Ask a Shanghainese person for the best běnbāng, or local, restaurant in town, and you’ll probably be pointed toward Old Jesse. The doyenne of haipai cuisine, this ramshackle restaurant is the darling of the guidebook industry, with mentions in publications from Travel + Leisure to Lonely Planet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s foreigner-friendly. Continue »
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As the moon starts to wane each January, people throughout China frantically snatch up train and bus tickets, eager to start the return journey to their hometown to celebrate the Lunar New Year (春节, chūnjié) with their family. This year, revelers will make an estimated 3.64 billion passenger trips during the festive season, up 200 million from the previous year. Continue »
Shanghai’s hottest summer on record is officially behind us, which can mean only one thing: Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner. Zhōngqiū jié (中秋节) is that memorable time of year when Chinese people gift (and regift) bite-sized treats known as mooncakes (月饼, yuèbǐng). Continue »
One of the seven necessities of Chinese daily life, rice is eaten in many forms throughout the day, including – and especially – at breakfast. Congee is undoubtedly China’s best-known breakfast food, but less famous globally, and wildly popular locally, is the unassuming rice ball (饭团, fàn tuán).
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 »
Editor’s note: This feature, by guest contributor Gizelle Lau – a Chinese-Canadian food and travel writer based in Toronto – is the first in an occasional series on “diaspora dining,” covering the best places to find our favorite cuisines outside of their places of origin.
The history of Chinese in Canada – pioneers who left their native land in pursuit of a better life and future – is a familiar immigrant story. Continue »
For a Chinese city as fast-paced and increasingly cosmopolitan as Shanghai, there are surprisingly few late-night dining options that don’t involve ordering from the roving, streetside pushcarts that hawk grilled skewers or fried rice and noodles. Unfortunately, these midnight vendors are not always where you want them to be when you need them most, after 10 beers. Enter Ding Te Le. Continue »
Drinking báijiǔ (白酒) always brings us back to our first illicit taste of hard alcohol – a shock to the system, going down fiery and leaving a shudder-inducing aftertaste on the tongue. And just as many first-time drinkers are left wondering where exactly the attraction lies, the same thing is true for baijiu – at least, until the aftereffects start to kick in. Continue »