Guide to your perfect Shanghai Christmas dinner

Guide to your perfect Shanghai Christmas dinner

Tips for DIY Christmas dinner in Shanghai, plus restaurant picks if you fancy eating out

It's time to deck the halls and make merry for the Christmas season.

And even though Shanghai isn't the first place that springs to mind when thinking of a traditional DIY Christmas, the city has all of the ingredients -- both edible and otherwise -- to make your holiday season a happy one.

Here is a list of how to put together your Christmas dinner in Shanghai as well as three dine-out restaurant picks.

1. Christmas foods

shanghai christmasAlthough the locals don't fancy turkey's texture, a handful of stores sell the Christmas main course for affordable prices.

City Shop

As with most imported holidays, which have become increasingly popular in China, supermarkets specializing in foreign products have led the way as the place to go for Christmas treats.

High-end supermarket City Shop has a full range for Christmas, with frozen Norbest turkeys for RMB 78 per kilo and American-style roasted turkeys, with California wine country stuffing and giblet gravy for RMB 880.

City Shop has 10 locations around town, including B1/F, Times Square, 99 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Pu'an Lu 淮海中路99号大上海时代广场B1楼, 近普安路, +86 21 6215 0418, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., www.cityshop.com.cn

Yasmine's

The popular butchery is staffed by a master butcher from New Zealand and has established itself as a firm favorite on the eastern side of the river for quality meats. Now they have opened a Puxi branch as well.

Yasmine's is selling six-kilo turkeys for RMB 450 and a number of ham varieties for between RMB 150 and 250 per kilo.

Yasmine's (Pudong branch) 178 Biyun Lu, near Heisong Lu 碧云路178号, 近黑松路, +86 139 1850 5140, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Yasmine's (Puxi branch), 93 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Changle Lu 襄阳北路93号, 近长乐路, +86 21 6418 6899, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., www.yasmines.com.cn

Avocado Lady

The best budget option for turkey buyers in Shanghai is the tiny grocery on Wulumuqi Zhong Lu. The shop owner is widely known as the Avocado Lady among Shanghai’s expatriates, as she sells good import foods at incredibly low prices.

For this Christmas, Avocado Lady is providing six-kilo turkeys for RMB 25 per kilo. Her shop is also a great place to pick up your roasting vegetables and trimmings for Christmas dinner at reasonable prices.

274 Wulumuqi Zhong Lu, near Wuyuan Lu 乌鲁木齐路274号, 近五原路, +86 21 6437 7262, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

More on CNNGo: What does Christmas mean to you?

 

2. Sweet treats

shanghai christmasWhether you do dinner out or in, save room for dessert.

Qbake

For many people, particularly those of German extraction, Christmas time would simply not be complete without a traditional Stollen. This sweet cake with raisins, powdered sugar, nuts and spices is available in Shanghai from German bakery, Qbake for RMB 48 per large loaf.

Qbake has eight locations around town, including 251 Xizang Nan Lu, near Taoyuan Lu 西藏南路251号, 近桃源路, +86 21 3366 3770, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., www.qbake.cn

Fields

For a more authentically American Christmas dessert, Fields online supermarket is selling traditional pumpkin pies (RMB 150), with an all-butter crust filled with fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. All pies are 20 centimeters in diameter and serve six to eight people.

www.fieldschina.com

3. The perfect tree

shanghai christmasPlenty of florists and markets stock plastic or real trees during Christmas.

IKEA

The Swedish home-furnishing megastore is home to a range plastic Christmas trees, with even the largest models priced under RMB 500. They also stock decorations, wrapping paper and lights.

IKEA (Xuhui branch), 126 Caoxi Lu, near Zhongshan Xi Lu 漕溪路126号, 近中山西路, +86 400 800 2345, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
IKEA (Beicai branch), 550 Linyu Lu, near Hunan Lu 临御路550号, 近沪南路, +86 21 2030 4532, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., www.ikea.com

Rosa Gallica

In the heart of the former French Concession, florist Rosa Gallica has lovely, tall (170-centimeter) Christmas trees -- the real McCoy -- for RMB 450. A relative bargain considering some florists charge upwards of RMB 1,000, and this place also has a delivery service so getting your pride and joy home is as easy as can be.

Ferguson Lane, 376 Wukang Lu, near Tai'an Lu 武康路376号, 近泰安路, +86 21 2821 2241, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., www.fergusonlane.com.cn

Chu Fang Gardens

The Chu Fang Gardens store is the veteran of Christmas tree sales in Shanghai, having been in business for more than a decade. They are also the best place to pick up a bargain with a 170-centimeter tree priced at RMB 180, including free delivery.

398-2 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu 陕西南路225号, 近复兴中路, +86 21 5158 1399, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Hongqiao Bird and Flower Market

The indoor flower Market sells both real and fake Christmas trees. There are multiple sellers so prepare to walk around and haggle your heart out to find the best price.

Hongqiao Bird and Flower Market, 718 Hongjing Lu, near Hongsong Lu 虹井路718号, 
近红松路, +86 21 5117 3882, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

More on CNNGo: Wonderful, weird and wacky Christmas trees in China

4. Christmas decorations

shanghai christmasLocal vendors sell everything you could imagine to go with Christmas.

Holiday House

The fancy dress and party specialist is also a great place to buy all the bits and pieces that will make your home feel like Christmas. They have a range of fake trees, decorations, Santa costumes and Christmas homewares at local prices.

1188 Fanyu Lu, near Kaixuan Lu 番禺路1188号, 近凯旋路, +86 21 6447 7189, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., theholidayhouse@hotmail.com

Madame Mao's Dowry

For a truly special Christmas tree decoration, head to Madame Mao's Dowry and pick up one of their special ceramic Christmas tree ornaments (RMB60 each) made by artisans from Shandong province.

The ceramic baubles come hand-painted with propaganda art and slogans. They also make great Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest.

207 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu 富民路207号, 近巨鹿路, +86 21 5403 3551, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., www.madamemaosdowry.com

More on CNNGo: Yiwu: China's massive Christmas market

5. Out and about Christmas dinners

shanghai christmasDon't want to slave in kitchen? Many hotels and restaurants around town cook up special Christmas meals.

Cocktail kitchen

On Christmas Day, Alchemist will be serving a five-course menu featuring seasonal salad, honeyed chestnut soup, foie gras with caramelized apples and either flourless chocolate cake, spiked vanilla creme anglaise or brie de meaux.

The main course features a choice of roast Wagyu beef, celeriac potato purée or seared hamachi. RMB 888 per couple, including a glass of Moët. 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Sinan Mansions, Block 32, 45 Sinan Lu, near Fuxing Zhong Lu 思南路45号32号楼, 近复兴西路, +86 21 6426 0660

Choice for kids

Kids will enjoy sweet treats from the "Magical Gingerbread House" while grown-ups can dine for RMB 368 (plus 15 percent service) per person at Essence all-day dining in the Shanghai Hilton Hongqiao. Includes Champagne.

Tower 2, 1116 Hongsong Dong Lu, near Hongxu Lu 红松东路1116号, 近虹许路, +86 21 3323 6666; 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

Family fun

Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen celebrates Christmas Day with a family-style lunch of dishes such as roasted beet salad, cured salmon, deep-fried turkey with chestnut stuffing, banana flambé and more for RMB 298 per person. Free-flow Piper-Heidsieck Champagne is RMB 198 extra. noon-3 p.m.

Napa Wine Bar and Kitchen, 57 Jiangyin Lu, near Huangpi Lu 江阴路57号, 近黄陂北路, +86 21 6318 0057, www.napawinebarandkitchen.com

Casey is a city/lifestyle journalist from Melbourne, Australia, who has been based in Shanghai since 2007.

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