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Meet the Shanghai experts
Food critics, editors, chefs and dedicated Shanghai foodies, these expert diners shared their secret picks and favorite spots en route to revealing the city's best eats
On our journey to find Shanghai's best restaurants and most legendary dishes, we not only had a lot of good food -- we had great company.
Giving us their no-B.S. views on local cuisine and the restaurants serving it, these discerning, dedicated and passionate food-scene experts steered us past the mediocre-yet-popular feed traps and right into digestive nirvana as we compiled our list of the absolute best of today's Shanghai dining scene.
Foodie cred: Veteran food historian and critic
Nicknamed “食神”(God of Gourmet), Jiang Liyang has been surveying Shanghai's food scene since the Cultural Revolution. With more than 30 years of experience as the food critic for Wenhui Daily, the man with a fan has published four books about Shanghainese food and appeared on countless TV shows.
Jiang, Shanghainese to his soul, knows the city's mercurial mealscape like the back of his hand. Now that he's retired, he finally has time to share his knowledge.
Foodie cred: Food personality and cultural critic
Known for his wry humor and penchant for sexual innuendo, Shen Hongfei has become a well-respected gastronome since taking up food writing as a hobby in the 1990s.
In a little over a decade, he's penned a raft of books (including the popular “Eat Drink Man Woman”) and numerous columns on food, culture and life for South Weekend, City Pictorial and Sanlian Life magazine among others.
He's one of the foremost food critics in the Chinese food and beverage industry.
Foodie cred: Restaurant consultant and chef
Anthony Zhao, a Shanghai native, started his fine dining career in the kitchens of the Portman Ritz-Carlton and Laris (as part of the original launch team). Zhao has also cooked with some top U.S. chefs, including Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and has been featured in several food shows, including Gourmet's “Dairy of a Foodie” and Germany's “The Food Hunter.”
Now he's working for himself as one half of Moveable Feasts, a boutique catering company that's helped to open and refine several restaurants in Shanghai.
Foodie cred: Ganlan magazine senior creative editor
Rica is the passionate foodie in charge of Ganlan Canting. Like a Chinese version of Gourmet magazine, this well respected publication caters to serious food lovers curious about the best restaurants, food history and recipes.
As part of her job, Lou has rubbed shoulders with the city's top F&B personalities, from chefs to restaurateurs to the critics who comprise the motley scene at both Ganlan and fellow foodie-magazine powerhouse Tian Xia Mei Shi.
Foodie cred: Tian Xia Mei Shi food critic
“Shanghai is a very exciting place to be right now if you're involved in fine dining,” says Peipei Yang.
The multi-lingual journalist has covered the restaurant scene for six years and counting, first as a critic for Shanghai Times and now as a senior food critic for Tian Xia Mei Shi. The publication focuses on introducing high-end Western and Chinese restaurants to professionals in the Chinese F&B industry and affluent gourmands, so we sought her picks of Shanghai's most exclusive restaurants.