Yuan Yuan is one of the more expensive cuisines in Shanghai. My parents and I were actually quite lost around the area of what to eat and we walked into a famous Chinese Arts & Crafts (中藝) store to ask for recommendations. As it was already 2PM, some restaurants stoppped serving lunch already so the sales rep recommended Yuan Yuan just across the street in Orient Shopping Centre close to American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He did warn us about the price but we wanted some decent Shanghainese food that we didn’t care.
Yuan Yuan is located at the third floor of Orient Shopping Centre. Upon looking at their menu before entering, I noticed that they offered this fish called pseudosciaena crocea (apparently the best kind are in Shanghai?) for $70RMB. And because my dad is a fish-lover, we quickly walked in. However, when reading the menu more carefully, it was $70RMB per ounce!! For a good steamed fish, it is usually at least 2 pounds so that’s 32ounces… $70×32 ounce = $2240 for just the fish!! That is approximately $340CAD! LOL super expensive! We did not end up getting it, it was too pricey and we didn’t trust the water in Shanghai at that time.
Instead, we ordered the following….
Steamed Soup Bun(xiao long bao) – can’t leave Shanghai without eating steamed soup bun/dumplings as it’s where it is originated. One of the few best xiao long baos I’ve had for sure. I think this was even better to the infamous Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant which the review will be coming up shortly.
Water Eel – these water eels were very thin. One of the best I’ve had. There were no bones in them and it was crunchy!
Pork Belly – this was also the best pork belly I’ve ever had in my life! I’m a pork belly lover (I know, it’s unhealthy and fattening..but so good). This was also their signature dish. The sauce and the way they marinated was just indescribable. The sauce was not too sweet, soury nor too thick, it was just perfect. The pork belly was marinated just right with the perfect texture of not too soft or too tough. We didn’t end up finishing this dish and backed this back to Hong Kong with us (as it was our last day here in Shanghai). We shared it with our relatives in HK and they loved it too….despite the fact that it has been on the plane and was at least 6 hours old). Highly recommend this signature dish!
Radish Pastry – baked at perfection! It came out of the kitchen, hot! Freshly baked!
Overall, I had a great time in Shanghai and enjoyed my meal at Yuan Yuan. Will definitely visit again just for the pork belly at least. Farwell, Shanghai!