Whenever, I am at a place, I like to explore the local food as such the best way to find them is asked a local. I got my Shanghainese colleague to recommend a traditional Shanghai restaurant and was told Shanghai Classic Hotel 上海老饭店 is one of the better one.
Nestled in an ancient style architecture building with similar building of the Ming Dynasty era in the surrounding, one could immerse in the prehistoric mood.
Interior of the restaurant has the Chinese interior design theme; using the rosewood chairs that are bold and with glossy lacquer-finish and only round tables.
On the menu are all the classic Shanghai dishes. A typical Shanghai starter is the Delicious Dried Wheat-gluten 四喜烤夫 (RMB 28). The taste is similar to the canned mocked duck. Nonethess, I enjoyed it. This dish though savoury has a sweetish finishing.
Quickly-fried River Shrimps you 油爆鲜河虾 (RMB 118) is also a time-honoured dish. The river prawns are deep-fried, resulting in a crispy texture. As such the entire prawn with shell is consumed. I don’t usually eat prawns with shell, these are exceptional. Due to the size, the shell aren’t tough but purely crispy after the deep-frying. With the sweetish savoury sauce, it elevated the flavour.
Smoked Fish 上海熏鱼 (RMB 58) is served in almost all Shanghainese restaurant. Rendition by the Shanghai Classic Hotel is as outstanding as those we tried so far. There is a slight crispy exterior and meaty interior. The flavour on the surface was lightly savoury with hint of smokiness. These flavour complemented the meaty flesh perfectly since we could still savour the natural flavour of the fish.
For unique dish, go for the Bamboo tower food (organic) 冬笋塔菜, 有机 (RMB 38). The bamboo shoot sat on a bed of seasonal green that is found only in this region. The sauce taste very much like the oyster sauce that we used in our cooking in Singapore.
Another highly recommended to try Shanghai item is the Boneless Duck With Eight Foods Inside 金牌八宝鸭 (RMB 168). Within the duck, there are 8 ingredients such as pork dice, pea, black fungus, gingko nuts, chinese ham, mushroom and glutinous rice. Flavourful with mainly soya sauce flavour and some spice like the star anise but was a little too salty.
Sweet Glutinous Rice Ball 鸽蛋小圆子 (RMB 58) that shaped like a pigeon egg is also another must try. The filling is a floral syrup within the glutinous rice ball.
Food served at Shanghai Classic Hotel are very authentic traditional Shanghainese cuisine and are delicious. However, they were a little too oily and salty for some. Nonetheless, certainly a good restaurant to patron to experience the true blue Shanghainese dishes and flavour.
Shanghai Classic Hotel 上海老饭店
242 Fuyou Road, Huangpu, Shanghai 200010
Tel: +86 (0)21 6311 1777 / 6355 2275
Daily 1100 to 1400, 1700 to 2300
Line 10: Yu Garden station yu