Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Xiao Bai Hua

Xiao Bai Hua is a Shanghainese restaurant near Xujiahui, a big shopping mall of a district. It's become one of my stand-by places when I go out for a fun meal with friends, because it's good food, not terribly expensive (even by Chinese standards), at a cool location, and has a fun, casual atmosphere. The insides are clean, brightly lit, and whimsically decorated, and it feels something like dining in a home:

I first heard about the restaurant off the yelp-like, where I looked up, uhh, fish-head soup. That brings up images of a soup-pot full of fish heads, but here it's just a slightly creamy, well-flavored soup with an entire fish inside of it. The fish gets cleaned of the offal, but the head is left on – diners can just choose not to eat that part. The soup is excellent, and I get it almost every time I go to the restaurant. It's 88 kuai (about twelve dollars) for a bowl, but there's enough soup that two or three people could make their entire dinner out of it.

There's a very extensive menu full of Shanghai specialties, with an emphasis on seafoods. The menu is fully translated into English, and it's all very good, although I don’t quite think it rises up to the level of the soup, or of Chun, for that matter. The prices are decent, generally 20-40 kuai for a dish, and I usually end up spending about fifty kuai per person when I go. Here’s another picture of their food, again with the soup:

The restaurant is a little tricky to find the first time. I take the subway to Xujiahui, and then the #12 exit, across the street from Best Buy. It's a five or ten minute walk down Zhaojiabang Lu, past the park, to Wanping Lu, where I cross the street and take a left. Half a block down, on the right, is an alleyway, the address is 299 Wanping Lu, and the building is #3. There's a pink sign.

It's hard to pass by at night, because it's lit up like a Christmas tree!

It's a good idea to make a reservation if going at peak times, sometimes there'll be a short wait. The phone number is 21-6472-1867.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey man good to see your still in china. hope everythig is going good for ya.

chris eger