First published on 20 Apr 2011. Updated on 25 Sep 2012.
One of the most beautiful classical gardens in Shanghai
Nanxiang lays claim to being the birthplace of the xiaolongbao and therefore has an entire street dedicated to the soup-filled dumplings beside the Ming dynasty gardens of Guyi Park. You’ll find dozens of xiaolongbao restaurants lining Guyi Yuan Lu (which has been demarcated as a ‘healthy street’ by the local government) all with near-identical steamers outside their front door offering the snack. Beside the park itself, Guyi Yuan Restaurant (218 Huyi Gong Lu, near Guyi Yuan Lu, 5912 1335) – notable for its grand, temple-like building and statues of xiaolongbao mascots Nannan and Xiangxiang – will do you a steamer of 20 Nanxiang xiaolongbao for 20RMB, or ten crab dumplings for 15RMB.
Once you've had you fill of xiaolongbao, Guyi Park (entry 12RMB) provides a pleseant setting for a post-snak stroll. Originally constructed by an officer in the Ming dynasty, the collection of landscaped gardens, teahouses and corridors all surrounding a central stretch of lily pad-laden water have been rebuilt and expanded a number of times, but remains an atmospheric place and is well worth a visit.