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G9 Travel Guide to Shanghai: Food

May 12, 2011

Street Side Fried Squid

Food…one of life’s true loves. We are constantly craving new flavors, new textures, and new aromas to tease our palate and China did a superlative job of doing all of the above.

With Shanghai being a relatively new city in China, their cuisine is borrowed and blended from the surrounding Zhejiang and Jiangsu providences. Shanghai dishes are usually characterized by their use of heavy and robust flavors. The use of sugar is another uniquness found in Shanghainese cuisine.

Below is a collection of food images and stories from our week in Shanghai.

Din Tai Fung

Our first and last meals in Shanghai were at Din Tai Fung. A place that serves some of the tastiest dumplings in the world. Not to greasy, just perfectly light and bursting with flavor.

Steamed Pork Dumplings

The steamed pork dumpling comes in quantities of 5 or 10. There is a very specific methodology to eating them and they hand you a laminated card if they notice any apprehension.

The process:

  • Mix 5 ginger strips, 3 parts vinegar, 1 part soy sauce, a little scoop of chili paste, lightly in small dipping dish.
  • Remove dumpling from steamer using chopsticks, dip into sauce mixture.
  • In your other hand pick up the long spoon and hold directly over the bowl.
  • Using the chopsticks carefully place the dumpling into the spoon, then puncture with end of chopstick. The piping hot broth will spill on the spoon.
  • Blow for a couple seconds, then slurp the dumpling out of the spoon. Savor the boom of flavor in your mouth. Amazing.

We ate there 3 times in 1 week, the last night between 4 of us we ate; 15 pork dumplings, 10 vegetarian dumplings, 2 pork bums, 6 spicy pork dumplings, 2 springs rolls, fried rice, gai lan, and spicy ground pork green beans.


Din Tai Fung can be found at the Ritz Carlton Residences on West Nanjing Rd. and at the World Financial Center building on the 2nd floor. Check out what Time Magazine has to say.

Mr. Willis

The French Concession draws a solid expat following and seems to be teaming with new restaurants and boutiques. Hidden up 3 stories lays a terrace restaurant, Mr. Willis, the homebase restaurant of celebrated chef Craig Willis.


We had the perfectly mixed blood mary, spanish egg scramble and a side of bacon.

New Heights

Easter morning we walked along the bund taking in the mass swarm of people lining the river. We dined at New Heights restaurant for Easter Brunch.

The menu included a slow cooked egg with a hollandaise and white asparagus. Lamb loin with cauliflower puree and pistachios. Bread pudding, mango confit, and vanilla bean ice cream.


Tucked around the corner from Club 88 in French Concession is the newly opened Mo’Laksa. Established by two Singaporean men, Mo’Laksa features laksa, a spicy noodle soup with roots in Southeast Asia.

Standout Dishes:

  • Mo’Balls Laksa (fish, cuttlefish, beef balls)
  • Sambal Chicken Wings
  • Chicken Curry

Street Food

While you’re checking out the city make sure to take full advantage of the abundant and inexpensive street food. Be daring and charge forth, the real treasures are hidden deep.

Pressed Sugar Cane Drink

Strange corn tube via generator contraption on a flatbed pickup truck.

Fried Pigeon

Noodle Pancake - One of our favorites. Found at The People's Park.

Dead Chicken

Lots of fried goodness. Found in Old City.

Baked Treats

You can eat incredibly well in Shanghai. The hodgepodge of cultures makes the perfect mixing pot for a wide array of flavors. Some of our favorite food was the muslim influenced Uighur food, lots of lamb and spice, all amazing.

Feel free to reach out to us if you’re heading to Shanghai, we can give you a more in depth scoop on culinary enlightenment.

Coming next, a photo essay of the Shanghaiese and their activities.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 10:26 am

    Gorgeous photos. And now I want a dumpling or five!

  2. May 20, 2011 5:29 am


    My last post is about Din Tai Fung
    We lived in Singapore for a while and moved to the East Coast of the USA and decided to go to Los Angeles to go to Din Tai Fung over there..
    I definatelly agree they have some of the tastiest dumplings in the world!!

  3. May 20, 2011 6:17 am

    It all looks so tasty! Hope you enjoyed it 😉

  4. May 23, 2011 9:27 pm

    I love 小笼包- 鼎泰丰Din Tai Fung so much !!!!

  5. robd2 permalink
    June 3, 2011 5:23 pm

    You should visit Taipei, Taiwan. China And Taiwan are both extremely similar.


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