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03 June 2008

Jetsetting Foodistas | Shanghai: China's Modern Side

HannahMark at Shanghai
Jetsetting Foodistas: A Travelogue by Mark

Shanghai is China’s largest city, and very much a contrast to Beijing. You would go to Beijing to see China’s ancient history, but you go to Shanghai to see China’s modern face. As much as I would like to delight you with stories of the fantastic food you can find in Shanghai, unfortunately we didn’t have much free time and I found the food to be a little nondescript. It can’t be said that there’s nothing interesting to eat there though, so if you have an open mind, you should do just fine.

There are certainly lots of different things to eat in Shanghai. Shanghai literally means “above the sea”. So seafood is definitely a cuisine that can be had there, but sometimes in forms you would not recognize. Oh sure they have the regular things:

Clams & Scallops

And little soft-shelled crabs

But they also have such delicacies as:

Alligator (338 yuan($48.75)/500 grams!)

Geoducks & Turtles

These critters, I have no idea what they even are, but apparently you eat them like shrimp.

And these things, I also don’t know what they are but I would not even want to touch those, much less eat them.

One of the interesting places to go in Shanghai is Nanjing Road, one of the world’s busiest shopping streets and the longest as well at 6 km long. There, as well as in the surrounding areas, are various shops and eateries for you to try to your heart’s content.

They range from the familiar

To the not so familiar

There are various places there where you can get freshly squeezed juice

As well as this place called Costa Coffee, where we saw the very very large cups of coffee.

As western as Shanghai might seem, the Chinese part is still there. You cannot under any circumstance go to Shanghai and not try xiao long bao, steamed buns filled with meat and soup. If you happen to go to the province of Hangzhou as part of your trip, try their Beggar’s chicken, which is a chicken which is wrapped in lotus leaves and then covered with mud and cooked. The covering of mud is supposed to keep all the flavor inside and results in a tender, flavorful chicken.

However you see China, there is no doubt that it is a fascinating mix of East and West, capable of catering to the needs and wants of every kind of person.

This has been Mark Wu.
I’m out like strange worm things…

More pictures at my Multiply.


  1. I never realized how funny you are, Wu XD

    Errr. Btw, those things. Look like insects and worms to me. And I have NEVER heard of geoducks. Poor them. :/

    Hehe -- I hope you didn't get to eat steamed buns made out of cardboard.

    P.S. That's a hoax :-D

  2. A friend told me that when the first Pizza Hut in Shanghai opened years ago, people lined up around the block to get in.

    I wonder if they put worms on their pizzas. Yum.

  3. Err... that photo underneath the geoduck (whatever that is)--was that a sea scorpion? What we call "alupihang dagat" here? If it, those are really good! Taste a lot like lobster and a whole lot easier to eat.

    I've read about Beggar's chicken. How does it taste like? I hear that it is really expensive.

  4. Philos - I really haven't the faintest idea what those things were lol. And yes we did eat it there, it was tender and all of that and well... tasted like chicken :P

    Tiff - never heard if geoducks before either, they have some weird stuff out there

  5. Oooh! i know what a geoduck is, apparently you're supposed to only eat the white appendage thing, slice it up really thin like sushi. I don't know why the spelling is like that, but its pronounced gooey-duck. haha.

  6. those are called sea mantis or mantis shrimp:)
    i did a china food trip series too, but on the fujian province of china...

  7. Mantis shrimps (the shrimp-like thingies...)! and echiurans (the icky worms)! :)

    I didn't see those thingies when we went to shanghai thank God O_o

  8. the geoduck looks rather ominous :P i'm all for some of those scallops and soft-shelled crabs tho ♥

  9. I've had geoducks before and actually liked them. They just look odd, I guess.


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