I’ve been a little under the weather these past few days, so have craved the savory warmth of a good soup. In LA, I would’ve gone to Sawtelle Avenue for the chicken soup at Yakitoriya or the oden soup at Furaibo.
Here in Shanghai, once I was couped up long enough to start going a little stir-crazy, I ventured out around Jing’an to see what I could find.
I’m a sucker for a boiling hotpot full of soup. Usually, savory is a bit more settling, but for some reason, the sweetness of the sukiyaki was pleasantly soothing. The heat helped cancel it out, and I wasn’t drinking the soup straight up anyway.
The next few days, I wandered back to my usual lunch spot – Shan Shan Xiao Long Guan, on Kangding Lu, just east of Changde Lu. It’s a more local spot, the greasy diner (Waffle House?) equivalent of Chinese food, packed full of cohorts of coworkers and families and the occasional handful of laowai. While Shan Shan has an open kitchen, the transparency probably hurts more than it helps. There are a lot of sketchy-looking aprons and sweaty broad-shouldered women and giant bubbling woks full of god-knows-what.
But then again, I don’t really care what goes into my 12 kuai fish-fragrant eggplant with rice or my 8 kuai bowl of steaming hot wontons. They just pick me up when I’m down, and that’s all that matters.
I’m feeling better already.
2/F, 98 Yanping Lu,
near Xinzha Lu
Shan Shan Xiao Long Guan
749 Kangding Lu
near Changde Lu
Recommendations (for Shan Shan)
(1) Shengjian 生煎 (2) Pork and vegetable wontons 菜肉大混沌 – the small ones are good, too, but obviously less substantial (3) Fish-fragrant eggplant with rice 渔乡茄子饭 and (4) Twice-cooked pork with rice 回锅肉饭