** Restaurant Xin Ji Shi, Shanghai
When in Shanghai one should dine on Shanghaiese cuisine. Five of us went to Xin Ji Shi in the fashionable Xin Tian Di area. Xin = new, Tian = heaven, Di = earth. This area has many types of foreign restaurants. Xin Ji Shi means new luck. Any restaurants that can operate successfully in the disparate political climates of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan must be doing something right. The decor is that of a couple hundred years ago, complete with a high thread hold which used to indicate the status of the household.
- Chicken soup. A whole chicken is put in a tall clay pot and the pot is steamed for hours. The flavor of the soup is intense and the chicken very tender.
- A mound of chilies hiding chunks of chicken and jumbo shrimp. Interesting presentation and fun digging for the morsels.
- Tofu stew, not very good.
- Shrimp cooked in hot oil. This was a sub par presentation of this signature Shanghai dish.
- Greens, the serving was so small I never got to try it.
- Tung Por Pork. Named for one of the leading poets in China, this is chunks of fatty and lean pork stewed for a long time to marry the flavors. It was everyone's favorite.
A good meal with the total damage coming to only RMB 557 (US$67.84).