Posted by: David Stewart | July 16, 2010

Fresh culinary treats to sample in Shanghai

I have gotten so boring and repetitive in my eating in China, that it takes a lot to get my on a more adventurous track.

In my recent trip to China, I stayed in a hotel that is new to me, the Holiday Inn Express Meilong in Shanghai. It is set in a totally new and very modern looking commercial district with the construction dust still fresh on the buildings.

 

Holiday Inn Express Meilong

But the place was like a ghost town – there were restaurants, shops, a Nike store, a gym and a movie theater, but there were no crowds. There was a very large Starbucks, but it was always empty.

The most popular feature was the gleaming basketball courts that were sprinkled around. Here is the view of one from my hotel room:

View from Holiday Inn Express Meilong

The hotel itself is what I would expect from a Holiday Inn Express: basic lodging.

Room at Holiday Inn Express MeilongOne good thing about this place was that there were so many different kinds of restaurants in the area, we could eat a different kind of food every night within walking distance of our hotel. The first night we went to a Korean place, where we had Bulgogi or Korean BBQ. Here were the white-hot coals that were placed in a recess in the middle of our table:

 

 Korean BBQ

Then we got our marinated meats and veggies and cooked them on the hot surface.Korean BBQ Korean BBQ

 

Another night we wandered into a Chinese place and had this whole steamed fish:Shanghai whole steamed fish

And in another place which called itself a Hong Kong restaurant, we had a couple of my favorites: dim sum dumplings and crispy whole fish:

Hong Kong style food

Still another night we encountered a very solicitous gentleman who encouraged us to try his hot pot place. In this style of cooking, you have a bubbling pot of broth on the table or here a selection of three different kinds of broth with different flavors and spiciness levels. Then you put raw meats or veggies into the broth to let them cook and munch away!

 Hot pot dinner, Shanghai

The guy who invited us into the place had reasonably good English and said it was his dream to become an American!

But just because we ate all of this good Asian food, that’s not all we had. On our last night in town, we trekked into town to a two-block area called “Xintiandi” to have German food. This area is a combination of very nice restaurants and shops in an area which is supposed to look like old traditional Shanghai neighborhood houses. One of the eateries is Paulaner Brauhaus, which claims to have micro brews. So with our schnitzel, we had a bit of beer.

This is my traveling companion, Saul, who is known to brew his own beer reportedly.

 

Saul at the Paulaner Brauhaus , Xintiandi, Shanghai

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