In China it can be difficult to track down a solid middle-ground restaurant that effortlessly straddles the space between high-end fine diner and ‘serves delicious local flavour, but under no circumstances look behind the kitchen door’ hole-in-the-wall spots, which made the discovery of Jian Guo 328 – a casual-chic but no-frills neighbourhood eatery – an absolute delight. It turns out this little Shanghainese restaurant comes courtesy of Taiwanese native Karen Chen, who sought to create familiar local dishes in a comfortable environment from ingredients she could trust.
The result? A restaurant with a strict policy to cook only with filtered water, to never use low quality swill oil, and to ban using MSG – and the flavours in dishes like hongshaorou (braised pork belly), fried yellow fish spring rolls, and fermented tofu are never compromised or sacrificed. The deep fried duck leg has gained a cult following of its own, and locals swear by the noodles (opt for scallion or sesame peanut). In the same spirit of wholesome eating and food safety, there’s a reinforced smoking ban, so you can enjoy your meal in total waft-free comfort. Following the success of this community go-to, Chen plans to open a wine bar just down the road, so stay tuned!
328 Jianguo Xi Lu / +86 21 6471 3819 / lunch & dinner daily