Dear Culinary Backstreets,
I keep hearing buzz about “yangmei” season in Shanghai. What’s all the fuss about this fruit?
Tag Results for 'Changning'
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 »
Healthy hotpot sounds like a contradiction in terms, which is probably why Elixir doesn’t even use “hotpot” in its name. Instead it labels itself “health pot” in English, or无老锅 (wúlǎoguō － “No Aging Pot”) in Chinese. Its fountain-of-youth claims are touted by celebrities across Asia, from Mando-Pop’s reigning dancing queen Jolin Tsai to K-Pop crossover star Choi Siwon. Continue »
Editor’s note: This post is the first installment of “Best Bites of 2013,” a roundup of our top culinary experiences over the last year. Stay tuned for “Best Bites” from all of the cities Culinary Backstreets covers.
Deng Ji Chuan Cai
Culinary bucket lists are some of the best ways to discover our friends’ hidden gems: expat foodies are only willing to give up their proprietary favorites when they’re heading home. Continue »
Hairy crab season is once again sweeping Shanghai’s diners into a frenzy, with the bristly crustaceans popping up on street corners, in streetside wet markets like Tangjiawan Lu and, most importantly, on dinner plates. This year we’ve even seen reports of elaborate live crab vending machines hitting the streets in Nanjing and an attempt to start a black-market trade in German crabs. Continue »
Dining at Buddhist temples in China can be a disappointing experience. Too often, these halls of worship have been turned into tourist traps that solicit enough donations to keep the monks in expensive trainers, meat-based meals and high-end smart phones. Independent Buddhist restaurants, like Wu Guan Tang (五观堂), are a breath of fresh air, maintaining the tenets of the religion while offering quality vegetarian food in a peaceful environment. Continue »
For years, expats in Shanghai complained about the lack of quality desserts in the city. Perhaps they just meant familiar desserts, as locals were more than happy to point them to delicious egg tarts, mooncakes or Taiwanese iced treats. But alas, when it came to sweets, there seemed to be a Great Wall-sized divide between East and West. Continue »
Shanghai’s farm country is closer than most residents imagine, especially when surrounded by the city’s seemingly endless forest of skyscrapers. But just beyond the spires is a huge, green oasis: Chongming. Somewhat smaller than Hawaii’s Kauai, this island at the mouth of the Yangtze River grows much of the municipality’s food supply. Continue »
It’s two in the morning at Wangji Chaozhou, a rice porridge (粥, zhōu) restaurant in Changning that stays open till 5 a.m. – late even by the standards of restless Dingxi Lu, a bustling, neon-lit thoroughfare close to several college campuses. The waitress on duty is either suspicious by nature, or made more so by her late-night schedule. She regards us impassively, unwilling to let the slightest flicker of amusement disturb her bored demeanor. Continue »