Since the family was once again in town, we decided to have dinner, not at Jade on 36 this time, but at what is maybe Shanghai’s most famous restaurant of Shanghainese food (with a Sichuan twist, according to this site): Meilongzhen. We first tried this place two years ago, and then again last April, but this time we went to their branch accross the street, on the 6th floor of the Westgate mall (which incidentally is called in Chinese Meilongzhen Guangchang 梅龙镇广场). For 2 months starting last April, the old restaurant was closed for refurbishment, and only its branch was open.
Founded in 1938, the restaurant quickly became an establishment in Shanghai, and got used to serving first class guests, such as head of states and prime ministers (portraits of famous guests were hanging on the wall before refurbishment work. Apparently they are going to reappear pretty soon). We got a close look at the new design and furnitures: actually the same big red and gold walls with a dragon in a middle as before, but with a fresh coat of paint. They also built new private rooms, very classy, with ancient Chinese design and their own private bathrooms. Together they form a courtyard, with a fountain in the middle.
It was a Thursday evening and we had not booked a table (though it may be necessary on weekends). We tried the all-time favorites: the “fried shrimps without shell” (70RMB), the “double cooked pork wrapped by cake” (40RMB), the plain fried baby pakchoi (15RMB), the Meilongzhen fried noodles (35RMB), and of course the Xiaolongbao with crab meat and pork (5RMB each piece). We are not picky: the food was excellent. The staff was rather efficient, but alternated between attentive and absent-minded. Including beers and a 10% service charge, the bill amounted to 299RMB for four people. That’s a very reasonable price we thought, and for such a famous restaurant, serving traditional and quality food, we will definitely come back.
Meilongzhen restaurant: Lane 22, 1081 Nanjing West Road. (梅龙镇酒家:南京西路1081号22 弄). Tel: (021) 6253 5353.
Westgate Mall branch: 6/F, 1038 Nanjing West Road (梅龙镇广场 6楼，1038 南京西路).
Tel: (021) 6255 6688.