Located behind the back alleys of Shanghai Pedestrian Mall – Nanjing Road – is a small lane called Tianjin Road that has many good eats right in the middle of the city.
Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street is like the Orchard Road of Shanghai, all the fancy malls and well-known restaurants can be found there, like Taikang Dumpling, Seventh Heaven, Wabg Bao He. But unknown to many is the many good eats around the alleys parallel to Nanjing Road, all named after major cities of China. LaoXingLong Restaurant is one of them found along Tianjin Street.
The cuisine is homestyle Shanghainese food that Shanghai mothers will cook at home.
红烧肉 braised pork belly
The pork belly used is not as fatty as elsewhere, there’s still some bit of lean meat. The pork was tender and heavily flavoured with a thick and sweet soy sauce glaze. 红烧肉 braised pork belly is different from Dongpo pork as it does not go through long braising like the latter.
清炒河虾仁 stir fry river shrimp
Another Shanghai classic, 清炒河虾仁 stir fry river shrimp requires a lot of patience when preparing in the work for taking out the intestines and impurities from each shrimp so that the result would be a plate of crystal clear sautéed shrimps that is simply seasoned with salt and egg white. The taste comes naturally with the freshness of the shrimps.
腌笃鲜 salted pork with bamboo shoot, twisted bean curd soup
The stock is boiled from salted ham and pork bones until milky white. Then fresh pork belly, bean curd and sliced bamboo are added to enhance the monotonous flavour.
猪油菜饭 vegetable rice with lard
In the old days when resources are scarce, pork fat is not wasted and clarified into lard oil. This is a very fragrant and nutritious oil, and can be used to stir-fry or just simply added to rice, noodles for a lot of umami. 猪油菜饭 vegetable rice with lard uses the simplest of materials – rice, boiled vegetables and lard mixed together to produce a very endearing meal.
儿时酱油蛋 childhood steamed eggs with soy sauce
Unlike chawanmushi, 儿时酱油蛋 childhood steamed eggs with soy sauce is a simple dish of steaming beaten egg liquid with a pork patty. Our egg was overcooked.
On the second story is a small attic that has been converted to accommodate another 10 people. It can almost be sure that the space created out of half the floor of the ground floor. You can see the street scenery from this make-shift attic, though not great, it still feels like the romantic early 20th century old Shanghai as the new Shanghai melts away in the background. Be warned though, the “attic” can smell funky in winter when the windows are all closed.
The place is ran as family-owned restaurant, the proprietor is a Shanghai native. 老上海 “Old Shanghai” as we called them, not because of the age, but the shrewd, condescending attitude that he has with fellow Chinese from outside town. This time I ordered 3 dishes, 1 soup and a rice, the portions were reasonably big for the price and there were enough food for 4 persons. The dinner was generally good, but the ambiance of dining in the unique old Shanghai building – priceless! In the miniature restaurant, the table spacing is not generous and the attic is narrow – it would be a NO-NO in the current COVID-19 situation. If you want to experience homestyle Shanghainese cuisine with an ambiance (and attitude) to match, then it is highly recommended to visit LaoXingLong.
LaoXingLong Restaurant 老兴隆餐厅
528 Tianjin Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai, China 上海市黄浦区天津路528号
Tel : 021-63222947
Date Visited : Jun 2017