City of duality
Discover the two forms of dining that capture the essence of Shanghai: Benbang—which reflects the city’s Chinese roots, and Hai Pai—which embodies its more cosmopolitan moods.
Beijing-ers may disagree with the opinion that Shanghai is one of the best cities in China for food, but they won’t be able to dispute the fact that it is certainly the most innovative and cutting-edge, thanks to a trendsetting spirit which keeps it ahead of the curve. A beehive of dining activity, one just need to head to The Bund, which hugs the Huangpu River, and you’ll be transported back to Shanghai’s heyday of romance and elegance. Here, you’ll find restaurants like Lost Heaven and M on the Bund which draw a steady stream of expats and tourists, and Mr and Mrs Bund which serves modern Australian and French. The French Concession, also known as the “Paris of the East” is a great place to explore European style historical buildings, then enjoy a meal or a good cappuccino while soaking up some sunshine in a breezy courtyard café.
If you want to sample local snacks or see Shanghai’s more oriental side, make your way to Yu Yuan Garden where Lu Bo Lang, one of Bill Clinton’s favourite restaurants can be found. Other good areas for gastronomes are Changning, Huangpu, Pudong, Jingan and Putuo. Food in Shanghai is prepared with finesse and the city’s most celebrated dishes include the freshwater hairy crab which is extremely popular in autumn, “drunken” dishes like crab or chicken marinated in Shaoxing wine and braised meats like pork knuckles.
Excerpt from the September issue of epicure.