Bizarre Foods in Shanghai with Andrew Zimmern


Hello world. It's been a minute. A couple of days ago, as if by the flick of a switch, a cold front swept through Shanghai and we are now firmly ensconced in the grips of what is shaping up to be the coldest Winter in years. The hibernation is making me reckon with an impressive backlog of posts, so here goes.

Firstly, I never got to share this episode of Bizarre Foods I filmed with Andrew Zimmern back in March. It came out on the Travel Channel in June, and I think it's really well done! Zimmern is the OG food and travel television personality, with his show Bizarre Foods running for over 10 years now. Most of his crew members have been with him since day one, and the tight team dynamics really show on set and in the final product.  I think he's one of the few truly genuine personalities out there, along with fellow OGs Bourdain and Alton Brown, guided more by the thrill of discovery rather than their own celebrity.  Andrew was a joy to be with, so warm, engaging and interested. He had also been to China on his own more than 20 times prior to this trip, and has endless curiosity and respect for this country, which I appreciated compared to some other "celebrity chefs" and journalists I've encountered who seem more interested in pillaging China for viral content than actually paying tribute to its riches.

There are a couple versions of the episode floating around on Youtube, but I won't link to them as they keep getting broken, I hope you're able to find one of these versions or catch it on the Travel Channel!

Here is a list of places we visited in and around Shanghai:

Da Hu Chun 大壶春 89 Yunnan South Road(Near Jinling East Road) 云南南路89号,近金陵东路 07:30-20:00 Daily

We got to go in the kitchen and try our hand at wrapping shenjianbao (fried soup dumplings) at this old school establishment. Super atmospheric, tasty, and good value to boot.

Lan Xin 兰心餐厅 130 Jinxian Road (Near Maoming South Road) 进贤路130号,近茂名南路 11:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00 Daily

Small home style Shanghainese eatery with just a few tables. Solid if not a bit monotonous.

Sister Wang's Epic Private Kitchen 汪姐私房菜 88 Xianxia Road (near Loushanguan Road)  仙霞路88号太阳广场,近娄山关路 Mobile:13917020450 (set menus starting at 600 RMB per person)

BELIEVE THE HYPE. Sister Wang is every bit as badass as she appears on the show. This self-taught cook and all around boss commands the wet market and her kitchen better than most professionals, leading Andrew to proclaim her the most skilled chef he's ever met. Her Wechat name is Vodka. I rest my case. Call wayy in advance.

Shouning Street Food Road 寿宁路美食街

The eateries on this street are open all day but best time to go is after dark. Lots of crayfish joints, bbq, and of course, snake.

Zhujiajiao Water Town 朱家角水镇

Quaint and historic water town about 40 minute drive from downtown Shanghai, nice for a day trip, some awesome street food stalls along the main path, worth a trip even if it's a bit touristy.

Han Da Long 100 Year Old Pickle Shop (涵大隆酱园) 287 Bei Da Road (Near the tourist boat dock) 朱家角镇北大街287号(近游船下客码头)

This place alone is worth the trip, a million different types of pickles and fermented goodness. You can sample before you buy, and trust me, you'll want to buy everything. I usually get some pickled bamboo, pickled young ginger, fermented tofu, and preserved mustard greens.