Shun Xing is a cavernous Sichuan restaurant, a Chengdu transplant, in the no-man’s-land of Changning, next to the Longement Hotel. In the evenings, it’s one of the few places in Shanghai that has the famous face-changing mask performances, but it’s also garnered a reputation for authentic Sichuan grub that doesn’t hold back on the spice.
I stopped in for late lunch one day, and ordered a few things off the small plates menu, as well as one of the restaurant’s classic dishes, the steamed sticky rice spare ribs with peppercorn oil.
The cold mung bean noodles were perfect, the funky vinegar spiciness creeping into my sinuses.
The red-oil dumplings (钟水饺) were great as well, the sweetness in the filling turned up a notch, with minced garlic and sesame seeds. This was a refreshing bowl of jelly, with a bit of syrup water and watermelon.This dish with a side of chili paste was similarly simple, just a fresh slab of homemade tofu, nothing else, firm yet springy.The best dish was this bamboo tray of spare ribs wrapped in sticky rice, topped with scallions. It was hard to stop eating these at first, but I suppose soon enough you can’t feel your tongue after all the peppercorn oil, which hides in that brief interruption between rice and pork, where the fat of the steamed meat rises and melts into the long grains. It’s a strange moment of umami, with the same depth charge as a good bite of baozaifan, quickly overrun by a numbing whiplash of peppercorn.
Shun Xing / 顺兴
1088 West Yan’an Road / 延安西路1088号(近番禺路)