Thursday, January 02, 2014

Three holes in some Shanghai walls

Tomato egg, one of my favorites
Shanghai might be changing very fast, but a few things fortunately have not. We had a excellent lunch at an authentic Shanghai eaterie (我家餐厅/Wo Jia Can Ting)) at Huashan Lu 241 lane (it has no number, but you can find it in the back). It claims a listing at the CNN Best Shanghai Eats for 2010, according to a sticker at the front door, but we could not retrieve the listing. Actually, they would not really match most of the other listings, apart from the nice and tasty food.
The restaurant combines three different old houses, and offers an amazing crappiness with a cozy atmosphere, partly because it is run by three older Shanghainese men. The food is mostly sweet Shanghainese food, not appreciate by our neighboring table with some guest from outside Shanghai, who preferred more spicy food and thought the price was still high.
We did not dare to have a peek into the kitchen, as we like to do, since it might not have helped out appetite. And while the entrance is hard to find, we were already refused a few times at night, because it was too busy. An early lunch today proved to be possible.
The operations offers not only nice Shanghai food, it illustrates also a group of Shanghai men who have made the best out of their unprivileged position. Shanghai men are forced into submission by their women, most clearly illustrated by them carrying the handbags of their wives. They have to carry out most of the household, including cooking.
The three men at this restaurant obvious have been able to make the best out of their disadvantaged position, by using their talents in a professional kitchen.  The two older complaining old men at the Muppet Show, look most closely like those three men, making derogative comments about anybody who cannot hear them. Worth a visit.

Update: The restaurant was listed at the CNN website, a friend told me. Here is the post.
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