There’s many obscure hole-in-the-wall restaurants that still occupy the rare corners of Shanghai which remains untouched by gentrification, and for some reason, A Ping Beef reminded me of just that, except for the fact that its tucked away not in some small alleyway, but in an inconspicuous lining of restaurants on the 5th floor of the Paris Spring Shopping Mall on Changshou Road.
My companion and I were in the neighbourhood one afternoon and were looking for a quick place to eat. Although not very noticeable, I had a gut feeling there might be a good restaurant here and there inside the top floors of the small-sized Paris Spring. So up we went, and stumbled across this small joint. We were presented with a paper menu but everything is made to order via mobile. Our seats faced the open kitchen, and we watched in amusement as the young chefs hurried from one corner to another to prepare the meals. In what felt like less than 10 minutes, our hot and steam beef radish soup appeared on our dining table. The restaurant also offered a variety of soups with beef intestines, but being the conscious eater I am, I ordered the simplest thing on the menu, along with some sides of tofu and boiled qual eggs.
Up on the side of the store, there is an abundant sauce and small sides bar, where customers can DIY the unique flavourings of their soup. One drink into the soup and I was in love. It was so aromatic and flavourful, with the beef and radish boiled to just the right amount of tenderness. It was the best soup dish I had in a while, and my companion agreed. Plus the efficiency that the place operated on was amazing. The whole set meal was only 32 rmb/person and I left with a wholesome satisfied tummy.
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