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  • Wei Xiang Zhai is one of those places that you can’t live in Shanghai and not try at least once. A small mom and pop type of shop that’s famous for their 10 rmb masa noodles pair with the golden combo of their 10 rmb beef soup and spicy meat toppings, this place remains a gem in the glitzy xintiandi area. The first time I came here was on a crowded weekend afternoon, where sharing table space was pretty common, and we happened to be seated across a well-known foodie youtuber, who was filming a scene at the restaurant on his noodle run across China video.

    To avoid the crowd, I came back on a weekday afternoon where most people were at work, and the only customers in the shop were a couple of elder folks, who seemed to live around the area. As usual, service doesn’t exist in places like this. I ordered at the counter and quickly found a seat. It didn’t take long for the food to arrive, and the portions were fairly large. The beef noodle soup had a rich flavor with a hint of curry, topped with scallions on top. The masa noodles had a rich sesame sauce on top, which on its own, wouldn’t make for much of a meal. That’s why most people order toppings on the side to blend with the noodles. The spicy meat toppings this afternoon was disappointing. It wasn’t even heated up properly and it was a bit too heavy for my taste.

    While eating, I came across what seems to be a food tour that made the joint a stop on their list. This place is popular among locals and tourists alike, however, it seems a bit overrated to me. It has become a must try in Shanghai, but I don’t think I will be coming back.

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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.