Travel Series: Shanghai Treats- 上海

Nanxiang Mantou Dian
Yuyuan Lu 85

This place in Yuyuan (very touristy area) is probably the most popular (can’t say it’s the best) place to eat xiao long bao in Shanghai. There was a downstairs kitchen where you can get the juicy soup dumplings to go, and they were much cheaper. There was a never ending line of mostly Chinese customers. The upstairs was a sit down restaurant and the line went quite quickly. They offer large soup dumplings that come with straws, crab meat xiao long baos and other dim sum dishes. I had stinky tofu for the first time in Yuyuan- it was deep fried and served with a chili sauce. Really wasn’t as stinky as I thought- it was addictive.

Good xiao long bao is very hard to find even in Singapore. Definitely hard to find in New York City- I went to Shanghai Joes but it wasn’t good at all. My family’s favorite xiao long bao was from this restaurant called Chinatown in the Imperial Hotel along River Valley in Singapore but unfortunately the hotel got shut down and the restaurant never reopened somewhere else. They had the most amazing sichuan pickle and pork noodle soup too…

These xiao long baos were really good but I prefer the plain ones to the ones with crab meat.

Sichuan Cuisine
at Ba Guo Bu yi
1676 Hongqiao Lu

My uncle took me to this Sichuan restaurant because I love spicy food. I didn’t know what to expect because the restaurant was huge and looked like the kind of place that caters to many Chinese and Japanese tourists. They also offer a performance of Bian Lian, in which a masked man changes his face in a split second- it really was impressive and I still don’t know how they do it.

My uncle ordered everything since the waiters didn’t speak any English. The most memorable dish for me was the mapou tofu. It was unlike any other mapou tofu I’ve ever had in my life- maybe closest to being the most authentic. My tongue was quite numb at the end of the meal but I was fully satisfied.

1) Appetizers: smoked tofu, green vegetables, jellyfish
2) Chicken stir fried with A LOT of chili
Steamed pork and sliced cucumbers with a dipping sauce. My kind of dish!
4) The most concentrated (濃厚), delicious chicken soup I’ve ever had in my life!
5) Ma pou tofu

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