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.
The crown jewel of Huaiyang cuisine, Wangdonglou’s pig face entails all the skin from the front of the head including the ears, snout, and cheeks ripped off in one piece – bringing new meaning to the Chinese expression “losing face.” The pig face arrives on a plate leering up at you through eye slits like an edible halloween mask, with Peking duck-style mantou, cucumber, onion, and decorative fruit segments arrayed around it. These do little to mitigate the ghastly appearance. However, pig’s face is our favorite eat in town, and as far as we know, the only dish of its kind in the city.
The flesh is a blend of pork fat and gelatin; succulent as the fattiest hong shao rou, but not as bloating. Even the ears, which usually taste like crunchy Live Strong bands, seem to liquefy in your mouth within a few munches – a tribute to the fact that the face is simmered for half a day. So cram some quivering face flesh into a pillowy bun with veg and sauce and enjoy. But don’t arrive too late as they only cook a select number of faces per day. 178RMB/half, 328RMB/whole.
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.
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