This place is located on the third floor rear of an office building. It is a little hard to find, as the house numbers on the street are unevenly spaced and the signs are small. Just inside the entrance there is a huge display of shark's fins in a glass case.
Our lunch here turned out to be our best meal in Shanghai and one of our most memorable meals ever. The food was interesting, wholly flavorful, and artfully presented without being pretentious. Dried Bean Curd ( 16 yuan) was stacked like logs and tea-stained like marble with little mild peppercorns laced throughout. Dry, a little chewy, a nice snack to start. Black Fungus (15 yuan), served cold, was fabulous. It was habit forming. It sat in a flavored broth with little shreds of green and red pepper. Delicate, slimy, tasty, and mildly chewy. Shaoxing Leg Muscles (beef tendons, 68 yuan) were soft and very intensely flavored. There was ground beef on top and bean sprouts underneath, surrounded by a wreath of baby bok choy, in a reddish broth with oil that had a little kick. A really satisfying and interesting dish. Yuxin Braised Tofu with Vegetables (38 yuan) was poured as a hot liquid from a metal coffeepot, then covered to sit at the table and set. It was then served with chives, soybeans, pickled minced vegetables, hot sauce, and sticky soy sauce to garnish to taste. It had the consistency of soft custard, real comfort food! We decided to order a curious-seeming dish, Clam Stewed in Coconut Milk (38 yuan), how weird is that? Mystery solved when it came as our dessert. The “clams” were actually a soft tapioca-like pasta in thin sweet coconut broth, and very satisfying indeed.
The surreal element of the day was the nonstop repetition of “California Dreamin’” over the sound system, a disco arrangement sung in English, during our entire stay (nearly an hour). Service was prompt, correct, cold, and high-tech. We admired the efficiency of the server ordering our dishes by number on a wireless transmitter. Especially when the first two dishes arrived at the table while she was still taking our order.
The bill for two with beer was 247 yuan or $38.
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