I had popped into the Fairmont Peace Hotel for guidence on somewhere good to eat that serves good honsaho rou where pork belly is simmered in dark soy sauce giving the meat a reddish color which the dish its named after (cooked similar to a western stew).
The concerige at the hotel directed me to Shanghai Grandmother, which was a couple of blocks from the hotel and striking distance from the Bund which cooks up a variety of home-style dishes at affordable prices.
As I peered through the window as I walked past, I noticed most of the patrons were local. I decided to go in where they the staff members at the front directed me upstairs where there were more seating. I was taken back to see there were a few westerners dining there. I immediately thought ‘great, another touristy restaurant that the Hotel had suggested to me’.
Since it was already getting late I decide to take a seat. The menu was provided to me which was in both Chinese and English, which offers a good selection to choose from. This is a popular option for locals largely for its reasonable prices.
Unfortunately eating along has it’s limitations, I could only order a couple of dishes as I did not want to over order and taking a couple of mouthfuls from each dishes. Which would look bad, knowing there are hungry people outside. I decided to order a couple of dishes.
Honshao Rou – when the dish arrived my eyes opened at the size of the dish which I will not be able to finish. Its appearance is dark in nature. The pork belly was cut into big thick squares which was covered in this thick dark sweet soy sauce. as you would imagine the pork belly was fairly fatty where I ended up having to cut off all the fat from the mat. The meat itself was tender, and succulent. It was quite a nice dish but eating the entire dish myself, ended up proving to be fairly sweet.
Stuffed Tofu Rolls w minced vegetables and meat – I wanted something more healthy and clean as I knew the honshao rou would be heavy, and no better way was to get stuffed tofu rolls.
The tofu sheet was thin which was wrapped like a spring roll encasing little mince pork and lots of veges. Definitely a good dish to have. Even though the appearance of this dish is simplistic it definitely packs flavour and a good local dish to try.
Good little restaurant, if you are after something off the main road, where the menu is in both Chinese and English serving good authentic Shanghainese food and prices to match. Service here is efficient and friendly. there are waiters who can speak a little English to get by. Generally when you are dining alone you tend to opt for either hotel restaurants, small takeaway looking joints or street food. If you do feel like restaurant food, whether you are dining alone or with a group, give this place a try. Most of it is decent enough, certainly not remarkable.
Location: 70 Fuzhou Road, Shanghai