UnTour Shanghai indeed Xx
Our Untour street food tour of Shanghai might be the most aptly named food tour we’ve ever been on. UN satisfying, UN local guides and oh we ate in restaurants at every stop so UN street food. The only thing not UN about the tour was the amount of chilli in every dish and the awesome people we shared it with. And at 14 participants it was the largest food tour to date as well as the most expensive. I’ve been to Shanghai twice before and based on tonight remarkably eaten well enough to have looked forward to eating here again. But alas tonight was not a night I was going to try anything new or find anywhere we might wish to return to, what a shame!
Don’t get me wrong there was lots of food throughout the evening but only three stops where food from other places would be produced in little take out container and I just couldn’t eat most of it bar the many squidgy desserts and yes I had let them know I was allergic to chilli at the time of booking.
The first stop on Shouning Lu, one of the last remaining traditional shikumen streets in Shanghai was for wonderful looking crayfish, scallops, garlic sprouts and aubergine and bread, and a poor river snake we’d seen killed and skinned before being deep fried, all of which were doused in so much chilli as to make them life threatening to me. Of course they could have asked for them to be chilli less for me, they weren’t marinaded in it, just basted, anyway. I was thankfully able to try and enjoy the fabulous pan fried soup dumplings I’ve tried and loved on previous visits at least.
The other notable thing about this tour was the free flowing booze absent from any of the 15 or so other food tours we’ve done to date. If you’re all about the chilli and the booze that’s cool man, just be upfront about it because me, I want a refund! I would never have signed us up for a tour that described itself so accurately.
Also if you plan to serve endless booze having stops that all have loos would seem a sensible thing to do, by the time we made it back to the hotel it was a mad dash to the reception loo.
The second stop was at a Halal Turkish restaurant that mysteriously served beer and where we had lamb skewers and non PC but pretty tasty dwarf pastries they had picked up previously.
The other memorable point of the evening was the two special dishes they ordered for me (eek oh argh! the pressure to like them!) well the first had chilli in it so thanks for surreptitiously trying to kill me and the second was so bland as to be blah. I am allergic to chilli, it is one spice in a kaleidoscope of THOUSANDS I can eat all of them bar one and amazingly have eaten pretty darn tasty food here every time I’ve been.
Anyway we met some pretty hilariously cool people tonight, and if you love chilli and free flowing booze, it’s the tour for you. If you want to try a wide selection of the amazing Shanghai street food on offer you might want to look elsewhere.
Ps not a market in sight either Xx