Many century old restaurants in Shanghai do not leave up to their reputation because they become state-owned and the standards dropped. Fortunately Dexing Hall isn’t one of them.
Dexing Hall was founded in 1878. The main store on Guangdong Road has a dazzling golden lacquer signboard and a Chinese pavilion facade. Upstairs there are a more comfortable dining room and private dining rooms, serving Shanghai cuisine, cold dishes, hot dishes, soups and Shanghai snacks, etc. The noodles and dim sum are freshly made in the restaurant.
On the ground floor, there is a noodle restaurant selling Shanghainese-style noodles and covered rice 盖浇饭, something similar to Singapore’s economy rice 杂菜饭. The chefs arrive at four o’clock every morning to prepare the broth and the ingredients.
三鲜面 Three Savoury Noodles is one of the signature dish, served since they opened 150 years ago. The origin of this noodle dish is disputable as the Shaoxing and Wuxi folks have similar style noodles. But their version consisted of pan fried fish 爆鱼, deep fried river eel 脆鳝丝 and braised pork shank 焖蹄.
The marble-like braised pork shank melted in the mouth, and the fried fish with thick and savoury sauce was very tasty. I didn’t like the deep fried river eel as they were overcooked. And the noodles with the red sauce broth was also very good. A very good breakfast choice.
Saury wonton is a famous snack from Jiangyin City, Jiangsu Province. It is delicious, can’t be cooked for a long time, and is crystal clear and moisturising. The filling is made of minced female saury from the water of the mouth of the Yangtze River estuary. They become very fat in early spring and Shanghainese knows it’s springtime when this particular wonton becomes available.
I thought it would be just a small bowl of wontons, but it turned out be eight pieces of large dumplings. Very filling and satisfying, it was a meal on its own. I don’t waste food, so I mustered up the courage and finished it all.
The food here are very simple and straightforward, served in decent portions. One only need to spend 30-40 ¥ for a quick and filling meal.
Dexing Hall 德兴馆 (本店)
Tel : +86 21 6352 2535
Visited Feb 2023
Michelin Shanghai Guide Recommends/Plates 2018-2023
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