24 Jan

Bi Feng Tang
175 Chang Le Road
Shanghai, China

My translation software says that Bi Feng Tang means “sheltering pond”. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to signify… but on a cold night, nothing beats some hot comfort food and this place serves it up aplenty. It’s famous for steaming hot soups, served in little earthen pots cradling a myriad of ingredients lurking within. It’s lovely and warm inside, with wooden furniture and a casual ambience.

Thankfully, the menu comes with photos and some (poorly translated) English.. but I leave it to my girl friend to order, since she’s the expert ;) She chooses well – despite not quite understanding what I’m eating, I dig in with gusto :P First up is the spring rolls – ok ok, a Westernised dish, I know! But it had a fancy Chinese name and I thought it was something all traditional until it arrived at the table, haha. Oddly, the Shanghainese eat their spring rolls with a healthy splash of black vinegar, not the bright-orange sweet and sour sauce I’m used to. I struggle trying to explain to my friend what sweet and sour sauce is so she can get some for me, then give up and decide to stop being so bloody boring and eat it the Shanghainese way ;) It is DELICIOUS with the black vinegar!!! I’m a total convert. Plus, it’s far far more healthy than sweet and sour sauce and also gets your metabolism ramped up. The spring rolls were really crisp but not oily, and the inside was stuffed with a jumble of veggies. Absolutely delicious.

Next up were the soups. Mine was a very long Chinese name that was impossible to remember.. and I was a bit nervous as I dug through it. But it was basically meat on the bone, chopped into pieces, and lots of Chinese herbs. The soup is a watery broth that’s served steaming hot, and packed with flavour thanks to the hours and hours of boiling the meat and herbs in. The earthen pot is so cute and keeps the soup piping hot, absolutely wonderful when it’s frigid-cold outside.

The wee dessert is a sticky rice ‘thing’. I have no idea what the English name is, OR the Chinese name! It was basically a subtly sweet black rice, slightly glutinous in texture.. popped into a little foil cupcake wrapper and topped with a little steamed peanut. It did not look appetizing, to be blunt ;) But one nibble and I was sold. The flavour was mild yet delicious and it makes such a lovely, tiny, healthy dessert. A far cry from the creamy, calorie-filled tiramisus I’m (and my hips) are used to!

Fabulous, well-priced comfort food. I’ll be back!

Bi Feng Tang

The kitchsy interior

Delicious spring rolls, served with black vinegar

Piping hot soup

Stick rice dessert

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Posted by on 24 January 2009 (Sat) in Food, Food reviews, Uncategorized



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