Shanghai's best Cantonese

Shanghai's best Cantonese

Shanghainese love Hong Kong for more than the shopping. The city's iconic food has become a Shanghai dining staple

Recommended: Hang Yuen Hin

CNNGo Best Eats Shanghai -- Best Cantonese -- Hang Yuen HinThe perfect meal for two or three: spotted crab on a bed of long-grain jasmine rice mixed with egg white, fried shallot and conpoy.

Nestled in Xujiahui Park, Hang Yuen Hin is worth a visit for the calm ambience and excellently prepared Cantonese fare, says our expert panelist Jiang Liyang.

The menu includes typically high-priced items such as abalone and seafood, while dim sum rounds out the lower end of the cost spectrum.

Take advantage of the view and the price on weekends, when the dim sum is 50 percent off for lunch.

“They do a great dim sum with shrimp and sliced almond,” says food critic and personality Shen Hongfei.

The terrific shrimp egg roll is filled with whole, fresh shrimp that's coated in sliced roasted almonds. The Thai-style chicken wings, crab roe xiaolongbao and crispy roast pork are delicious.

Another panelist favorite is spotted crab -- a great choice if you're dining with two or more. The juices from the whole spotted sea crab absorb into a bed of fragrant long-grain jasmine rice mixed with egg white, fried shallot and conpoy.

Hang Yuen Hin, 290-292 Wanping Lu, in Xujiahui Park 宛平路290-292号, 徐家汇公园内, +86 21 6472 9778,, hours: 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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Recommended: Fu Lin Xuan

CNNGo Best Eats Shanghai -- Best Cantonese -- Fu Lin Xuan At Fu Lin Xuan, the service is brisk, the menu is no-nonsense and the food is consistently good.

Fu Lin Xuan is perpetually packed with diners enjoying a 109-item dim sum menu.

Dim sum devotee April Fong recommends Fu Lin Xuan as the Cantonese restaurant with the most “old Hong Kong feel.”

At this bustling restaurant, the service is brisk and the menu is no-nonsense. The food is consistently good.

Try traditional dim sum like shrimp in rice noodle sheets, steamed black bean spare ribs, very crispy roast pigeon or X.O. radish cake. The stewed tripe is also impressively tender.

Fu Lin Xuan's char siu bao will meet any Hong Konger’s standards.

Fu Lin Xuan, 2/F Hong Kong New World Plaza, 300 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Madang Lu 淮海中路300号香港广场2楼, 近马当路, +86-21-6372 1777, +86 21 6358 3699, hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Recommended: Crystal Jade

CNNGo Best Eats Shanghai -- Best Cantonese -- Crystal JadeFood critic Yi Peipei recommends the barbecued goose (left). Another crowd favorite are the red bean puffs.

Delicious dim sum and consistent Cantonese-Shanghainese fare make Crystal Jade a local and expat favorite. This is a go-to restaurant for many.

Tian Xia Mei Shi food critic Peipei Yang recommends the barbecued goose: “Crystal Jade has a delicious version. It’s my favorite out of all the barbecued items.”

Other specialities include crispy pork belly, crystal shrimp dumplings, Crystal Jade's mango pudding and double-boiled chicken soup.

“Crystal Jade’s emphasis on quality ingredients keeps them very popular, even though there are more and more options for upscale Cantonese,” says Yang.

If you're going for dim sum lunch on a weekend, book a table -- the lines get long and hectic.

Crystal Jade, multiple locations, 2/F, No. 6-7 South Block Xintiandi, Lane 123 Xingye Lu, near Madang Lu 兴业路123弄新天地南里6-7号2楼 近马当路, +86 21 6385 8752, hours: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m to 10:30 p.m. (dim sum over at 5:30 p.m.); Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (dim sum over at 5 p.m.);

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Winner: Lei Garden

CNNGo Best Eats Shanghai -- Best Cantonese -- Lei GardenThe crystal shrimp dumplings here are worth crossing the river for.

Hong Kong's Lei Garden group opened its first Shanghai store in August and already the place is racking up praise from the city's diners.

On, it earns an admirable 26 out of 30 for flavor.

It's already impossible to grab a spontaneous dinner here.

Management has done a good job -- Lei Garden Shanghai is as good as the original Lei Garden Hong Kong.

Shen Hongfei called the dim sum “the best in Shanghai,” and our panel of food critics nodded in agreement.

The crystal shrimp hargow features incredibly fresh, firm shrimp bursting with umami flavor.

The radish pastries are fabulous. The traditional layered pastry is virtually greaseless, the most delicious rendition of the dish you'll find in Shanghai.

The red-braised chicken feet get another thumbs up, along with the crispy duck and Macau-style pork.

Lei Garden's daily bao tang is homey Cantonese cuisine at its finest, says chef Anthony Zhao.

“You have to reserve it ahead of time, but the bao tang is incredible." he says. "They start cooking it about nine hours before it's served.”

The only downside? Lei Garden has yet to open a branch in Puxi.

Lei Garden, 3/F, IFC Pudong, 8 Shiji Da Dao, near Lujiazui Huan Lu 世纪达到8号国金IFC商场3楼, 近陆家嘴环路, +86 21 5106 1688, hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 6 to 11:30 p.m.

Meet the experts who helped us choose Shanghai's Best Eats.

Full Best Eats list and winners
Joanne Yao is a writer and editor based in Shanghai.
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