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Hunan cuisine at “Di Shui Dong” Restaurant in Shanghai

Di Shui Dong Restaurant

Now back to our Shanghai-trip that actually just ended a week ago and still is pretty fresh in my memory. Many of the activities there were been taking care of by our hosts, but I still had a small list of recommendations compiled by my friend Toby (Thanks again!). One of those was Di Shui Dong Restaurant within the French concession, a popular place both among locals and expats, famous for its spicy and aromatic Hunan cuisine. We entered the locality for lunchtime on day one.

Hunan chicken

The first dish arriving at our table was Hunan chicken, which was surprisingly served cold (I just pointed on the pictures of the menu for chosing dishes) but still quite tasty, with enough bones to chew on.

cumin-spiced pork ribs

Then, the highlight, cumin-spiced pork ribs that had an intense crunch. Interestingly, the flavor of the cumin seemed to cushion the power of the chilies and, – vice-versa – the spiciness of the chilies seemed to milden the often very dominant flavor of the cumin. Either way, this is a well thought-out spicy dish.

Pork belly

The Pork belly also is very delicious. Many whole garlic cloves are mixed into the dish, reputedly a typical attribute of Hunan cuisine.

Hunan Veggies

The spicy Hunan cuisine is often compared to the also very spicy Sichuan cuisine. It is said to be a style with more “oily” dishes that use fresh ingredients such as fresh chilies, opposed to the use of dried condiments (peppercorns) in Sichuan cuisine (according to Wikipedia). The oiliness is nice to see in this pic of stir-fried veggies, which didn’t make em less tasty though!

Eggplants
Delicious Eggplants 

Tofu
Tofu

Funny moment: I wanted to order some scallops in black bean sauce which my friend Toby warmly recommended, I couldn’t find them on the menu however. As none of the waitresses spoke English, I was trying to explain myself with hand signs and pitiful drawings of a scallop (10 giggling waitresses around me now – service in the entire restaurant stood still for about 5 minutes). All of the sudden, one of the waitresses took my email printout with the recommendations and brought it to one of the private dining rooms, where -so I assumed – diners were bilingual. 5 minutes waiting. Then all of the sudden: loud, boisterous laughter of a group of about 10 coming out of that separated room. I instantly realized, that they must have read the lines describing the restaurant’s bathroom as “primitive”…

But don’t worry, even if the bathrooms weren’t luxurious, they’re not the kind that make you run away in horror. Pretty much average standard I’d say. But I don’t want to finish this post on a toilet line, I’d rather repeat myself by saying that the restaurant is definitely worth a visit as it serves a very tasty kind of spicy cuisine in a comfortable, casual atmosphere. If you stay in a hotel and don’t speak Mandarin, ask the concierge to make a reservation for you.

 

Restaurant Di Shui Dong
56 Mao Ming South Road, Shanghai, China
Phone: 021-62532689

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