Shanghai never ceases to amaze me. Every time I’m there, it seems to grow bigger and taller and Henry was blown away by how modern it is. We got off our AA flight tired and hungry (the food on the plane was some of the worst I’ve ever had) and hurried to the apartment that I had rented on West Nanjing Road. I definitely recommend looking into an apartment rental for accommodations if you’re traveling with a few other people and/or are looking for a more authentic experience. Our apartment was in a 100+ year old building home to a variety of businesses and residences and located in an area with many locals.
To address our hunger, we headed to Shouning Road, a street known for its seafood (crawfish specifically) and late night hours. For our first meal in China, we decided to make three food stops (I forgot to take a photo of the famous Shanghainese hairy crab that we ate at No. 23 Shouning Road but to be honest, it was rather unremarkable and not worth the cost).
After a night’s rest, it was time for breakfast. We walked with my grandparents from the apartment to Huanghe Road in an old part of town. Along the way, Grandpa told us stories of Shanghai “before the liberation” (prior to 1949).
Breakfast was, again, a three part affair. One of my all-time favorites is Shengjian Bao (aka Shengjian Mantou) and these little pan-fried buns can be found on any street corner in Shanghai. They are more popular in Shanghai for everyday consumption than the more famous Xiaolongbao (XLB). For some reason, it seems like every restaurant in the US has XLB on their menu and there are actually quite a few places in the SGV that do them well but Shengjian Bao is rarely available back home. Also, Jianbing (part three of meal) is the ubiquitous Chinese street food but is almost completely nonexistent in the US and what options we do have back home are all disappointing. All this means is that we had to get our Chinese street food fix in before we had to leave.