Lu Bo Lang Restaurant, Shanghai
This place at 115 Yuyan Road (6328-0602) is apparently quite famous for its Shanghainese cuisine (I heard that President Clinton dined here once?). We got an assortment of little dishes, starting with some kind of a crab roe tofu, which was very delicate and ever so mildly sweet with a heavy dose of rice wine aroma in the corn starch. We also had some river prawns cooked very simply without even so much as a garnish to go with it, but they were very tender. We had a couple pastries too, including one that was stuffed with a savory meat filling and had a great flaky crust (read: heavy pork lard). Another light sweet glutinous snack was also surprisingly fragrant.
One quintessential dish from Shanghai is shan hu, which is a dark colored eel sitting underneath a load of hot clear oil that has been poured over it. A solid dose of white pepper is later sprinkled on at the table. Despite how it sounds, it is really, really good, especially if you like the taste of white pepper like I do.
The only letdown here was the hsiao long bao. On my last trip to Shanghai, I found the hsiao long bao at another restaurant to be better than the ones at Din Tai Fung due to the tastier filling (despite not having the delicate handiwork in the wrapping that makes Din Tai Fung so famous), so I was hoping to get the same here. Unfortunately, the ones at this restaurant were rather plain. Oh well. Everything else at this place was pretty good though.
These guys have a funny saying on the back of their business card: "Smelling the fragrance I stop at the Famous Restaurant and all tacsted [sic] by the flavour I park my car at the Lu Bo Lang." I couldn't quite smell any fragrance outside, but it was good to come to this place to get some food unique to Shanghai. As with most mainland Chinese food though, it is really greasy - almost to the point that I felt a bit nauseous afterwards, even though it was a pretty good meal.