Shang­hainese restau­rant with a Western twist

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SUNDAY FOOD - By XU JUNQIAN in SHANG­HAI xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

There is a say­ing in the Shang­hai di­alect which de­scribes the sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing the same in­gre­di­ents boiled in a dif­fer­ent soup, or put in English, old wine in a new bot­tle.

The say­ing may have a neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tion, but it best de­scribes Lesh­eng, the first Shang­hainese fine-cui­sine restau­rant — pos­i­tively.

Lesh­eng is named af­ter David Laris, the Aussie-Greek star chef in the metropolis.

Housed in a two-story long and nar­row space among a string of cafes, bak­eries and Western-style eater­ies in the French Con­ces­sion, the restau­rant is el­e­gant and nos­tal­gic in its decor. Its in­te­rior re­minds guests of the bed­room of a well-off Shang­hainese woman in the 1930’s.

The restau­rant blends the con­tem­po­rary style of Western din­ing and gen­uine fla­vors of tra­di­tional Shang­hainese cui­sine.

The fresh mar­i­nated cu­cum­ber is a good starter for the scorch­ing sum­mer, fea­tur­ing an ap­petite-whet­ting sour­ness. The old-fash­ioned smoked fish is served hot, skin crispy and flesh juicy. It’s best eaten with the ac­com­pa­ny­ing sweet rich sauce.

It is be­lieved that the bench­mark to judge

old-fash­ioned smoked fish, Shang­hai-style dan­dan noo­dles.

From left: Crab meat xi­ao­long­bao,

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