, so much so that I wouldn't even put it on a list of Shanghai's top Sichuan restaurants.
                                    Shanghai doesn't even have many great ones, most are very big chains. My favorite is Yu Xin, but I find the size of the dining rooms of both of their restaurants to be too overwhelming, how can they be consistent serving so many people? The think the one on Nanjing Lu has three floors.

                                    1. re: hafnerd

                                      alas, i read your post too late and went to La Zi Yu on Anfu Lu: i agree it's not so good...the eponymous dish was full of bones and lacked a nice deeply spicy broth...the other dishes were equally mediocre...

                                      i'll try Yu Xin...(though i also don't care for huge restaurants)

                                      Lately the Sichuan (and Hunan) food i've had in SH has been a good bit worse than the Sichuan food i eat in NY (Spicy&Tasty in Flushing, Grand Sichuan 9th Ave, or for Hunan, the new Hunan House in N. Flushing) -- which is a troubling concept...a solo dinner at Pinchuan (which i never liked too much in the past -- with the exception of one dish, a crab roe mapo tofu that i had a couple years ago -- but decided to try again) was demoralizing: the kind of overly sweet food one gets at an old-school Empire Szechuan in NY)...ugh...

                                2. re: modernleifeng

                                  where is the Jingan Guizhou place?...sounds good...

                                  1. re: Simon

                                    It's called 黔府, its on Nanjing Xi Lu, near Jingan Temple, if you keep going west(? not sure, its in opposite direction of Kerry Center), its at the intersection of Nanjing Xi and Ulumuqi Rd.

                                    1. re: modernleifeng

                                      thanks for the info on the Guizhou place...went there today: yummy catfish sour soup, dumplings w/ pork&cabbage and fried soft tofu w/ chilies...roasted rabbit legs were good too, though i might not order them again as quickly as i would the other three dishes...the big windows/booths were pleasant...it's now prob my fav place for spicy food in SH...

                                      1. re: Simon

                                        Had dinner here today. Quantities are HUGE, a great value.
                                        Can't comment too much on the taste, as my sense of olfaction has been compromise by a cold or an allergies flare up, but the food seemed extremely salty.

                                        Note that this is tough territory for those without Chinese language skills - no English menu and no English-speaking staff available (at least during my visit). Menu does have pictures (but I ended up ordering deep-fried hardboiled egg slices, based on pictures that looked like fried scallops!). Fortunately, I had selected a few other choices as well based on pictures and comments at dianping.com

                                        Qian House (aka Qian Tang Ke)
                                        1856 Nanjing West Road, Jing'an District, 2nd floor (near Urumqi Rd N, aka Wurumuqi Rd)

                                3. re: hafnerd

                                  "these 3 restaurants seem more focused on presentation"

                                  --at a restaurant like People's 7, presentation is a big part of the equation

                                  "go to the one on Tianping Lu"

                                  --are Xin Ji Shi and Ji Shi the same? The location on Tianping Lu is totally jammin'

                                  "Crystal Jade is equally bland"

                                  -- I tend to disagree because they always have the best BBQ meat combo (pricey for sure). check out Zen in Grand Gateway Plaza (Xujiahui, Huashan Lu + Zhaojiabang Lu). You won't find any foreigners there you self-loathing whitey and although they don't the traditional cart service, the restaurant is a giant banquet hall and the food is really good and affordable.

                                  Snapline is highly over-rated . . .

                                  1. re: dannyrogue

                                    A casual acquaintance here recommended I try Bi Feng Tang for dinner last night (Cantonese & Shanghainese dim sum-style dishes, no carts). I went to the branch on Dapu Rd, next door to the hotel I was staying at. Every table full at 10pm last night - and all appeared to be Chinese. Staff didn't speak a word of English, but the menu was in Chinese & English with pictures (a diner at the adjacent table interpreted for me).

                                    Had xiao long bao - very good, roast goose, honey-glazed bbq pork, almond tarts, steamed ?millet cakes (not very good), sour plum juice and pear and papaya juice, and another dish I don't recall. The house tea was abysmal. Service was also pretty sad - harried and scatterbrained. But the food overall was pretty good (better than what I had had at Crystal Jade the other day and much less expensive), even if nothing spectacular.

                                  2. re: hafnerd

                                    Had dinner at Lan Ting tonight. There was no queue outside just after 8pm - I went straight in and got a table (maybe it was the light drizzle that kept the crowd away)? Menu all Chinese with no pictures - I just pointed at the dishes on other diners' tables to get what I wanted (it seemed that everybody pretty much had ordered the same things). Deep-fried battered chicken strips, vermicelli rice noodles in a soy sauce dressing with ground pork and chili flakes, chopped chicken joints drenched with a heavy sweet soy-based sauce (I really don't understand why this dish is so popular, as it did nothing for me), and a salty but delicious plate of spinach. Total cost for a very filling meal 72 RMB.

                                    I tried to leave a generous tip (yes, I know it's not done in lower-profile eateries like this; but they had brought me a wrong dish due to the language barrier, and when I refused it, they took it back without any complaint) - the waiter ran out after me to give me the money and absolutely refused to accept it as a tip.

                                    Not the best food I've had here, and the place has zero atmosphere. But it was the best dining experience I've had in Shanghai.

                                4. one can't even compare ye shanghai with jessie, the former is a tourist trap and the latter a real foodie's heaven!

                                  1. Had dim sum for a late lunch today at Crystal Jade. I should have listened to hafnerd's complaints above. Frankly, I've had much better dim sum in Miami, a city where one is very hard pressed to find decent Chinese food.

                                    At Crystal Jade, the overly salty siu mai arrived congealed into a single solid mass that I had to pry apart. The panfried "carrot cake" (turnip cake) arrived barely lukewarm (perhaps my punishment for not getting to the restaurant earlier). The honey bbq pork and baked char siu bao were ok but not particularly memorable. A couple of dessert soups (warm almond cream, and cold snow fungus with longans and wolfberries in sugar water) were also ho-hum. The saving grace of the meal was the har gau, which were close to perfect. Oh, and one of the plates in the table setting still had a speck of dried food residue left someone else's meal.

                                    I ordered completely different dishes at Din Tai Fung the other day, but still, the food there was so much tastier.

                                    Hopefully will get to Zen for lunch some time this week.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: racer x

                                      Had lunch at Jesse's (Xin Ji Shi) today.
                                      Fine enough food, but I wasn't bowled over by the meal.
                                      For those who haven't been there, they only have about 8 tables, so reservations are probably essential for dinner.
                                      And if you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, be aware that there is no separate section for non-smokers. There was a pretty thick blanket of cigarette smoke in the air while I was there.

                                        1. re: Steve

                                          Sliced duck in a sweetened soy sauce (kind of like a Hoisin sauce?), fried chicken joints with fried king prawn topped with an avalanche of fried dry chilis and a touch of fresh coriander, slivered eel in a heavy and very sweet brown sauce topped with minced garlic and scallions, and dates stuffed with glutinous rice. I tried to order a few other dishes, including the wild herbs with tofu, but they weren't available.

                                          The herbal tea they serve is very good. What is it? Dandelions?

                                          Btw, I was at the restaurant on Tianping Lu.

                                          1. re: racer x

                                            i'm going to jesse tmr. you didn't have the hairy crabs? anyway, seems like what you ordered at jesse are not their 'signature dishes' which are the drunken shrimps and crabs; fish head in green scallions (needs to order in advance and it seems every table orders it and heard so many compliments about it), salted chicken, stinky tofu, fried river shrimps (a shanghainese specialty), and 'si yu' (don't know the english name and don't know how to type in chinese) but definitely the the best.

                                        2. re: racer x

                                          Uh...Jesse is "Ji Shi" not "Xin Ji Shi".
                                          There are more than 8 tables, as there are two separate rooms next to each other, and there is also a second floor.
                                          Jesse is never fancy, but the food is solid and especially great for those of us raised on Shanghainese cuisine.

                                          1. re: Peech

                                            JiShi, not Xinjishi - I stand corrected. (Someone asked whether Jesse was Jishi or Xinjishi on another thread and no one responded.)
                                            I blame my misinformation on this listing at Shanghai CIty Weekend:


                                            "Only about 8 tables" was a bit of hyperbole to make a point. I was seated in the upstairs section, and it was certainly pretty cramped at my table.

                                        3. re: racer x

                                          Hey racer , as with most other establishments in Shanghai , best to keep your expectations of Zen low. It serves decent dim sum and cantonese style dishes for the prices but nothing spectacular. Likewise with Lost Heaven.

                                          I've been living in Shanghai for the past 4 months and I've learned to accept that there are not many places that take pride in the quality of their food and their service levels, be it up-market restaurants or small little eateries. Hence, more often than not the money you pay does not match the overall value of your dining experience.

                                          There are of course some small gems , JiaJia Tang Bao (for the XLBs) and Yang's Fry (for the fried dumplings) have not dissappointed. "Cha" on Sinan Rd (nr Huaihai Middle Rd) is a good HK-style char chan teng without the HK-style char chen teng waiters (go try their soya sauce chicken and daily soups). Be prepared to wait during lunch or dinner time as it gets really packed. For dessert, you can also walk a few doors down to "Hof" and order their orange chocolate mud cake and chocolate mousse cake, both rich and well executed.

                                          And if you want to experience eating Shanghainese style, there is a noodle shop (apparently the 6th best in Shanghai, I have no idea who the top 5 are) at Xujiahui district. It opens daily at 11am and runs out by 2.30pm. Its dirty, its small (only seats 15) and there is always a que but it will probably be one of the best meals RMB8 will get you. Email me and I will give you the directions!

                                          *btw, currently living on a student's budget so have not had the opportunity to try many places yet.

                                          1. re: cyberK13

                                            address/location for the noodle shop in xujiahui district please!

                                        4. Ji shi over Ye Shanghai for sure.
                                          Lost Heaven great - there are now 2 options. french Concession and Bund. Bund is 4 floor bohemoth whist French Concession much more intimate. Great food
                                          Jia Jia a must - be prepared to queue at peak times or go for a mid afternoon snack to avoi a wait.
                                          original Di SHui Dong on Maoming great for Hunanese. Better than Gu Yi
                                          Crystal Jade great for Sunday
                                          Consider Oyama for the best 9and most expensive) Sushi in town. Shintori a bot more style than substance
                                          Also consider:
                                          - Spicy Joint for Sichuan
                                          - Issimo at Jia hotel for Italian
                                          - Yuan Yuan for Shanghainese
                                          - Stillers for international


                                          1. Shanghai - Cha's #30 Sinan Lu off of HuaiHai Lu - without a doubt!

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: ninetysouth

                                              Do you guys have any recommendation for a restaurant on the Bund with a nice view? Seems like most are expensive and dont have good food. All the tour books recommend the same tourist traps.

                                              I've been to South Beauty in the Super brand mall..

                                              1. re: Foodnut8

                                                my rec: have a drink on the Bund on one of the terraces, but then go eat elsewhere...in the French Concesssion, etc...

                                                1. re: Simon

                                                  Any updated recommendations for Beijing? Anyone recently been to Maison Boulud or Blu Lobster in Beijing?

                                                  1. re: ketzy

                                                    are you looking for western food in Beijing? Why? Boulud is great, probably the best western restaurant in China (and I've eaten at most of the top Shanghai spots), but food wise it falls short of the experience you'd get in his NY restaurant sometimes. Unless you are an expat (in which case we can talk) or you really don't like Chinese food, there's no chef doing any kind of mind blowing western food that is a must try here and there are enough spots doing decent western food that its best to have a "splurge" meal at a Chinese spot, but that's just my 2 cents...

                                                    1. re: modernleifeng

                                                      We love Chinese food too. I have four dinners in Beijing to organize and I wanted one special one like Boulud for a change up. We went to Daniel in NYC a couple of years ago and it was a real treat.

                                                      So can you recommend where we can go for great duck. I have read good and bad for dadong, Duck de Chine and Made in China. Some reviews are outdated.What do you think?

                                                      Also we read about the Red Carpet Club. Is that still a good spot for a nice dinner?

                                                      We would also like something chique and fun with chinese cuisine.

                                                      Lastly what time do people eat dinner in Beijing?

                                                      Your reply will be very helpful and thanks!!

                                                      1. re: ketzy

                                                        Made in China and Da Dong are the two top spots, though I would recommend Da Dong as beyond the duck, there are many interesting fusion type dishes on the menu that are interesting (and the menu is like a coffee table food porn book that's fun to flip through).

                                                        Red Capital Club is an interesting spot, but its more about the decor than the food. Dianke Dianlai is a really cool, unique Yunnan restaurant and as I mentioned, Chengfu Courtyard is a really interesting experience as they an recreate famous meals in Chinese history and its one of the few (if there are any other) spots in Beijing where average people can eat the same ingredients that are cooked for the country's leaders, however it comes at a high price.

                                                        Beyond that, as for chic, South Beauty isn't bad when it comes to that for Sichuan, as well as Kariya for Hunan food. Tumaris' dining room is unique and their Xinjiang food, while expensive, is decent.

                                                        1. re: modernleifeng

                                                          I'd second Made in China and Da Dong.

                                                          Haven't tried South Beauty in Beijing, but really enjoyed 3 of its Shanghai outlets I'd been to.

                                                          1. re: klyeoh

                                                            Thank you so much for all your repsonse todate! You have been so helpful.

                                                            By the way, I went to modernleifeng website and read through your picks for top restauants. You are a great source of information!!!

                                                            1. re: ketzy

                                                              Thanks, I'm really glad you found the website helpful. My recommendations above were for "chic"er than the typical Chinese spots, they all offer decent food, but they aren't necessarily my favorites for each of these types of food. It's only been in the past 10 years (less than that even) that interior design and the whole dining "experience" has been emphasized in China, most people really don't care what the room looks like, as long as its relatively clean and the food is good. So if you're willing to get a little more "down and dirty" my recommendations might change a little. Feel free to pm me or ask any other questions you may have on here.

                                                              1. re: modernleifeng

                                                                I would love to pm you but how do I do that? We could really use your help the first night we get to Beijing as we will be tired and would like to go to a more "down and dirty" causal restaurant near our hotel. We then would like to go to a more "chic" place the next night, a good tradional place after that, and end up at Boulud. Thanks again!!

                                                                1. re: ketzy

                                                                  which hotel are you staying at?

                                                                  With only 3 open nights its kind of tough, so much good food and spots that shouldn't be missed. Peking duck is a must, so I would do Da Dong or Made in China one of those nights for sure. The other night, I'd consider Na Jia Xiao Guan (Manchu/Imperial), Dianke Dianlai (Yunnan), or if you're up for a splurge Chengfu Courtyard.

                                                                  1. re: modernleifeng

                                                                    Thanks for your replies. We are staying at the Park Plaza hotel Wanfujing. So the first night after a long flight where would be somewhere not too far and easy to find with great chinese food that is casual.

                                                                  2. re: ketzy

                                                                    two Beijing places i love:
                                                                    -- Chuan Ban...Sichuan restaurants located in the Sichuan regional govt office...

                                                                    -- Hai Di Lao...hotpot place...it's a chain but great...i used to go to the Sanlitun branch...

                                                                    Both these places are popular w/ locals, w/ long waits at prime dinner hour...

                                                                    1. re: Simon

                                                                      Simon, have you been to Chuan Ban in the past year? Some people say it has kept up its great food and some say, that since it has become even more popular, that it has gone downhill. Interested in whether you've tried it recently. Thanks.

                                                                      1. re: EZM

                                                                        hi...last time at i was at Chuan Ban was around January of 2010 so i can't vouch for it currently...i would have hoped that since it's connected to the Sichuan govt representation in Beijing that they'd keep up the standards...let me know if you hear any reports, as i don't want to keep recommending it to friends if it's gone downhill...

                                                                        1. re: Simon

                                                                          Yes, of course. I'll be in Beijing mid-April for one week. I have the NY Times article about provincial restaurants in Beijing, that list of all the government restaurants.
                                                                          But, a food writer in Beijing, who I may hook up with, said that he heard it isn't up to its old standards. I plan on trying it my first day there, with a young Chinese guy, who gives some daily custom-designed tours. He's not a "foodie" so he doesn't know any of the places, but after we try it (assuming we get to it), I will definitely let you know. It is the government provincial restaurant most highly praised, but standards so often change...from my own experience and from my readings, that I go into every experience with cautious optimism.

                                                                          1. re: EZM

                                                                            Cool. I also went to Xinjiang provincial govt in Beijing. Good but not appreciably better than other Xinjiang places i've been to, and a bit far from city center.

                                                      2. re: ketzy

                                                        I haven't been there recently, but have great memories of Da Dong: best duck in the city of ducks.