Cosmopolitan and ultra-modern city, Shanghai is also attractive for its culinary specialties, of which “xiao long bao” and “siu mai” are part… It is impossible for me to show everything that exists, so I am content as usual to present you what I could cross. I also took the opportunity to go to the World Fair. You will discover the streets of the city center and its small shops and a restaurant that I really liked in the old French concession!
As soon as I arrived in Shanghai, I rushed to a restaurant called “Shi Wei Guan”. I had already mentioned a chain restaurant (which I don’t usually like!!) in the Hong Kong trip. It was “Din Tai Fung”, a real wonder… There are also some in Shanghai, but I had forgotten this other chain, much more modest. The food is more than adequate, however, especially for a hungry, offbeat stomach!
They propose a giant xiao long bao…! The inside is filled with crab soup. How do they coat a soup with dough? This one is probably still frozen when this giant ravioli is made…
It is impossible to come to Shanghai without tasting at least once small xiao long bao. It’s when even from this city they come from!!! These are orange but it’s mostly to differentiate the stuffing…
And as always when I come to China, “har gow”, these shrimp ravioli that come from Canton. But Shi Wei Guan’s are huge!!! And well filled with shrimps…
And a pork dish with sweet and sour sauce, very very red…!
And like at Din Tai Fung, vegetable ravioli… Each time I am in awe of these perfect folds.
After this appetizer, it is time to rest and to attack a visit of the city from the early morning!
The city center (where I stayed) is not completely representative of China. But no doubt about it!
There are many products that I don’t know yet, mysterious sweets that will remain…exotic!
I surprised in passing, a delivery of fish…
In the supermarkets, small stands of eggs and skewers of fish balls.
In the streets of Shanghai, you can still find vendors with their sales on their bikes. I rushed to follow him…
…and buy her a pack of raisins that are quite delicious.
There are plenty of stores open on the street that sell large filled buns, maqius, moon cakes.
And glutinous rice steamed in leaves.
I would have settled down with this folding expert to learn his techniques!
And here are some “Su” style mooncakes. The other moon cakes, have a different dough and are mostly molded.
Maybe you will be tempted to shop in this butcher shop…?
The butchers’ district in Shanghai is fun to visit, although the smell can sometimes become heady, but I really like the time-worn wooden sections. They are forbidden in France for a question of hygiene, but I like very much this raw side of wood!
I must admit that I haven’t tried these skewers yet, but they are obviously a big hit!
In the stores, lots of very interesting things, like these dried sea cucumbers… I leave them to you…!
It is impossible to come to Shanghai in 2010 without visiting the World Expo… In the cab, you can admire the futuristic side of this city…
When you arrive, you come directly to the China pavilion.
And next to it, an exhibition center that looks like a flying saucer.
I spent hours in the World’s Fair, but I can guarantee that it was extremely exhausting! It’s a crazy world out there. I took lots of pictures, the pavilions competing for ideas. But in the end I didn’t really buy into it all. Fortunately, there is something to reassure me with restaurants everywhere.
They offer all sorts of specialties, but we often find ourselves falling back on things that are starting to look familiar!
I didn’t buy anything, I just took some pictures while passing by, people looking at me strangely…
But for me, the Chinese popular cuisine (no pun intended…) is of an infinite richness and only in this “food court” of the Expo, the restaurants propose a phenomenal quantity of dishes!
One last picture? So I leave the French flag here.
Back to downtown Shanghai and its stores with products that are new to me! Like these big pieces of dried fish. Everything is there, the skin, the bones….
And these roosters version “lacquered”.
And those plates filled with moon cakes. We will see them soon. These are filled with meat, lotus seed paste and red beans.
In the streets of Shanghai, scenes of life that we will not see in a few decades (or even before)…
Another specialty from China, swallows’ nests which are often eaten in soup. The nest is in the middle of the false nest of straw. The price for this kind of food is excessively high. It is indeed risky to catch these nests on top of cliffs… Note also that they are not swallows, but a subspecies of swift that secretes an edible mucilaginous mucus.
And these worms, which usually come from the plains of Tibet, are killed by a plant that grows in their body…
A small piece?
It’s time for me to get ready for the last dinner… An opportunity to enjoy “Shanghai by night”. I didn’t even take my camera when I went to the bund… Next time!
And so here I am at the restaurant “Lost Heaven”. This one is specialized in Yunnan cuisine.
While waiting to get my table, I went to the bar/lounge for a drink…
I really recommend this restaurant. The only concern is attendance. There are many people. I managed to take the pictures before all the world arrives and occupies the big tables.
You can take advantage of this opportunity to admire the masks of this region.
And finally my table is ready and my dishes arrive. As an appetizer, a crepe with wild herbs. A real delight.
And especially this really delicious dish. I was at the table with a pen and paper to write down all the flavors I could recognize and I’m about to make this recipe. The dish is a beef with 7 flavors. A tender beef (bicarbonate…!!) with coriander, mint, parsley, cardamom, galanga… As soon as I can reproduce it, I put it on the site! I promise!
And the restaurant even offered me a dessert! I don’t know if it was out of pity, because I was eating alone, or because I was taking pictures. I told them it was for my site and that I was going to write about them… I will never know! In any case it was frozen coconut milk with fresh fruit and colored tapioca… Refreshing!
My recipes related to this trip: (click on the name to access it)