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.
You won’t experience more cutthroat dining in Shanghai than at local dive, Guang Ming Cun. On the street level grizzled Shanghainese queue for hours (often five or more during Chinese New Year) in front of a glass display of roast meats to takeout. Skip this line and head upstairs to the second floor, where nobody’s waiting to takeout. And believe me, you’ll want to do takeout here. The “first come first serve” policy means that if you opt to sit down, a family of four will flock around your table within seconds, inching closer and closer the longer you spend eating. You’ll feel like a lion guarding its kill from increasingly emboldened hyenas.
Why put up with an ambience evocative of a Rwandan refugee camp? Many reasons, but the biggest for us is the Shanghai-style braised duck, jiàngyā (38RMB). Sublimely tender, crispy-skinned, lathered in a soy sauce braise which coats it like sweet, sticky resin, and only 38RMB, it’s probably the best bang for your duck in town. After you’re done licking the glaze from your fingers, don’t be afraid to go Cro-Magnon and use your hands to grasp the bones while gnawing away.
Guang Ming Cun – 588 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Chengdu Nan Lu (淮海中路588号, 近成都南路). Tel: (0)21-5306-7878. Hours: 9am-11pm.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Fried goat cheese @ Lotus Eatery
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]!