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Chu Chu Yuan (Sichuan Bei Lu)
    • ADDRESS:
      台北楚楚园
      B1/F, 1363 Sichuan Bei Lu,
      near Wujin Lu
      四川北路1363号B1层, 近武进路
    • PHONE:
      5653 0296
    • WECHAT:
      -
    • AREA:
      Hongkou
    • METRO:
      5 mins walk from North Sichuan Rd
    • HOURS:
      Daily, 10.30am-9pm
    • CARDS:
      -
    • WEB:
      -
    • SmartShanghai.com Editor's Description
      Just a good, cheap, and unpretentious restaurant specializing in homemade Taiwanese breakfast pastries like shou zha bing, da bing zhuan rou, and Zong Hui Niu Rou Zhuan. They're all essentially pastries or crepes stuffed with meat, egg, and other treasures, and are cheap enough to sample a bunch. Two people can eat a lot for less than 100rmb here. There's a big picture menu full of hilarious Chinglish, too, and they also serve non-breakfast food. Place is big with big tables, so it's fine for groups or solo dining. Recommended.
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    • Chu Chu Yuan is a relatively nondescript restaurant chain serving up some of the favorites of Taiwanese cuisine. If you want something pretty rich that has gotten acquainted with a little bit of oil and fat, in a slightly nicer environment than the street side, it’s a good option. This is their Hongkou branch, in the basement of a mall; there are others around town.

      Their beef noodles are OK, maybe a bit disapointing for a Taiwanese spot. They do a killer bowl of XO Beef Fried Rice though, one that somehow takes me back to the comfort of cheap Chinese places back in the U.K. There's a bit of fishy funkiness, and just enough smoke and spice to tickle the back of your throat.

      But what they really specialize in are heavy, bready, savory Taiwanese snacks that could function equally well as a hangover-smushing breakfast or a carb-loading dinner. Their pork and scallion gaotie, more akin to Japanese gyoza than the usual Shanghainese ones, are delicate and rich. They also come with a dipping sauce that reminds me, more than anything else, of the sweet and sour sauce that comes with Chinese McNuggets. If you think I mean that as anything other than a compliment, then you don’t know me well enough.

      They also do these great “red bean” wraps, that are actually a thick kind of scallion pancake wrapped around sliced beef, cucumber, and hoisin sauce. Man, these things are good. So good. Heavy too. Share them – this and a bowl of noodles to myself was way too much.

      Atmosphere is mall dining, service is good. A perfect candidate for regular work lunches if you’re based near the neighborhood; just as good for a quick feast if you find yourself in the area. It’s in a part of town not far from the impressive-looking 1933 complex, in a northern part of the city that is getting pretty built up. Worth a look.

      Price: RMB 30 – RMB 80 per person

      Summary: Heavy, very tasty Taiwanese snacks up north in a mall in Hongkou. Their noodle and rice dishes are decent enough, but be sure to split a plate or two of dumplings and wraps – these are the winners. Going by the menu recommendations is a decent strategy.

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