172 Huai hai Lu
I’ve been wanting to try out Shanghai’s famous “xiao long xia” (小龙虾) for… well, the entire time I’ve been living in Shanghai! And yet we haven’t managed to find the time to do so, plus Chris has never been keen on crustaceans since he doesn’t like fiddling with his food (which rules out crabs, lobster, prawns, etc).
I’m not entire sure what exactly these little crustaceans are, but I think they’re most similiar to the American crayfish/crawfish? They’re like mini lobsters, that go bright red when boiled.. and they’re cooked in a variety of delicious sauces and spices.
It was Fomo that we decided to check out, since I’d heard pretty good reviews of the place. We went just before 6pm and it was already packed full, so we took that as a good sign! Unable to read the Chinese menu, we just asked for their “most popular dish” and were soon served a tin tray full of these steaming hot ‘lil babies.
Ohhhhhh they were GOOD! Surprisingly not that difficult to take apart – twist and pull the head off, crunch 1-2 times down the shell body and just pull it all apart, then pull the meat out. We did struggle a bit though.. embarassingly so, considering the locals could just use chopsticks to pick one up, and completely de-shell and eat the meat with their mouth and tongue. Talk about talented!! But we fiddled and struggled and managed to take apart all the crawfish.
I loved the tender meat and the light but tasty gravy. I suppose the only unfortunate thing is that you DO have to work for your food, which is quite a pain, but still worth it considering it’s delicious. The only thing that could’ve made it better was a steaming hot bowl of rice. I am a total rice muncher. I need my carbs!!! Unbelievably, for the first time in China and in a Chinese restaurant, we were told “no rice available” *eyes bug out*. I thought I was hearing wrong ;) But really, no rice!! So I asked for whatever carb dish they had and didn’t really understand their response, but nodded my head anyway. We ended up with these strips of really chewy thick dough stick things.. they were OK, but a bit strange and so starchy.
We also got some sticks of cucumber and cherry tomatoes, in a (vague) attempt to be healthy. Shouldn’t have bothered though, because we were too busy eating the crawfish and couldn’t be bothered eating these veggies :P
Fomo is fantastic. Great, fresh crawfish and a lively atmosphere of people chowing down messily on their food. Very fun, I’d go back any day!
Awesome pictorial menu (though not that awsome after all,
since all the crawfish varieties looked the same, heh).
Chris is a bit dubious, he doesn’t like having to wrestle with his own food
I, however, am keen as all hell. GIMMIE SOME CRAWFISH!!!
A tumble of succulent crawfish
One wanted to say “hi”
These unidentified dense dough stick things that we somehow managed to randomly order
All washed down with icy cold beer!