Shanghai can be a gourmet delight or culinary disaster, depending on where you decide to eat. So we reached out to a few Shanghai F&B folks who really have a handle on the scene to Spill the Beans on their favorite spots, from hole-in-the-wall local eats to high-end venues, from late night drunk grub to date night treat yo’ self splurges.
Image courtesy of Yao Liu
Name: Yao Lu
Hometown: Shanghai / Houston, Texas
Occupation: Co-Owner of Union Trading Company
Where does your love for food stem from?
Sitting down and having a meal is always a great way to break the ice and catch up with friends and loved ones; it was only on very rare occasions this happened when growing up, so every opportunity to do so is a valued one.
Go-to date night spot?
Either Mercato or Heritage – both have excellent food. Mercato’s got that fantastic Bund, view while Heritage feels like going to a family member’s house who really knows how to cook.
One restaurant in Shanghai you couldn’t live without?
He Le Dian Xin Dian on Xiangyang Bei Lu – those guotie are legendary. It’s a 5-minute walk from my house, and I take all my out-of-town friends there.
Any restaurants that closed that you really miss?
Too many to count over the years.
What is your favorite dish in Shanghai?
Hongshao rou, guotie, xiaolongbao.
What advice would you give to budding foodies in Shanghai?
I say just keep an open mind whenever visiting new restaurants and venues. They might not always be what you expect, but can be just as amazing.