Eat shoots & leaves – Shanghainese cuisine is a cocktail of influences from the Jiangnan region, pepped up with a shot of European flavours. The city is best known for its dumplings and red-braised dishes; less widely recognised are its refreshing soups and healthy vegetable dishes. Local chefs draw on seasonal ingredients — including bamboo, leafy greens and shrimps — and add flavour with cured Jinhua ham, dried seafood and other preserves.
Shanghai souvenirs – Bring back a bottle of aged Shaoxing wine (for both drinking and cooking) and look out for jars of pickled vegetables such as xue cai, a salted mustard green that’s one of the staple ingredients of local fare. Browse the food shops on Nanjing Lu or Huaihai Lu for all manner of ingredient sand, if you’re interested in knives, checkout the cleavers at ZhangXiao Quart in Nanjing Lu.
Dumplings & delicacies – Don’t miss steamed soup dumplings with their tidy pleats and juicy stuffings: head to the tiny Jia Jia Tang Baoforan authentic local experience or bag a table at Din Tai Fung if you’d rather take your time. Alternatively, book a private room at Fu 1088 and order steamed river shad or braised Shanghai cabbage with tofu and salted pork.