Winter in Shanghai is absolutely amazing, especially for me who is dying for a proper winter after moving to Hong Kong from London since September.
It was around 5 degrees every day, which was perfect. The smog which covered the city for a couple of days was also gone by the time we arrived, we were so lucky!
I visited Shanghai with my parents and we thought having a living room to relax in is quite important, therefore we picked a service apartment that was not too far from the city centre. We stayed at Modena by Fraser in Putuo Area which is quite a nice residential district. The apartment block is right across the street from Renaissance Hotel and there were lots of food outlets and a couple of convenient stores nearby. Frasers Apartment is an international brand so the standard of the rooms are pretty high. The rate also came with breakfasts each morning.
We arrived in the early evening on the first day, so we didn’t do much. As soon as we dropped our bags at the apartment, we decided to head out for dinner. Funnily enough we walked past Quan Ju De and decided to give it a go.
Quan Ju De:
It was a chain of restaurants started in Beijing, famous for its Peking duck. Quite surprised the food was very outstanding, and more importantly, very reasonable! We had our tummies full and decided to head walk towards Xin Tian Di next.
Address: 131 Pudong Avenue
Xin Tian Di is a very popular touristy spot, famous for its bars and restaurants which are quite westernised. I read about Cobra Lily on Instagram before coming to Shanghai therefore as soon as we walked past it we decided to give it a try. Interior design at the restaurant was very trendy, reminded me of Soho in London. We had tea and desserts, the dessert we had was Godzilla meets Bangkok. It’s got an Asian flavour to it because of the Pandan pudding, however I’d say I expected more. Overall though, it is definitely worth visiting, and I would definitely go back for the mains if I have a chance.
Address: No. 19, Xintiandi, North Block, Lane 181 Taicang Lu, near Madang Lu
太仓路 181 弄，新天地北里 19 号 近马当路
Day 2 for us was all about The Bund!
We pretty much walked around this area the entire day, the view was breathtaking and it definitely made me fall in love with Shanghai a little bit.
Oct Red Swallow Noodle Shop:
We started our day at Nanjing East Street, found a little noodle place to have an early brunch first. My parents visited this place when they were here last time and they wouldn’t stop talking about it. My dad is from Shanghai originally and he loved their Xue Cai lean meat (Snow Vegetables noodles with meat) noodles. For 25 Yuan each, we had a set lunch which looked like this:
Apart from the view at this place, there is nothing really special about it. I would recommend this place for drinks though just because the view here is unbeatable, and the prices are very reasonable considering its location.
Address: 4B/F, 6 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu
We moved on to the other side of the river after our slightly disappointing afternoon tea. If you get out of exit 1 of Lujiazui Station, you’ll find yourself right next to the roundabout footbridge which you could get a good glimpse of all the modern buildings at this end of Shanghai city which was built in the last 10-15 years. You could also walk towards Island Shangri-la where you could take a few good photos of the Bund from this side of Shanghai.
Mr and Mrs Bund:
Dinner was back on the Bund at The Bund 18. It’s a renovated period building which now houses famous restaurants such as Hakkasan and Joel Robuchon. Our friends recommended Mr and Mrs Bund to us so we decided to give it a go. It turned out to be our most memorable meal of the entire trip because not only was the food delicious, the portions were also massive. Mr and Mrs Bund is serves family-style French food and by family-style, I guess it means the portions will be big, although the food was still flavoursome and delicate though! We had the set menu that was on offer because it was Christmas, however, we were so surprised that most of the food on the A La Carte was under 200 Yuan anyway. I have endless praise for this restaurant, needless say it is also awarded as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world in 2016.
Address: No.18 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Lu, WaiTan, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200001
Jia Jia Tang Bao:
Only on the 3rd day in Shanghai we remember we hadn’t tried the local xiao long bao. A lot of people would choose to pay a visit to the famous City God Temple (城隍庙), but if you read the foodie blogs online a lot of people would recommend Jia Jia Tang Bao instead. The queue was roughly 30 mins for us but it was definitely worth it. We ordered 2 different kinds of xiao long bao- pork + hairy crab meat dumplings and hairy crab meat dumplings. The filling were delicious and the dumplings were so well made, the soup inside the dumpling would make you want to keep eating them! I am no professional food blogger, but trust me, this is good.
Address: 90 Huanghe Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
We spent the rest of our day shopping in Tian Zi Fang which is a touristy area full of local arts and crafts shops. It used to be a traditional residential area within the French Concession area.
Jin Xian Road- Haijinzi Restaurant
For dinner, we ventured to Jin Xian Road which is famous for very local homemade Shanghainese food. My dad was very excited to reminisce the cooking he used to taste at home. We wanted to go to Lanxin Restaurant at first but apparently Haijinzi was also as good, when we saw that there were no queues, we immediately made our decision. Dad came out with a happy face and so did we, so I would recommend this restaurant for sure.
Address: 240 Jinxian Rd, Lu Wan Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Gourmet Noodle House:
We start every single day with a meal. So on Day 4, we went to another amazing noodle place for brunch. This place serves many different kinds of noodles, but you have never been to Shanghai if you have never tried their yellow croaker noodles. I had a bowl, and I was well satisfied afterwards. This place was jam packed with locals so it must be good 🙂
Address: 41 Yunnan Middle Rd, Huangpu Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Hengshan Road and Wukang Road:
We wandered around Henghan Road area and mainly on Wukang Road after our delicious brunch. It is a massive French Concession area with lots of interesting boutiques and cafes. We only realised it later that it is called “Wang Hong Road” (Internet popular road) afterwards because of its nice houses and cafes.
WIYF ice cream:
Well, it won’t be a mistake if you make it your first stop on Wukang Road because the ice-cream there is damn good. I had the dark chocolate and pavlova flavour in cone, it was so good it justified why the shop front is full of young people taking photos of their ice-cream.
Address: 202 Wukang Lu
We didn’t really have anything at this restaurant apart from tea and Soufflé, but it’s worth mentioning that this restaurant, together with a few others around this block (Ferguson Lane) are all owned by one French guy in Shanghai. Thanks to him, the area is now gentrified with good food and instagramming opportunities!
Address: Ferguson Lane, 376 Wukang Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China
Yuan Yuan Restaurant:
Dinner was at Yuan Yuan Restaurant- also highly recommended! It is slightly more expensive than other places we had been, apart from Mr and Mrs Bund. However, the chefs there know how to bring out the best flavours from Shanghainese food. Highlight for us was the Yan Du Xian soup- a Shanghainese soup made from a duo of cured pork and fresh pork with fresh winter bamboo shoots. This was our last meal in Shanghai and the restaurant had nicely helped us to draw a full-stop on the trip 🙂
Address: 201 Xingguo Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China, 200030