To continue from Part 1, I want to provide an update of all the restaurants that I’ve tried throughout the rest of my trip in Shanghai. I’ve also repeated a couple things here that I feel are important.
Warning: Restaurants in China move around a lot, so make sure to check the address before going.
My rating system:
1 star: Horrible, wished I had never heard of the place
2 stars: Meh, I’m not going to recommend this since it’s not really worth going to
3 stars: Alright (Most of my restaurants will be rated with 3 stars)
4 stars: Pretty Good, I’d recommend to my friends
5 stars: Magical, I would come back!
河南拉面馆: Another hole in the wall
I didn’t want to go very far for dinner so I went to a nearby subway stop to eat at any random store. I again pointed to a dish that someone was eating and had a really delicious bowl of noodles. The closest thing that I could compare this to is a Korean dish called seoleungtang, or ox tail soup. Basically the broth was made by boiling either beef or lamb bones for a very long time, giving it that clear white color. It was very flavorful, but with an extra gamey taste, probably from what I think is the lamb meat. It then has both clear glass noodles and a wider flat noodle in it. The wider flat noodles were definitely hand pulled, as I saw a man tossing the noodles in the kitchen. And I could definitely taste the difference in the noodles’ flavor and texture. The added shreds of lamb was good, and there’s also the surprising addition of what I think are boiled quail eggs. The chopped green onions round out the broth. I added chili oil as well, which gave it a better extra kick.
Rating: 4 stars
Dish to Order: Although I think I saw other dishes that looked just as good, here is what I got: You zhi yang rou hui mian
Address: 138 South Lingyan Road
Qibao Water Village: If you go to the old water village of Qibao, you’ll see tons of different hole in the wall shops/restaurants.
Some of the stalls will sell Tang Tuan, which are basically soft dumpling like spheres made out of what seems like glutinous rice. They’re are a bunch of different kinds of fillings, from pork to peanut butter to mint. Supposedly, pork is the one that most locals get. However, I didn’t like the pork one as much because it tasted a bit too sweet for my taste. I did however, love the black sesame one, something I would highly recommend.
Rating: 4 stars
Price: 2 RMB/1 Tang Tuan
Dish To Order: Pork and Black Sesame Tang Tuan, There’s also other stores that sell other goods that you can taste if you want. I personally liked one stall that sold fried sweet sesame bread. But Qibao is also known for things like stinky tofu, xiao long bao, and banana sticky rice in bamboo shoots.
Address: Qibao Old Street
Sulbing: Korean shaved ice chain
This isn’t a Chinese restaurant as you can tell, but I was craving Korean shaved ice so we came to Sulbing, a pretty popular shaved ice place. It is most known for its Injeolmi shaved ice, which is a shaved ice with condensed milk, red beans, mochi, and something called injeolmi, which is the brown powder you see in the above photo. Injeolmi is a powder made of dried soybeans. It doesn’t sound very appetizing but it evens out the sweetness of the shaved ice by adding a sesame-like rich flavor.
Rating: 4 stars
Dish to Order: Milk Red Beans Snowflakes Sherbet
Price: 40RMB+ (But the portions are big enough to split among several people. We split 1 among 7 people.)
Address: 2/F, 1078 Hongquan Road
Cold Wontons: Hole in the Wall place that serves cold wontons
I found this place on GB Times that supposedly makes great cold noodles. It’s especially known for the shansi lengmian or eel noodles, cold noodles topped with eels. The article also mentions how the writer mispronounced the food and got sansi lengmian, or noodles topped with pork, green peppers, and bamboo shoots. Unfortunately, this happened to me too. However, these noodles are pretty good. The sauce and the noodles mixed together very well. The only thing is that the noodles weren’t very cold, so I wouldn’t come here expecting cold noodles. I’d come just expecting some pretty good sauce noodles. I also tried the cold wontons that the article mentioned. They were okay but not good enough that I would recommend them specifically.
Rating: 4 stars
Dish to Order: Shansi Lengmian, although the sansi lengmian was pretty good too
Address: 379 Changhua Road
Myungdong Kalguksoo: A Korean chain restaurant known for shabu shabu (Japanese version of hot pot) and Knife cut noodles in soup
Yes, I know the description makes this restaurant seem like it’s all over the place. But in reality, this is a very famous chain store in Korea known for its knife cut noodles. Craving Korean food, I went and gave the Shanghai branch a try (I’ve tried the Seoul branch before). And the noodles and soup were what I remembered it as: Chewy noodles with a great bite and a refreshingly clean tasting broth. However, the one I had in Korea definitely had more toppings, which was sorely lacking here. That being said, I didn’t regret this dish and the kimchi that came with it was refreshing and perfect.
Rating: 4 stars
Price: 45 RMB
Dish to Order: Kalguksoo (knife cut noodles)
Address: 2/F, 1051 Hongquan Road, Building 209
Baozi/Other Small Bites Place: I didn’t know the name of this place as I had stumble upon it.
As I was walking to the cold noodles restaurant, I stumbled upon this baozi (huge dumplings) place with a long line of locals outside of it. So I decided to try it, because why not. Most of it was sold out by the time it was my turn since it was only an hour before closing time. However, I got 2 of the red bean ones and 2 of the vegetables baos. I also went across to get these sweet sesame buns you see above. The red bean ones were nothing to write home about but the vegetable baos (or cai bao) was very good, so much so that I have to wonder how good the meat buns would be. As for these sesame buns, they were good, but I think they would’ve been better if fresher. Furthermore, I would recommend not eating all of them in one sitting, as it’s too much.
Rating: 4 stars
Price: Prices are fairly cheap at about 2-4 kuai per bun, depending on which type you get.
Dish to Order: Any of the baos that seem to be popular with the other locals in line
Address: 81 Jiangning Road, or one or two doors down from that
Fried Pork Stall: This is a popular snack item in Shanghai so when I saw a small line out of this stall, I decided to try it
This is pretty good. Very oily and fatty of course but if you can get beyond this, it’s a great snack food. Just make sure you don’t eat beforehand because this is pretty filling. While the deep fried breaded pork was good, the sauce, sort of like the Chinese version of a sweet barbecue sauce, didn’t quite do it for me. However, that might just be because I don’t like barbecue sauce quite that much. The pork also comes with some slices of fried rice cake. I took a bite of that, but it was quite flavorless and tough so I would recommend just skipping that altogether.
Rating: 3 stars
Price: 12 RMB for 2
Dish to Order: Deep Fried Pork
Address: On the corner of Shuoning Road
Master Kong Chef’s Table: A small restaurant in the hall between the Pudong airport and the Pudong subway station
I really only ate here because there were about four food places there when you get off the subway and I picked the one with most people. I got the Sichuan style spicy noodles with beef. All in all, it was pretty good, with chewy noodles and soft beef. However, I would say that I’ve had better noodles in Shanghai for better prices, but this was okay.
Rating: 3 stars
Price: 32 RMB for the bowl of noodles
Dish to Order: Just pick what you’d like, since this is just a random store
Address: Get off of the Pudong Airport subway station and walk towards the airport. It’ll be right there after coming out of the turnstiles.
Blue Frog: A Chinese chain restaurant specializing in craft burgers (by Shanghai standards)
I came here because of a field trip to Shanghai’s Disney Town, funded by the camp I was working in. It’s a pretty fancy restaurant for China’s standards. It serves everything from burgers to pasta to sirloin steaks. I had the original Blue Frog burger cooked at medium (it’s the lowest they cook it) along with the side of fries. The burger was okay for American standards, but I’ve definitely had very good quality burgers for the price (around 12 USD). The fries were of a good texture but could have used more flavor and salt. The thing that I would come back here for, however, was the mojito. I got a virgin mojito since I was technically working and with my students. However, this mojito was delicious. It had the regular taste and refreshing quality of a good mojito. But what set it apart from other mojitos was the addition of passionfruit. Maybe that’s something that has been done before, and better, but I hadn’t seen it before so I was blown away by it.
Rating: 3 stars for the food but 4 stars for the drinks
Dish to Order: Passion Fruit Mojito
Price: 65+ (It’s definitely a pricier place in Shanghai)
Address: There a couple different locations, but I went to the one in Shanghai’s Disney Town. There’s also one in Xintiandi, which is a more central but more crowded location.
Cha for Tea: A bubble tea place
On this hot Shanghai day (Around 99 degrees Fahrenheit), I was walking along the street, looking for lunch and saw this place. I love ice cream and green tea and saw that Cha for Tea was selling green tea ice cream for 8 RMB so I thought why not. For 8RMB or about $1.50 USD, I thought this was pretty decent. The green tea ice cream was decent, if a little bit sweet for my taste, but I was fine with it. The only thing was that it melted a bit too fast, so it’s not for you if you take your sweet time with ice cream. But this could’ve been just because it was too hot on this day. The cone was also very decent for 8RMB. I was expecting your standard cheap cardboard like cone, but this was pretty good quality. I would recommend for 8RMB.
Rating: 3 Stars
Dish to Order: Green Tea Ice Cream (Lu Cha Bing Qi Ling)
Address: 80 Xizang Road
KFC: Yup, it’s that American fast food chain.
I went to KFC for two reasons: first, there were no other places to go to and second, I’d heard a lot about KFC in China so I wanted to try it. I got the spicy crispy chicken sandwich and the mango soft serve (which came highly recommended by friends). And no surprise, it was your average spicy crispy chicken sandwich. The mango soft serve, which was 8 RMB tasted a bit like a mango flavored hi chew in soft serve form. If you’re into that, you can get it.
Rating: 3 stars
Price: About 35 RMB for the sandwich
Dish to Order: It’s fast food…You can probably choose whatever sounds good to you.
Address: There’s KFC’s all over Shanghai, so you can just scope around.
贵阳小小餐厅: Another hole in the wall place that I walked into based on which restaurant had many customers
This place seemed pretty popular and it was near Tianzifang so it worked out. The noodles were okay and the soup was fine. The way it works here is that you ask for noodles, which I did by yet again pointing at a dish someone was eating, and then point at the things that you want to add on to the soup. Now I’m not really sure what I added but it tasted like tofu and something that tastes like chicken but could have easily been frog. Either way, it was okay.
Rating: 3 stars
Price: 15 RMB
Dish to Order: Just point at what others are having
Address: 310 Taikang Road
Zhu Que Men: This place is known for its food from the Shaanxi province of China.
So I found this place on Culinary Backstreets, but I’m pretty sure it was mentioned in other sites as well. Supposedly, this is supposed to be one of the best places to go to for noodles in Shanghai. However, I must have done it wrong because I was pretty disappointed. But for context, you should know that I didn’t go to the address that these articles pointed readers to. And that is because they were written around 2014. I didn’t want to make the trek out there only to be disappointed because the restaurant had moved, or worse, closed down. So I tried to find a more recent article, which pointed me to a different location, but I’m not 100% sure that this is the real place.
Either way, this place is known for the You Po Mian (Oil Sprinkled Noodles) and the Rou Jia Mo (Shaanxi’s version of the hamburger). The Rou Jia Mo was super disappointing, just a thin layer of decently seasoned shredded meat between two flaky pieces of fried dough. The You Po Mian was better. The beginning was okay: the sauce was spicy sour and the noodles had a good bite to them. However, as I got closer to finishing the meal, the flavors and the noodles had a more sickening sour taste rather than anything else.
Rating: 2.5 stars
鸣鸣麺家常莱: A Chinese Restaurant I stumbled on. I’m not sure of the Pinyin name.
I was walking by Dashijie subway stop for a quick lunch. Fed up with food blogs, I decided to walk along side streets to find a place that seemed to be popular and pop by. This place had several people come by so I came in and pointed to a dish that many people seemed be getting, which turned out to be a soup noodle dish topped with well seasoned mushrooms and tender pieces of beef. While the mushrooms and beef, along with the soup was good, the noodles were just okay for me. It’s my opinion that good noodles will absorb the flavor of the soup or sauce they’re in, and elevate the overall flavor of the noodles. However, here, it seemed that the soup and noodles were separate pieces that didn’t really cooperate.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Dish to Order: I’d just recommend pointing at a dish that many customers seem to be ordering. The other one I noticed was a dish of noodles covered in some sort of sauce with ground pork. It could’ve been zhajiangmian, but I’m not 100% sure.
Price: I paid 21 RMB for this dish.
Address: 271 Beihai Road
Shu Xiang, which may or may not have changed its name to SiChuan Restaurant: As the name shows, this restaurant serves Sichuan food.
I found this website on a blog called On China and it highly recommended the dan dan mian, something that I hadn’t really been able to appreciate in China yet, at least not one of good taste. So I ventured out here to West Nanjing, thinking that this would be it. However, not only was the sauce not spicy enough at all, but the noodles were overcooked. They were far too soft and soggy, making me very sad.
Rating: 1 star