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  • Eating in a grocery store has, in my lifetime, never been a fulfilling experience.  Disinterested staff preparing mediocre food that’s nearing fine-inducing temperatures.  Needless to say, I was much too hesitant to try the seafood at HeMa, Alibaba’s supermarket that’s popping up all over Shanghai.  But hey, different country, different experiences, right?

    Things start off with a bang.  HeMa’s seafood section is as fresh as can be.  Large tanks display copious amounts of sea creatures: fish, clams, mussels, shrimp, big lobsters and giant crabs barreling over one another.   Choose your victim, the helpful staff bags it up, and walk it over to the register by the kitchen.  Select your cooking style and choice of flavor, find a seat, and wait patiently until your number is called.  Then just devour the goodness.

    Dinner started off with razor clams coated in a spicy sauce consisting of five different kinds of chili peppers.  I couldn’t help but lick the sauce off the shells.  Next came the plump mussels which were covered in a thick ginger and scallion sauce.  Pluck out the meat, then use the shell to scoop the sauce onto your bowl of rice.  It’s that good.  The showstopper is the fresh Boston lobster.  Split in half, plentiful meat steamed to perfection, and topped with a slightly sweet vinegar sauce.   

    It’s fresh, messy and extremely budget friendly.   Razor clams, mussels, and a whole Boston lobster cooked to order all for just under 150 RMB.   Your Alipay account won’t even feel a pinch.  HeMa is not your typical grocery store experience.  You definitely want to eat here.


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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.