Although I’ve shared my love of xiaolongbao I’ve yet to share my favourite joint. I introduced the mahjong ladies there a couple of weeks ago so I thought it was about time I shared it with you too.
I found Lin Long Fang originally through Jing Theory who maintains it serves the best xiaolongbao in town. I think she’s spot on but there’s more to Lin Long Fang than just xiaolongbao. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s not in a touristy part of town. That’s the whole point. From the fabric market it’s a 10 minute cab ride and it won’t cost more than 20RMB to get there. Even from People’s Square it may only be 22RMB.
Although it’s the sister restaurant to Jia Jia it’s much less crowded and more local. In fact I’ve never had to queue. You can get by with no Chinese OK – just point and smile. If you want ginger, point at the 1RMB sign behind the counter. Go out all old skool and order a Fanta too – it’s Miranda on the menu.
I’m a bit predictable when it comes to xlb and it’s pork & crab all the way. Lunch will set you back 27RMB for the xlb, 1RMB for ginger and 2RMB for the Miranda. $5.20 in total.
There’s the same set up here as at Jia Jia with the open kitchen and dumplings cooked to order. I still can’t eat them with my chopsticks like the locals do and always have to ask for a spoon. I’ll know I’ve eaten too many dumplings the day that ever happens.
But it’s the walk around the block that makes it for me – and after wolfing down 12 xlb on your own a walk around is a good idea. Turn left out the door, left at the lights and just walk around the block- trust me you won’t be disappointed and you’ll see a slice of life that Shanghai tourists (and indeed many expats) wouldn’t normally see.
Outdoor kitchen on the street:
Preparing dinner (with someone’s long johns drying overhead!)
Shooting the breeze.
I’m know I’m a bit of a harpie about this, but I’ll say it again – street life like this won’t be here in ten years time.
Take a taxi to Lin Long Feng and you will feed your soul as well as your belly.
In the wash up:
What’s great: All of it apart from the duck blood soup which doesn’t appeal to me.
What’s not so great: Nothing so far. Have never been brave enough to go to the loo here I imagine it would be a bit grim.
English menu. No English spoken but lots of gesticulations and talking LOUDLY to you in Chinese just in case that helps.
Open: Early until sold out.
Address: 10 Jianguo Lu, Zhaozhou Lu
Still hungry for xlb? Here’s more options: