22 Jan

(some little shop house) Chung Qing Chicken Kung Pow
Yun Nan Road
Shanghai, China

Noticed a tiny tiny little shop house as I was walking home, which was completely packed out with people and split into 2 ultra-cramped semi floors. Of course, I eagerly barged on in and scored a tiny little wooden table upstairs, perched on an equally tiny wooden stool. The menu was plonked in front of me and – oh no! – it was in Chinese!! I learned a lesson right there and then – the small hole-in-the-wall joints only have Chinese menus and they also can only speak Chinese. From my ‘amazing’ Chinese reading skills, I’d figured out this was a “chicken” place based on the shop name, so I asked in Mandarin for her to give me what she thought was her best dish. She was a lovely ‘lil old lady, amused at this “wai kuo ren” (aka foreigner) spluttering some Chinese at her ;) You’d think that they’d try and rip you off, but I’ve found that at every joint I’ve been to, they select the cheapest/mid-range dish for me.. and this lady even discouraged me from ordering more “You won’t be able to finish!!” she exclaimed, when I hungrily enquired about more food.

Moments later, a little gas stove was plonked in front of me and then came a small steaming-hot of……. what was it? There was a rich dark gravy with pieces of meat inside, and a scattering of herbs and chopped red chilli on top. I assumed it was chicken, since I asked for that (assuming I’d said the right Chinese word for it). Dug around a bit to mix everything in before scooping out a piece and biting into it. It was chicken!! Hurray!! But because they just randomly chop up the chicken, you get bones too and it’s a bit of a hassle to eat. However, I’ve also learned that that’s what the Chinese like – apparently the meat is more flavourful when it’s on the bone, and many just like the challenge of wrestling with the bone. Whatever – give me a nice lean fillet any day ;)

The flavour was incredible – rich, incredibly tasty, and really spicy. I slurped it all up with a massive bowl of rice, and also stirred in the veggie leaves that I’d ordered on the side. My tongue was fiery hot but I couldn’t stop eaten until every morsel had the meat sucked off the bone and every grain of rice was scooped up.

An absolutely delightful meal. Wonderful comfort food in the 0 degree weather we’re having. Price? Was 20元 (US$3.00) for everything. I told some colleagues about it today, and they told me it’s a famous joint amongst the Shanghainese people – well known for its quality, cheap food – so woohoo!

Something about chicken?

The incredibly cryptic menu *mind bogglges*

I was sitting in the top-half, you couldn’t even stand up straight in there!

My steaming hot pot with a side of veggies

So spicy but so good

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Posted by on 22 January 2009 (Thu) in Shanghai food reviews, Uncategorized



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