Kung Food – Shanghai

On March 1, 2012 by Paris_Stilton

I have just quit my job after very brief cameo in the corporate coma to embark on a culinary adventure which will take me far and wide, expanding my horizons, and undoubtedly my waistband. A moveable feast of sorts, if you like.

The first palatable pit-stop on the program is Shanghai.

Taking it to the streets

Shanghai has a thriving, and well-documented food scene, and boasts a plethora of restaurants showcasing the best of local and European cuisines.  But with limited time in this bustling city, we headed straight to the streets for a more authentic ‘Shanghainese’ experience.

Wulumuqi Lu (lu means street or road in Mandarin), a heaving haven of delectable delights in the pretty tree lined French Concession, soon became our one stop shop for everything fried, battered, barbecued and stuffed.

With local shopkeepers sharing the rent for the tiny street stalls, Wulumuqi Lu itself has become a Far Away Tree of ever-changing shopfronts.  Take a stroll down the street at 7am and a smiley toothless vendor will sell you a deep fried donut log or a glutinous flat rice ball masquerading as French toast for 1 yuan.  Walk past the same stall three hours later and an old bearded local will offer you a steaming soupy xiao leng bao to burn your palate on.  Pop by another yet two hours later and you could very well find yourself in a fully stocked tobacconist.  Every time you stumble upon a new ‘duck man’ making an appearance in the ‘crepe lady’s’ shopfront, it’s like discovering a present you hadn’t seen under the Christmas tree.

I bao to thee

The cheery lady at number 328 (乌鲁木齐路328号) dishes up a radical morning pancake like no other. Overflowing with with fried egg, chives, spring onions, and a gnarly gelatinous brown sauce; this truly is the crepe-de-la-crepe.  Across the road at number 315 (乌鲁木齐路315号), the hot, fried flattened chive dumpling makes up in taste for what the somewhat sullen server lacks in smiles, and the team at number 296 (乌鲁木齐路296号) serve a host of doughy dumplings filled with pork and other enigmatic fillings.

Unless you speak Mandarin, you will never fully know what you are actually consuming, and in a country where food and hygiene laws are next to none, I admit that I was at first slightly apprehensive about eating off the streets.

However all I seem to have contracted so far is a severe case of food in mouth disease.


Paris Stilton

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