5 of Our Favorite Taiwanese Restaurants in Shanghai

By Cristina Ng, November 16, 2018

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When it comes to Taiwan, there’s no arguing that the folks there love to eat. The island’s distinct cuisine is the result of influences of Fujian province and Japan, intermingled with a rich aboriginal culinary history. A sizeable population of Taiwan transplants in Shanghai means there is plenty of delicious Taiwanese food around town, and we’ve dug up a few of the best.

1. Okaeri

Nestled in Jiashan Market is a cozy restaurant serving up hearty and comforting fare, but with Taiwan flavors.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

Make like an insider and pre-order the oyster vermicelli (kezai mianxian). You won’t regret it when the steaming bowl of rice noodles in katsuobushi-thickened broth topped with tiny plump oysters arrives. Add raw garlic, coriander and chili for your own customized bowl of happiness.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

They also do a killer version of a braised snacks platter (luwei pinpan) whereby a selection of ingredients swim in a masterfully sweet and savory brine seasoned with five spice and other aromatics. Additional highlights are deep-fried salt and pepper battered baby oysters and umami-laden slices of baked mullet roe served with raw garlic, and pretty much everything else that we’ve eaten.

What to Order: 

  • Oyster vermicelli

  • Braised snacks platter

  • Fried baby oysters

  • Baked mullet roe

  • Sausage fried rice

Price: RMB130-250 per person

See listing for Okaeri

2. Lu Ming Ke  

This Jinhui Lu gem is well outside the city center, but so worth the trip. Nearly every table in the restaurant can be heard ordering in the Hokkien dialect, and it’s the kind of place where families from Taiwan visit at least once a week for the full range of home-style dishes. 

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Their signature is three-cup chicken (sanbeiji), but there’s also an entire menu section devoted to various proteins stewed in equal parts sesame oil, soy sauce and rice wine, which creates the yummy dark and viscous sauce. The trick to this dish is an initial step properly caramelizing ginger and garlic in sesame oil for intensified flavors. Squid, tofu and pig’s blood rice cakes are all good options, but we swear by the chewy pork intestines.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

A sizzling platter of the freshest oysters we’ve had in Shanghai is prepared with chili leek, tofu and fatty pork morsels. Penghu’s famous boiled squid dipped in a five-flavor sauce is also a must-try.

What to Order:

  • Three cup intestine

  • Sizzling oysters

  • Boiled squid with five-flavor sauce

  • Grilled bacon

  • Salted egg and bitter melon

Price: RMB100-150 per person

See listing for for Lu Ming Ke

3. Du Xiao Yue

In Taiwan, Du Xiao Yue is a household name famous for their peddler’s pole noodles (danzai mian) recipe, which dates back over 100 years when they opened their first shop in Tainan.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Noodle lovers will appreciate the methodical layering of lightly poached mian, coriander and bean sprouts with braised minced pork, garlic paste and a single shrimp. It all comes together thanks to a shrimp head fortified stock and a splash of dark vinegar.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's 

It’s a tiny bowl of soup noodles, so you will want to add on some guabao (fluffy white buns enveloping deliciously stewed fatty pork belly and preserved mustard greens) or an incredibly soft handmade mochi with osmanthus and brown sugar.

What to Order:

  • Danzai mian

  • Traditional pork belly bun

  • Three kinds of salty crispy chicken

  • Brown suger and osmanthus mochi

Price: RMB50-80 per person

See listings for Du Xiao Yue

4. Jian Mian Tan

This Taiwan comfort food spot earns its place on this list for three very important reasons: great prices, tasty beef noodles and close proximity to Ice Monster (see below). As such, the central HKRI Taikoo Hui address is an ideal choice for low-key nights out.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

Go traditional if you must, but we favor the deep and sultry stock in the spicy beef noodles accompanied by shank, tendon and tripe. The meat is cooked so well that the tender chunks retain a pink center, even after being covered in hot broth. The flavors of cinnamon and Chinese herbs are absorbed by the honeycomb grooves of the stomach.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

They also have a number of rice sets, including an excellently fried pork cutlet served alongside a small scoop of braised meat sauce on rice (luroufan), greens and pickled vegetables.

What to Order:

  • Beef noodle soup

  • Signature soy braised platter

  • Deep-fried pork chop with rice

Price: RMB50-80 per person

See listing for Jian Mian Tan 

5. Ice Monster

This popular dessert shop is home to arguably the best shaved ice on the planet. Here, frozen flavored milk is finely shaved into creamy ribbons then garnished with premium toppings.

Image by Cristina Ng/That's

We are hard pressed to select a favorite, but recent obsessions include the Red Bean and Rice Jelly Sensation, as well as a newly added Almond Sesame Sensation. Mango Avalanche covered in fresh fruit and sorbet is another solid pick.

What to Order:

  • Red Bean and Rice Jelly Sensation

  • Almond Sesame Sensation

  • Coffee Sensation

  • Mango Avalanche

Price: RMB50-80 per person

See listing for Ice Monster 

Hungry for more? Take a look at our other Shanghai Dining Guides

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