Snacking around Shanghai, fruit pizza, Tiramisu McFlurry and more

I lost count of my breakfasts last Sunday in Shanghai at 4.

So thrilled to be back in China after a long absence, when the work meetings and banquets finished, I spent the weekend eating and shopping in proper Shanghai fashion.

I wish I could have taken pictures of the sumptuous business meals but that would hardly have been appropriate, and anyway, each dish was devoured by hungry colleagues before a photogenic collection could be assembled.

Food snobs will not these are not the high point of Chinese cuisine, rather these are the fun snacks that I just had to re-experience from happy times past.

Noodles with ‘onion oil,’ an old Shanghai snack harder and harder to find, with two exquisite fried eggs on top, at the Suzhou Noodle House on Yuyuan Road by Jiangsu Road:

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Shengjian dumplings, I’ve never tasted authentic ones outside Shanghai, imitators always too bready on top, and not crisp enough on bottom. These from Fenggu Shengjian on Shaanxi South Road by Jinxian Road.

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A Hong Kong pineapple bun with butter slab and thick, bitter Hong Kong-style milk tea, at a rare place outside Shanghai to do both well, at Xinwang on Changle Road by Maoming South Road.

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A Melrose Pizza takeout stand in the morning sells the most traditional of Shanghai breakfast items to make use of the space round the clock, on Xiangyang North Road by Changele Road.

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A fruit pizza at Babela’s Kitchen at Longzhimeng Mall at Zhongshan Park. The crust a flaky style like that used to cover some soups. Quite interesting for afternoon tea!

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Always crazy lines to get to Charme, a Hong Kong cafe, sigh, no time to stick it out. This the one at Grand Gateway Mall. One of their famous dishes, is a loaf of toast bread hollowed out and filled with ice cream.

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A honey, pomelo, aloe drink at Happy Lemon on Huaihai Middle Road by Shaanxi South Road.

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A kimchi fried rice snack at a so-so Korean spot by my hotel, what can I say, jetlag hit and I settled for a weak choice. The elderly man outside fills air in bike tires.

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A sumptuous Xingjiang food feast of cumin roast lamb, eggs with spianch and hei mu’er fungus, naan, and candied apples, at Yelixiali on Dongfang Road, way out in Pudong.

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A late lunch at Saizeriya, another Japanese take on Italian, like Babela’s Kitchen, with similarly rock-bottom prices and surprisingly good quality. On Huaihai Middle Road by Shaanxi South Road. The pastas around $2 and the pizzas around $4. The pizza was intended to be for breakfast the next morning. It didn’t make it out of the restaurant.

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Even McDonald’s outdoes itself for desserts, the Tiramisu McFlurry is pretty good, the Cappucino Twist Cone is sublime.

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And a gratuitous picture of Xujiahui Cathedral where my girlfriend (now wife) and I met on dates outside the metro stop. One of our first meals together as students was in a ‘porridge’ shop in the metro station beneath. Best to refer to it as ‘congee.’

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Note: many of these restuarants have multiple locations across the huge city, you can play with using the links I included and Google Translate to find others more convenient, or email me.

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  1. nice food pics. need to find a way to plan on going to china one of these days. never been. at some point, i won’t have any more relatives at our village to visit.
    have you compared the Shengjian dumplings in Flushing? i think those are bready as well. the first time i had a pineapple bun with butter in HK, i was blown away at how good it was. we have a lot to improve in NYC.

  2. @Singapore Flyer – I have not tried any of the shengjian in Flushing, I so rarely can bear the journey out there, in Manhattan I can see on sight that they are not good. Other than Xinwang in Shanghai, the only place I have found even decent pineapple buns outside of Hong Kong is in Toronto, though even those are too bready.

    Absolutely hope you can make it to China and best to visit a few places since each province is like a country unto itself.

  3. @Jason – I have been to Taiwan for so long, I think 2005, and I missed those then, I definitely should make a trip to the south, which I have not visited, and hunt them down when I am there.

  4. Always lots of fun to read your food posts. I, too, enjoy the Shanghai-style “snacks” (dianxin) much more than the proper restaurant food. We stopped eating meat 8-9 years ago, so there is not much left for us to eat. I would buy 糍饭糕,蛋饼,油条,大饼等等 when I visited Shanghai, against the advice of my family and friends (due to the belief that bad oil was used at street stalls).

  5. Xinwang and Charme are owned by the same company. However, I do feel Charme is a lot better.

    Welcome to Shanghai!

  6. Wonderful post. Eating like the locals and so much more interesting and less expensive than fancy restaurants.

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