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.
Amidst the garish gaggle of Starbucks, KFCs, and other stock brands comprising the Parkside Plaza complex, lies Wangdonglou, an upmarket eatery serving Huaiyang cuisine, one of China’s four major cuisines alongside Guangdong, Sichuan, and Shandong. It features all the familiar faces such as Yangzhou fried rice, and other, literal familiar faces like braised pig face (half and whole), and fish head soup. The best head, however, is a not an animal noggin but lion’s head meatball (獅子頭, Shi Zi Tou, 45RMB).
This savory sphere consists of finely-chopped, uber-fatty pork, egg whites, and chicken stock, among other ingredients. Wongdonglou serves its lion head “white,” without the sticky red Shanghai braise, and it comes chopped so fine that despite being over 30% fat, you feel as if a small puff of air could blow it into orbit. This translates to the flavor as well. You taste a whole pig’s worth of succulence in one ball like some kind of Big Bang Atom of unctuousness and yet feel miraculously light after eating it. Think a regular meatball combined with a cloud.
Wangdonglou – 4/f, L4-24, 196 Daduhe Road, near Yunling Road (大渡河路196号, 近云岭东路, 长风景畔广场4楼L4-24). Tel: (0)21-5286-8848.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Beef dumplings @ Chunfu Shui Jiao
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
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