A traveler’s guide on how to stuff yourselves in one day.
When we go back to Shanghai for a short break, eating (more like stuffing ourselves) is one of our main priorities. The satisfaction and happiness we gain from each bite of extraordinary Cantonese food is worth every penny of the airfare. Here is our five-meals-in-one-day schedule. Enjoy!
11am: Loon Fung House 龙凤楼
After sleeping to our heart’s content, our first stop is a bizarre concrete box of a building located near the Ma Dang Rd subway station (Lines 7&9). In a stark contrast to its slightly solemn exterior, the sunshine filters through the windows and brings a golden shimmer to the turquoise interior. As we admire pictures of Qing emperors on the wall and drink tea from a Qing style teapot, our first meal begins.
Crispy Roasted Duck 脆皮烧鸭 – Crunchy skin, juicy meat, subtly complimenting sauce – what more can you ask for in a piece of Crispy Roasted Duck?
Casserole Frog in Clay Pot 砂锅田鸡煲 – Feeling adventurous? Try some frogs! Literally translated to “chicken in the fields”, this kind of frog is a common ingredient in Cantonese cuisine. The melange of spring onions, red peppers and shallots mask any potentially unappetizing froggy smell and all the ingredients are brought together nicely with a layer of soy sauce. You’ll be impressed by the bouncy texture of the frog meat and the sweet aftertaste. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself reaching for the next piece.
Fried Tofu Skin Rolls With Shrimp 鲜虾腐皮卷 – Different from your ordinary Fried Tofu Skin, the one on this wrap is unbelievably thin, puffy and crispy. The juice from the shrimp softens the skin just enough to prevent the shock of the crunch, and the two combine into a perfect balance of innovative yet traditional dim sum.
Mon-Sun: 10:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Parking: Nearby Lot | Wi-Fi: Free
Average Price: RMB169-200
Reservations: +86 21-33070770
2 p.m. Mu Zai Ji 木仔记
Next, we stop for an unconventional afternoon tea – nope, not cake and earl grey. Take a break at Mu Zai Ji where the smell of Egg Puffs lures you in. A common sight on Hong Kong’s streets, Egg Puffs or “Hong Kong-style Egg Waffles” are sure to brighten everybody’s day.
Sesame Egg Puffs 芝麻鸡蛋仔 – I’ve heard about Egg Puffs before, but what are ~Sesame~ Egg Puffs? The aroma and crunch of the sesame seeds blend into the soft and sweet dough – not overpowering, just the right amount.
Pork Floss with Seaweed Shred Egg Puffs 海苔肉松鸡蛋仔 – Anyone who think salty pastries aren’t a thing, try this! The combination of Cantonese street food with Shanghainese ingredients is ingenious. Bite into a puff, and you will be startled by the texture of the nicely charred coat, spongy inner dough, chewy pork floss, and crisp seaweed. The warm and sweet dough complements the salty fillings and provide your taste buds with a treat.
Parking: Mall Lot | Wi-Fi: Free
Average Price: RMB16-20
Walk in Only (A Stand in Shanghai Joy City Mall)
5 p.m. Xin Rong Ji 新荣记
Walk into Xin Rong Ji and you can see the chefs preparing the shrimp dumplings and pulling the freshly baked Char Siu Puffs out of the oven. A one-Michelin-star Cantonese restaurant, Xin Rong Ji is located on the 4th floor of the Infinity Plaza. People come not only for the outstanding cuisine, but also for the intricate interior and stunning view.
Fried Ribbon Fish 干煎带鱼 – This dish stands out from the rest; it’s a must-try at Xin Rong Ji. The cuts of the ribbon fish are fried so perfectly that you don’t have to worry about the little bones, and a crunchy, golden shine envelopes the unique texture of the Ribbon Fish.
Tycoon Gooey Egg Yolk Bun土豪流沙包 – Yes, we know gooey egg yolk buns are not normally black and glittery. Yes, we know you’ve probably tried this a thousand times at other dim sum places. Yes, we also know we don’t have to tell you to be careful with the hot custard inside. Just try it, and then we’ll talk.
Truffle Wild Mushroom Dumpling 松露野菌饺 – The umami of the truffles and the gentle taste of the mushrooms combine into this pocket of wonderful flavors. The mushrooms cubes and transparent skin bounce off your tongue with each bite, introducing a playful texture to your mouth.
Mon-Sun: 11am-2pm, 5pm-9pm
Parking: Mall Lot | Wi-Fi: Free
Average Price: RMB230-270
Reservations: Call +86 21-53865757
8 p.m. Lei Garden 利苑
Located in IAPM, one of the busiest shopping malls in Shanghai, Lei Garden is extremely popular and almost always has a line. Recently crowned as a Michelin one-star, the restaurant is seeing an even larger influx of customers. Many dishes are limited in numbers and some are only available through reservation, so make sure to call ahead of time!
Roasted Duckling 乳鸭 – Pigeons are more commonly used for this dish, but at Lei Garden, the duckling serves as a more than competent alternative. The tender texture of the duckling complements the crispy skin, and blends harmoniously in your mouth.
Cantonese Sausage With Rice in Clay Pot 自制腊味煲仔饭 – The tenderness of the chicken, the rich flavor of the duck and the balance between fat and lean mean in the sausage – the essence of this trio is perfectly encapsulated into the rice. The special soy sauce, slightly sweeter than normal, ties together all the ingredients in this treasure of a pot.
Chilled Mango Sago Slush with Yuzu 杨枝甘露 – Just one spoonful of this sweet and sour combination refreshes your taste buds. The sweetness of the mango cubes against the slight sourness of the Yuzu flesh create a twist on your tongue. The slight hint of coconut milk and the texture of the small sago bubbles give this dessert a gentle aftertaste, a great way to end a heavy meal.
Mon-Sun: 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm
Parking: Mall Lot | Wi-Fi: Free
Average Price: RMB300-340
Reservations: Call +86 21-54252283
9:45 p.m. Mi Zhi Lian 米芝莲
What’s a better way to end the day than with a generous cup of milk tea? Take the Line 1 subway from Lei Garden and stop by People’s Square on your way home! Mi Zhi Lian at Shanghai New World is your destination. The retro decor and neon lights will bring you back in time as the “barista” brews your tea right in front of your eyes.
Ovaltine Milk Tea 阿华田奶茶 – When I was little, Ovaltine always made my day – it’s magical! The nostalgic taste of Ovaltine and the soothing texture of the milk tea create a cozy harmony. Take a sip carefully, and you can taste the two flavors on your tongue; take a sip boldly, and the two combine into a smooth, luscious flow.
Hong Kong Coffee Milk Tea 香港鸳鸯– If you love coffee more than anything, this is for you. The hint of coffee and milk tea is wrapped in an unbelievably smooth texture. Before you realize it, the magical blend will be gone, leaving only a sweet, lingering aftertaste. Now that you’ve got your caffeine fix, go forth and conquer the city that never sleeps.
Just a word of caution: don’t follow this schedule every day. Not because we don’t trust your digestive system, but because there are so many other exceptional cuisines to try in Shanghai. See you next time!