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Shanghai
Apo’s Seafood: A Winning Shell Game

Cantonese seafood restaurants are almost always stuffy dining institutions, with gilded menus listing astronomically priced shark’s fin soup and braised abalone in private dining rooms with gaudy chandeliers. Continue »

Shanghai
Fangbang Lu: Street Food Heaven's Gate

In the lead-up to the 2010 World Expo, the government tore down one of Shanghai’s most famous food streets, Wujiang Lu, so the city would appear more “civilized” in the eyes of businesspeople and tourists visiting from around the world. Sparkling cookie-cutter international brands replaced family-run hawker stalls, and Wujiang Lu’s fried bun purveyors and stinky tofu vendors were scattered across the city. Continue »

Shanghai
Ask CB: Cooking Classes in Shanghai?

Dear Culinary Backstreets,
I love to cook as much as I love to eat, and on my upcoming trip to Shanghai, I’d love to take a cooking class to learn more about Chinese cooking and ingredients. Where can I take English-language cooking classes in the city? Continue »

Shanghai
Fengyu: Fast, Cheap and Out of This World

At noon, the line stretches out the door and there’s a noisy rumble of loud voices inside the Ruijin Erlu and Nanchang Lu branch of Fengyu (丰裕), a neighborhood staple that has fed locals for decades deep in the heart of the former French Concession. Continue »

Shanghai
Ask CB: Shanghai's Summertime Superfruit?

Dear Culinary Backstreets,
I keep hearing buzz about “yangmei” season in Shanghai. What’s all the fuss about this fruit?

Continue »

Shanghai
Thousand Mile Fragrant Wontons: Souper Dumplings

One of China’s most successful franchise stories comes from Putian, a coastal city in Fujian with a population of about 3 million. The province is probably known best for the many who leave it, especially those who have been smuggled into the United States by snakeheads, and including domestic emigrants who move to hub cities, bringing their culinary traditions along with them. Continue »

Shanghai
Get in Line: Shanghai's Top 5 Restaurants Worth the Wait

Nanxiang Steamed Dumpling Restaurant has one of the most historic queues in town. The creators of Shanghai’s famous soup dumpling have a suburban origin story that turned central when they relocated next to the tourist destination Yu Gardens in 1900, but time hasn’t been on their side. Continue »

Shanghai
Zongzi: Dragon Boat Delights

In typical Shanghai fashion, good things come to those willing to stand in the longest lines, or to pre-book the farthest in advance. We’ve seen the queue for braised duck at Guang Ming Cun swell to several hours long during the Chinese New Year, and A Da’s scallion pancakes require a minimum hourlong wait on most days, yet we had never expected the same for the humble zòngzi (粽子). Continue »

Shanghai
CB on the Road: Hong Kong, Maximum (Eating) City

The hardest part about dining in Hong Kong is choosing among the overwhelming number of options. It’s one of the most densely populated cities on the planet, with more than 7 million mouths to feed – and many with demanding palates. Continue »

Shanghai
Zhu Que Men: Legendary Noodles

Unwieldy English restaurant names often lose a lot in translation. Take Zhu Que Men, or “The Gate of the Vermillion Bird.” The name, which draws on Chinese astrology and Taoism, might seem a little highfalutin’ for a home-style noodle joint, but the subtext speaks volumes. Continue »

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