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  • Tang Palace is my go-to place for dim sum. It is pure chaos. The dining hall is huge and always packed, the waitresses are always in a hurry to go somewhere else, the food never comes out in the order you expect, and they charge you extra for the napkins. But this is exactly how dim sum should be, and the food is way better than you expect for a chain at this price point.

    As a testament to its popularity, even on weekdays in the middle of the day, the place is packed with local families, many rolling in three generations or more. The highlight for me is the steamed shrimp dumplings. These are the biggest I have seen anywhere and each one is bursting with what must be an entire family of shrimp. The crispy skinned roast pigeon is also really good. Almost every table I saw ordered it. The panda shaped durian dessert is great for kids.

    This chain can be found all over Shanghai, but I like the one on Dongzhuanbang lu in the same building as Da Marco. I’ve never been there for dinner, but judging by the number of fish, lobsters and king crabs in the tanks out front, they must do a brisk business at night as well.

    As with most Chinese restaurants, this place is better enjoyed in groups and perfect for your out of town guests. You all can be full for under 100 RMB per person.

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.