I wasn’t sure what to expect of Shanghai. Knowing nothing about the city except its massive population, the only things I did expect were for it to be a bit chaotic and very very busy. I was right with my prediction of mild chaos, their roads are rather different to ours. I nearly got run over twice on our quest to find the dumplings even with the crossing lights that tell you how long you have to cross. It seems if you’re on anything with fewer than two wheels you don’t have to pay much attention to the traffic signals. My second assumption might be true on a regular day but we happened to arrive in the midst of a typhoon. Us Queenslanders would call it some wild summer weather but the people of Shanghai were bunkered down on their homes leaving the shops and restaurants relatively empty for us to enjoy.
One thing I didn’t expect from Shanghai was amazing restaurants. On the first night, we were taken to Shintori, the most amazing restaurant I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of the food and only one, terrible photo of the actual restaurant but I can highly recommend it to anyone. You enter the restaurant through a bamboo-lined walkway and then follow the path through the automatic sliding wall. The minute you walk through that door you are wowed by the enormous warehouse-like restaurant with open kitchen at one end and welcomed by the team of about 20.
It’s probably not even worth posting this pic it’s such bad quality but you can see the open kitchen at the back and the mezzanine level of dining up the top. Everything is arranged so you can see the kitchen staff at work. The food was so fresh and beautifully presented. I even tried my first sashimi which I must admit I didn’t mind. The prices weren’t too bad, probably equal to a good restaurant in Brisbane.
The next night we went to Table One. A stylish restaurant, Table One serves up what I’d describe as a modern menu drawing influence from all different cuisines. The presentation of the food was really special.
There were so many little details like the perfectly square slab of butter on a perfectly rectangular piece of paper. The olives in the background were served in a little tin (like a tuna tin).
Again apologies for the terrible photos but it was very dark and not the place to use a flash! I had never heard of razor clams before eating them at Table One but I’m a convert. I expected them to be similar to oysters but I’d describe them as a cross between scallops and calamari.
For main, I had beef cheek which came in its own little saucepan with mash and scallops in marrow presented in a piece of bone. The beef cheek was melt-in-your-mouth tender and so tasty. Everyone else enjoyed their meals equally as much as I did and again the prices were really reasonable. I think my main was the equivalent of about $28 Australian. The only thing that was unreasonable, which I learned the hard way, was the price of green tea. I thought, seeing as how the Chinese love their tea, that it would be quite inexpensive but my little pot of tea cost $10 Australian. I didn’t order it again!
On the last night we went to Coconut Paradise, a Thai restaurant with a gorgeous outdoor setting under the trees. The food was great and again reasonably priced. If you do go there, take some mosquito spray and don’t order your mains until you get your entrees or you’ll be eating it all at once, if your mains don’t arrive before your entrees that is.
We really enjoyed our short stay in Shanghai and if you’re considering paying the city a visit I would definitely recommend it.
Here are the details of all the restaurants we ate at:
The Waterhouse at South Bund, Maojiayuan Rd No 1-3, Zhongshan Road South, Huangpu district, Shanghai
803 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu