Ha anyway, saw the tight window of opportunity and took advantage of it. During the quiet and long Easter weekend, we went to Shanghai for a nice and short holiday. Overall, it’s a nice and easy trip.
Beside the usual Bund, I strongly suggest that everyone should go to the Shanghai Old Street (上海老街) near Yu Garden (豫园). These places are nice, and when you walk down the road, it’s like back in the old Shanghai days and you thought you’ve gone back in times to the war time in early 20th Century… Anyhow, there’s a very interesting place call Nan Xiang Restaurant (南翔饅頭店)
interesting, because their xiao long bun is soooo good and juicy, it’s “cheap”, (I mean, it's cheap, but there’s a twist to it), super duperly famous and has been around for about 100years… So as a tourist, we went to the restaurant on a rainy Saturday and suddenly we found that there’s a super long queue.. probably there’s about 50 people queuing up for…take away.
We’re not taking away, and I think eating in house during a rainy day is much nicer anyway… so we went up one floor.
Super long queue. So... we gave up. There’s no way we can beat the locals in fighting for table.
That night itself, one of our shanghainese friend told us the secret of eating in Nan Xiang.
“The higher you go up (floors in the restaurant), the price will go up by 20%. Don’t give up after you see the queue in first floor…” source: A shanghai-based Malaysian dude.
Interesting. The next day, we decided to splash our cash to eat a bun (not that we're that rich...所谓"出来玩早就料到会花钱" - spending is predicted while travelling), and went to Nan Xiang again.
Nice, the queue is 2 times longer, well, it’s a sunny Sunday, it’s kinda predictable. So we went up to 1st floor, haha, long queue, no worries! 2nd floor. Darn, long queue too! I grabbed a waiter and asked “how many floors do you have?”
Only two? That’s weird… He looked at me, and asked “ we have Ya Zhuo (雅座) if you want…”
“???!!!” Ya Zhuo? What’s that? (literally it means nice seat)
The waiter said “well, you can get a seat straight away, but, you must spent at least RMB150 each.”
I grabbed the menu and found that 6 buns cost about RMB 33 – 50… meaning that we have to eat at least 18 buns per person?
I asked him, “do you think we can eat RMB150 per person?”
Without a doubt, he said “sure, I guarantee”
Crazy and desperate enough, we took the seat.
We walked up a small flight of stairs, and another one after about a 20-steps walk, and realized that we have reached a floor which is about 20cms higher than the 1st floor. (ha! another floor!)
The decorations are different, I mean, much nicer and the it’s so much quieter. Well, I was telling Lindy, hey, think we’re over paying for this… but then we realized that there are a few “floors” to go… In the end, we took the package which cost us RMB150 each (to meet the quota) but, it’s totally worth it! Nice, juicy, and we went to Heaven and back. Haha. (for pictures, you would need to go to my facebook. Haha)
okok. this is the picture of the place. and trust me, the bun is worth your money, time and patience ;)
Check out the craziness here. watch this video
after that, we flew back to Hong Kong, and realised that.... there's a branch in Hong Kong too...oh well, nothing beats eathing shanghai xiao long bun at shanghai authentic old restaurant on a nice shanghai chilly sunny day... perfecto.