Clean delicious dining for family trip to shanghai and Beijing - please comment on my restaurant list
I will be traveling with my family for three days in shanghai and five days in Beijing for the first time. My husband and I usually love street food and hole in the wall cheap restaurants but this time we are traveling with my three year old daughter so we are looking for restaurants that are family friendly, authentic, and delicious. All of us eat almost anything (my daughter too). We will be avoiding restaurants that have long waits or no reservation policy, heavy smoking, dirty bathrooms (my daughter is only partially toilet trained), and limited barstool seating (not safe for a squirmy toddler), and hard to find or farther than 15 min cab ride from our hotel. We don't mind paying a little extra for great food with good clean ambience (Din tai fung is a perfect example)
We will be staying in shanghai in xintiandi. Our expat friends are taking us to Fook Lam Moon and Hyatt Bund. We have one dinner and one lunch left and i am trying to decide between old Jesse, Xin Jishi ( in Xintiandi), Di shui dong, and din tai fung (is this any different than DTF in Taipei or Seattle? Is there a big difference between old Jishi and xinjishi?
In Beijing we are on our own for five days, staying at grand hyatt next to the forbidden city. Here is my list. I would really love any suggestions or comments. Or any must-order dishes at each restaurant
Duck: da dong, made in china (prob will do both since we are staying in the hyatt)
dumplings: Bao Yuan Jiaoxi Wu, Xianr Lao Man, Din Tai Fung (different menu from shanghai?)
Muslim : Crescent moon
Noodles: Noodle Loft or old Beijing Zhiajiang Noodle King
Fusion: Bei or My Humble House
Sichuan: Yu Xin, South Beauty, or Chuan Ban
dim sum: Lei Garden
Other: Jia Yi Yuan, Na Jia Xiao Guan, Ding Ding Xiang, Dali
Many thanks in advance!
IFC Mall, Hong Kong , HK
Not sure if your trip is already done, but here's my take on some of these places and issues:
-- the non-smoking thing is going to be very difficult...many places have non-smoking areas in name, but 99% of Chinese smokers ignore the signs and no waitress will ever enforce them: not that it matters much since the non-smoking and smoking sections are usually just two sides of one smoke-filled room.
-- when i was last in Shanghai (a little under 2 years ago), Dishui Dong was crashing downhill and my last meal there was inedible...Guyi might be a better choice for Hunan
-- Old Jishi is more authentic, less touristy, but smoky and crowded...Xinjishi might be better call w/ a 3-yr-old...
-- DTF's are all the same...i wouldn't waste a meal in China there
-- in Beijing, consider Kaorouji by the lake...
-- Foodwise, definitely Chuan Ban: it does have the a lot of the problems that you want to avoid: normally smokey, longish waits at prime time, etc...but the food is wonderful, so it might be worth the hassle...all the South Beauty places are overpriced touristy/nouveau-bland jokes....
-- hotpot in Beijing might be fun...i'd do a search to find what people esp like these days: i used to go to Hai de Lao (a chain but delicious, w/ good quality ingredients) as well as to a very old Beijing-style hotpot place w/ a maze of ancient sliding doors and fresh mung bean noodles: it was on one of the twisty hutongs that jut out into Houhai Lake (i.e. somewhat near Kaorouji and the Drum and Bell towers)...my ex-gf took me there, and i have no idea what the name is...
-- consider Yunnan food in either city...in SH, i like Southern Barbarian...in Beijing there are many places near the lake: i tried at least 3 of them and all were good-to-excellent...
Let us know how the trip went/goes...