Closer inspection reveals a menu covering just three varieties of skewers and a further hint as to why the place draws crowds; a plaque in the window shows that they were highlighted in a food TV show in 2017 (though they have been going for about two decades).
The wait: A brisk 15 minutes at midday on a Sunday. The line gets long, but they aren’t doing anything too complicated at this hole-in-the-wall. They keep it ticking along nicely.
The order: Four skewers; two pork tenderloin (里脊肉，5rmb each), one chicken heart (鸡心，2rmb), and one chicken stomach (鸡肫，2rmb).
Worth it? Sure! This is better than your average chuan (5,000+ reviews on Dianping), it’s cheap as hell, and the seasonings are spot-on. When brought back to the SmartShanghai office, they had every Shanghainese employee reminiscing about childhood skewer experiences. The five kuai pork ones are a good deal, and the chicken bits taste like very good versions of themselves if you’re into that kind of thing. Not worth a trip across town, perhaps, but worth taking the fifteen minutes to see what the fuss is about if you happen to wander past and need a snack.
Oh, and scan the Alipay QR codes at the window. I did and got a 10rmb hongbao that I used on my 14rmb order. Result.
Zhangfa Canyin, 955 Yan'an Zhong Lu, near Wuyi Lu.