Shanghai’s fine dining chefs aren’t only about fancy cuisine. From cold cuts topped with gooey melted cheese to rich and fatty pork intestine noodles, here six chefs spill their all-time favourite comfort foods to see them through the cold winter months and where to find them in Shanghai.
Beth Magnin, Peninsula Shanghai
Raclette, La Cabane
Photographs: courtesy Peninsula Shanghai and La Cabane
Why I started dating a French guy (now my husband), he introduced me to the whole raclette experience and we’ve been indulging during winters since.
Where I go to La Cabane, it somewhat pleasantly reeks of mountain cheese as soon as you walk in. You get plenty of cold cuts, potatoes and bread to top with your melted cheese, as well as a tempting amount of digestifs to help lighten the palate afterwards.
La Cabane, 1 Taojiang Lu, near Dongping Lu.
Chan Soo, Jeju Izakaya
Tonkatsu curry, Dr Curry
Photographs: courtesy Jeju Izakaya and Dr Curry
Why It’s a personal memory. My mother used to make me curry when I was growing up (it’s her favourite food) and it really warms me up on the inside, especially the heart.
Where Dr Curry. I work nearby and visit once a week. I always go to the restaurant, never take away – the curry is topped with a fresh raw egg and the staff (like the food) are warm-hearted.
Dr Curry, 1797 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Wanping Lu.
DeAille Tam and Simon Wong, Obscura
DeAille Tam: Wonton noodles, Uncle Cha's Noodles
Photographs: courtesy Obscura and @查餐厅厨师 via Weibo
Why It’s something I grew up eating in Hong Kong, and even in Toronto, so it’s stuck with me no matter where I am in the world... Cheap, fast and good, what’s not to like about it?
Where I like the wonton noodles at Uncle Cha’s because they’re reminiscent of the flavours I know and love. Not only is it the taste, aroma and texture, but the ambience of the Cantonese diner brings back the nostalgia of my youth.
Uncle Cha’s Noodles, 30 Sinan Lu, near Nanchang Lu.
Simon Wong: Pastrami sandwich, Tock's
Photograph: Yang Xiaozhe (Reuben sandwich, Tock's)
Why I grew up in a Jewish neighbourhood in Canada and I was introduced to delicatessens very early on in my childhood. I would salivate in anticipation knowing that I would indulge in that sandwich. That first bite is probably one of the most satisfying things I can think of in this world.
Where I’ve actually made pastrami many times myself, but when I don’t have the time to embark on such a lengthy process I go to Tock’s. I like it there because pastrami or smoked meat is not something you can shortcut and they take the time to brine the brisket properly.
Tock’s, No 16-203, Second Floor, Fengsheng Li, Lane 281, Maoming Bei Lu, near Nanjing Xi Lu.
Tony He, Sui Tang Li
Pork intestine noodles, Da Chang Mian
Photographs: courtesy Sui Tang Li and @酸酸Didooo via Weibo
Why I just love fat and tasty pork intestine.
Where I go to a small place called Da Chang Mian. It’s not fancy, in fact it’s pretty rusty, but people are always queuing for these noodles. They don’t over clean the intestines, that’s why it’s so tasty here.
Da Chang Mian, 59 Fuxing Zhong Lu, near Jian Lu.
Eason Mann, Canton Table
Mutton fondue, Laoli Lamb Spine Hotpot
Photographs: courtesy Canton Table and @莫逆光 via Weibo
Why I usually crave traditional Cantonese dishes when I eat out, especially baizhanji (poached chicken), but in winter it’s good to eat some mutton as it warms the body.
Where There are lots of good places in Shanghai, but I go to Laoli Lamb Spine Hotpot’s Anlong Lu restaurant. It’s fresh, clean and very close to my home (which is important when the weather is cold!)
Laoli Lamb Spine Hotpot, 691 Anlong Lu, near Xianxia Lu. Multiple locations.