Shanghai is the 10th city that Ting has called home. She works at a Chinese social enterprise and loves immersing herself in new cultures and chasing new experiences, particularly food.
What better comfort food is there than a nice authentic bowl of Vietnamese Pho. Starving and tired, I stumbled upon Pho Ong Hung one random afternoon while shopping at the YueDa 889 Mall. Located on the B1 floor of the mall, the place had a very modest appearance but is definitely worth a try. I ordered their specialty on the menu, which is basically an all-in-one (multiple types of meat) pho for the very modest price of 55 yuan. In addition, I ordered some spring rolls and red bean ice dessert. The tab is paid right away.
During busy hours, it may be a bit hard to get the waiter’s attention, but the dishes arrive fairly quickly in under 5 minutes, so it’s a perfect pop-in place for some fast yet wholesome meal. I can’t say the pho is as amazing as the ones I’ve had in Vietnam but it comes pretty darn close. On top of that, beef stew refills come for free so you can feel free to slurp up the hearty goodness. Spring rolls doesn’t come up to be too special but at the ingredients are very fresh. Their desserts are great as well if you find enough room in your stomach to stuff in more food after the stew.
Needless to say, I have popped into this place multiple times in the one month that I’ve been in Shanghai. They are located at various shopping outlets around Shanghai, and in some branches, there’s complimentary shrimp chips with the meal. Service is definitely better in their other branches, but for such great pho at such an affordable price, I can’t complain too much. I also highly recommend their rice noodles which is not a bad healthy meal option!
If you’re ever looking for great seafood along with a traditional Southern Chinese dining experience then you’ve come to the right place at Chen Ji. Do not come into the restaurant expecting a Western style seafood restaurant type of service, because this place is hectic around the clock. On a Thursday night, the place was packed with people sitting around large round-tables and waiters dashing around the place. The menu is pasted on a large wall in front of the entrance and live seafood are placed in tanks right under the menu posters. Although there is no English on the menu, there are pictures for every dish.
I doubt the waiters here would speak much English, so do not expect an explanation of what each menu item is, but hey! the element of surprise always makes a dining experience more fun. Also do not expect to see much foreigners at the restaurant, so if you’re uncomfortable navigating this scene on your own, I would recommend bringing a Chinese friend along with you. There’s great variety on the menu and you can order before you are seated to speed up the process. I recommend the stinky tofu and the seafood egg dish! The food is 5 stars but the service is really meh, though I don’t really blame them. You really have to try hard to get the waiters’ attention as the place is so crowded and noisy, so overall, it’s a 3.5 star dining experience.
After a late Saturday night out, what better thing to wake up to than a nice warm Sunday brunch. I stepped into Hungry Lung’s Kitchen on a late Sunday morning looking for just that and I would have to say, their menu options did not disappoint.
This place serves all day brunch for those that just can’t get enough of eggs and bacon. After some pondering, I decided to order the smoked salmon & cream cheese eggs benedict. Creaming and warm, the eggs were perfect and the salmon was delicious. I also took in some of the amazing food options that my table mates ordered, such as the classic American breakfast and the chicken laksa. For a place that served both Western and Southeast Asian cuisine, both looked equally tasty.
Space-wise, the restaurant is perfect for big groups as it has a long table in the middle of the indoor space as well as patio space outside. We were a group of 10+ people, and we had stayed and talked for 4+ hours. The waiters not only did not rush us, but they also continuously served us water. In the end, they even graciously split our bills for us. Overall, I would say that this is a very positive dining experience and I will definitely come back for more brunch dates in the future.
This hidden gem is located at a very fancy part of town surrounded by high-end French and Japanese restaurants. Located on the second floor, the décor is a mix of European and Chinese elements giving the place a very cultured and high-end look. Fully expecting the menu items to be on the pricier end, my companion and I were truly surprised to see that the menu options are priced very reasonably, if not quite cheaply for a place of its décor. On top of that (and here’s the secret to saving even more rmb), if you get on the Dianping app, you can purchase a 200rmb coupon for the price of 100rmb, meaning that you get half off for everything you order that’s under a total of 200rmb. This coupon can be used all day, any day, how great is that?
We ordered some very traditional dim sum pieces such as shrimp dumplings, steamed chicken feet, preserved egg and congee etc. and the food did not disappointed. I would especially recommend getting the shrimp dumplings as it is one of the signature dishes. The service is also superb with greeters at the door and enough staff waiting around to come to you when you need help. We had a very satisfied and delicious meal for 2, spending only 118rmb at a place that would fit right into the lobby of a 5-star hotel. Places like this at an expensive city like Shanghai are truly rare.
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.