Travel

Food: Shanghai

Discover the city's best bites with Tong Chee Hwee, executive head chef at London's newly opened Yauatcha City.Friday, 18 September 2015

By Tong Chee Hwee
View from Flair at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai.

Best for street food
Yu Gardens — with its pavilions, shaded pools and camera-wielding tourists — is one of the city's top attractions. But when your belly's rumbling and you can't hack the crowds any longer, make a beeline for the adjacent Yuyuan Market and brave a clutch of local dishes, from shenjianbao (pan-fried pork buns) and congyoubing (spring onion pancakes), to xiaolongbao (soup dumplings), and doushabao (red bean buns).

Best for breakfast
There's a Chinese saying in Shanghai that there are four 'kings' (must-haves) for breakfast — and you can find them almost anywhere in the morning. There's da bing or crispy pancakes, youtiao (deep-fried breadsticks), cifan (glutinous rice balls wrapped with pickled vegetables or egg), and dou jiang (a tofu-like soup made with sweet or savoury soya milk).

Best for high-end
For a brasserie-style spot with French personality, Mr & Mrs Bund, on Bund18, is a must-try. Go for the black cod in a bag, and the lemon tart. Mercato, meanwhile, is a stylish Italian with plenty of exposed steel, iron and glass, located on Three on the Bund. Don't miss the kingfish carpaccio.

Best for a midnight snack
For food with a view, try Flair at the Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong, local chain hotspot Haidilao or late-night street food on Huoshan Road. And for a cold beer, there's no better people-watching spot than Yongkang Lu — Shanghai's expat dive bar street.

Yauatcha City
New this summer, this dim sum spot in buzzy Broadgate Circle delivers a beautifully crafted menu. Top of the list should be chilli squid with oatmeal, and striploin beef and enoki mushroom cheung fun. Its patisserie is also top-notch, with desserts crafted like miniature art pieces.

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Published in the October 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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