We can’t stay in a large city without a little more detail on the food we had and the restaurants.
Xian Qiang Fang Restaurant
After tearing ourselves away from our perch over the Bund, we joined the crush of humanity along the Ginza-like Nanjing Street to our first night’s restaurant. The restaurant, recommended by our concierge, had atmosphere to spare. We also enjoyed the food and the service. The spareribs with dates were sweet and generally good, although the meat was somewhat overdone The braised prawns in ginger soy sauce tasty, although the sauce did slightly overwhelm the prawns. Our favorite dish was steamed shrimp with mushrooms and avocado. This was served in a subtle apple, mushroom cream sauce with just enough lightly sautéed onions to add a tiny tang. Delicious. Our server, meanwhile, was knowledgeable, responsive and personable.
Shanghai Restaurant. The highly coveted Shanghai Hairy Crab was in season when we were in town so of course we had to try it. Although we enjoyed this crab (although not as much as dungeness, stone, soft shell, or fresh Alaskan (non-salt preserved) king crab, it was good. But it paled in comparison to our other two dishes. The Shanghai soup dumplings, filled with a pork/crab mixture and a deliciously concentrated of soup, and abalone with crab (with far more abalone than we have had at as single serving since the 1980s). The reviews on the Wang Baohe Crab Banquet wine that our wonderful server recommended were mixed. After a few tastes, I rather enjoyed the plum-flavored, fortified taste. Joyce, who does not like any fortified wines, did not. We broke a traveling food rule and returned two nights later for a repeat performance of their dumplings and the crab and abalone dish.
Whampoa Club. A very nice meal. Joyce had one dish, sautéed diced chicken with cashews and dried chiles. Tom had the Businessman’s four-course lunch, in which he combined jellyfish salad with soy-braised brown wheat gluten and mushrooms, followed by hot and sour soup, stir-fried prawns with lilybuds (like small bok choy) and sliced celery, finished with a deep-fried red bean rice cake (the only disappointment of the meal.
House of Roosevelt Rooftop Lounge
After dodging people along the packed promenade overlooking the Bund (due to National Week), we needed a drink. We had read about a rooftop lounge atop the historic House of Roosevelt (Teddy) hotel and thought we would at least stop for a look. One look was all it took. The incredible view of the Bund, the river and the Pudong skyline, combined with the comfortable seats and seating beds sold us. Although we gulped at the price of the $25-$30 per glass of wine, we gladly paid the price for the view. The real reward came as darkness began to fall and the building and boat lights began to come on. Lights of all colors, from every direction, illuminated the scene. It was absolutely hypnotic. One of the most beautiful views, and one of the most relaxing places to enjoy it, that we had ever experienced. We shall return.