Photo of you tiao on Life on Nanchang Lu
In our ongoing Threesday feature, Shanghaiist takes the time to count out three of….well, whatever catches our fancy that week. This week it’s Shanghai’s food blogs.
Since Chris St. Cavish exited from SmartShanghai, we’ve been a little starved for food gossip. So for this Threesday, I’m going to feature some great Shanghai food blogs – while none of them were quite as insidery as Chris’ column, they do usually give decent recommendations and honest opinions on places we have sometimes yet to try.
I’ve actually found it a little strange that there aren’t more Shanghai food blogs out there – we’re a populace that really loves to eat, but for some reason, we’re less likely to talk about it than… say Brooklyn or – a closer neighbor – Singapore. In comparison, not only are the pickings slim here, many of the most linked to names seem to have fallen off the internet (Like a Local and Shanghai Chefs, we’re looking at you).
So here’s a couple new ones to add to your directories if you’re as interested in food as we are:
1. Life on Nanchang Lu
Started by Australian expat Fiona, Life on Nanchang Lu is not only a food blog, but has so much of a foodie focus (and such a good one) that I have to include it in this list. Fiona lives, as you can probably tell, on Nanchang Lu in the French Concession, and she’s decided to document her life and forays into Shanghai’s food with wit and a great camera.
This blog delves less into the restaurant scene and more into Chinese cooking (in and around Shanghai) in general – not only will you find reviews of small, but fantastic, noodle shops, you’ll also get recipes for Yunnan beans and pork and descriptions of local candies. Definitely worth a gander.
2. From Dumplings to Donuts
What? We’re starting out with a corporate blog? I know, I know – it’s hard to believe, but reservation service Dining Secretary’s food blog is actually quite readable. It’s a lot more personable and a lot less grandstanding than you’d expect from someone blogging for a food company. After a recent jaunt to Lost Heaven, Shau Ru opined, “…it’s one of the most frequently booked restaurants on the Dining Secretary site. That said, since I care more about my food than anything else, I’ll say that I’m still not impressed by anything I’ve eaten there.”
In an equally harsh take on Sinan Lu’s hOF outlet, she accused Brian Tan of spending too much time at his new Lujiazui location, causing the quality of both food and service in Puxi to slip.
Our only gripe: they are blogging for a company with connections to tons of restaurants around Shanghai, so it would be nice if they could rise a little more above the personal and give us readers some info we wouldn’t be able to scrounge up ourselves. As nice as it is to hear that Malone’s 50RMB deal is still going strong… we discovered that stuff in February. And we have to fit my food exploration time into writing about ten different other things.
One of the most professional looking food blogs we’ve seen, Shanghai Foodist is run by some of the people over at City Weekend – try not to hold that against it (heh, jk!). It’s also one of the most comprehensive food blogs we’ve seen so far.
Not only are there restaurant reviews, the bloggers behind Shanghai Foodist take the time to mention seasonal produce, correct Chinese dining etiquette and tips on where to find ingredients for specific Chinese dishes. It’s also one of the few English-language food blogs that actually seems to have writers who know some Chinese. They even have a glossary of Chinese food terms, which is bound to be somewhat useful sometime!
Note, we’ve previously mentioned Phat Shanghai already, which is the only reason it’s not on this list. But we highly recommend that one too – beautiful pics and crisp writing make for one stomach-grumbling journey through Shanghai’s restaurants.