Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
We realize that we’re double-dipping by picking another dish from Lu Bo Lang after using the historic eatery’s jellyfish for Off the Beaten Palate last week. But as Lu Bo Lang is one of Shanghai’s most venerated restaurants with an arsenal of eats fit for Bill Clinton, Fidel Castro, and the Queen of England, we gave it another cameo.
And seeing how we view pork belly as somewhat of a culinary relic like an edible Excalibur or True Cross, we immediately selected Lu Bo Lang’s braised pork belly with bok choy (48RMB).
The presentation is simply arousing, with a hulking brown headquarters of pork roofed with fat and encircled by bok choy, which almost appear to be suckling it as if even vegetables can’t resist its lusciousness. The waitress sliced through the pork as easily as cheese cake, and we dug in, upon which our stomachs basically came.
What makes the pork particularly great is that despite its succulence, you don’t feel heavy as if your stomach was swapped with a liposuction waste bag after eating it – a sensation you get with even the best Hong Shao Ro at Yuan Yuan.
And when you are full after inhaling Lu Bo Lang’s pork, it’s the kind of stuffed-ness that makes you want to slice open your belly to make room for more pork alla Jack the Giant Killer – as opposed to the “I never want to see another piece of pork again” full. Not to mention that the sugar complements the meat and never renders it cloyingly sweet.
Unctuous and yet, dare we say, refreshing for fatty pork, Lu Bo Lang’s pork belly has always been one of our faves. True, it may not be the best belly in the city, but since this is Dish of the Day and not Dish of the Decade, we felt it warranted some praise.
Lu Bo Lang – 115 Yuyuan Road, near Fuyou Road (豫园路115号, 近福佑路). Tel: (0)21-6328-0602. Hours: 7am-12:30am daily.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Pork Bone @ Hei Tu Di
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!