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May 13, 2009 07:30 AM

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 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 -- -- 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 ( ) 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.

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