How to Taste the Best Shanghai Food

As one of the Chinese Republic’s most popular destinations for food lovers, the Paris of the East offers a lot more than iconic landmarks and intriguing attractions for travellers. Whether one is in Shanghai for a short pit stop or a full-fledged holiday, sampling some of the city’s culinary highlights is a must for first time travellers. From dining in the city’s top restaurants to trying its most delectable delicacies here are some tips on enjoying the best of Shanghai’s culinary offerings.

1. Find a Strategic Base Location
Those who wish to experience Shanghai’s culinary delights while on vacation should ideally select a hotel or service apartment in Shanghai which affords easy access to the area’s top dining hotspots. A centrally located base in the heart of Shanghai whether it’s Ascott Heng Shan Shanghai or similar establishments would not only allow easy access to the area’s finest eateries but afford more time to sample Shanghai’s cuisine in all its variations. Travellers heading to China’s second largest city would be wise to read up on the area’s finest restaurants and snack hubs and find a hotel or base close to the venues.

2. Dig into Shanghai’s Seafood Delights
Tipped to be one of Shanghai’s specialties, seafood dishes are some of the most coveted items on restaurant menus in the city. One of the main highlights is, of course, “Cheese Butter Lobster” which is a combination of a Chinese dish and a western favourite. Delectable and creamy the lobster dish was originally a Cantonese meal which is also revered in Japan and other Southeast Asian countries. Another seafood delight visitors must sample is the “Smoked Fish Slices”. Marinated in a variety of aromatic and spicy condiments the fish slices are ideal for those in search of a strong-flavoured seafood dish.

3. Sample Soup Buns
Revered as a comfort food variety the soup buns are also one of the most curious looking delicacies in Shanghai. Shaped like a chrysanthemum soup buns are known for its thin dough and heavier stuffing which are made from a variety of ingredients. Served piping hot right off the bamboo basket in which they are steamed the soup buns are a great starter before a meal. One of the best places to try the dish is of course at the Jiaji Bun Shop down Fengyang Road.

4. Try Some Shortcake
Crispy and delicious this shortcake specialty in Shanghai boasts the quirky shape of an eyebrow. Containing a sweet as well as salty centre the crusty treat is synonymous with the Surging Waves Pavilion Restaurant found in the Yu Yuan Bazaar. More than a dessert, the cake variety is a must-sample food item when in Shanghai.

5. Snack on Fried Mantou
Regarded as a snack variety with a history that dates back more than a century “Fried Mantou” is a type of dim sum that is fried rather than steamed. Spraying water into the work during the frying process is crucial to making the dim sum which is usually stuffed with meat, scallion or another filling. Shanghai’s most popular vendor of this preferred snack is Xiao Yang’s Mantou Shop located on Wujiang Road.

6. New Year Cake
Known as Niangao in the local tongue the New Year Cake is a dish that hails from southern China. Made from glutinous rice flour, the cakes are fried in thin strips after being tossed with several other flavoursome ingredients. The Xiao Changzhou Snack House is regarded as the best place to dig into these crispy cakes while the Xiangdelai Snack House also serves its own versions of the cake variety.

7. Order some Number Ten
Named after the tenth month according to the Chinese lunar calendar Yangchun Noodles are known as “Number 10” by local diners. Served infused with a clear soup the dish is not only delicious but also high in nutritional value. The Shanghai Yangchun White Snow Noodles Restaurant is, of course, staple favourite of Yangchun Noodle fans as the eatery specializes in many variations of the dish.