Shang­hai treats pop­u­lar among global at­ten­dees

China Daily - - CHINA INTERNATIONAL IMPORT EXPO - By XU JUNQIAN in Shang­hai xi­ao­long­bao shengjian

French beef, Costa Ri­can cof­fee beans and Aus­tralian lob­sters might be food in­dus­try pur­chasers’ fa­vorites at the on­go­ing China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, but tra­di­tional Shang­hai snacks are the del­i­ca­cies find­ing their way into the stom­ach of the thou­sands of ex­hibitors from around the world.

Shang­hai Spe­cialty Snack Restau­rant, a pop-up in the cen­ter square of the Na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­ter (Shang­hai) dur­ing the six-day event, has en­joyed un­prece­dented pop­u­lar­ity among expo’s par­tic­i­pants.

“We are sell­ing dumplings like hot cakes,” said Wang Hong, di­rec­tor and co-founder of Wanyou Mar­ket, which is op­er­at­ing the food hall.

Ac­cord­ing to Wang, the mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment com­mis­sioned the Shang­haibased startup to op­er­ate at the expo, and sales in the first four days sur­passed all es­ti­mates, reach­ing 600,000 yuan ($86,000).

Daily turnover could reach as high as 250,000 yuan a day on the last two days of the expo, which are open to the all the pub­lic, she said.

“The fig­ure could ac­tu­ally go much higher. But ev­ery­thing is made to or­der here and there is a ca­pac­ity ceil­ing of 20,000 serv­ings every day,” she added.

Cov­er­ing 2,200 square me­ters, the restau­rant, open from 9 am to 7 pm non­stop, is sep­a­rated into two pavil­ions. One pav­il­ion is ded­i­cated to prepack­aged snacks that dou­ble as sou­venirs. The other con­sists of 24 of the city’s most well-known eater­ies, which of­fer dim sum and ap­pe­tiz­ers in a set menu for­mat.

A dozen chefs and a hand­ful of culi­nary ar­ti­sans are work­ing on site to of­fer Shang­hai’s sig­na­ture bites, such as (soup-filled dumplings),

(pan-fried dumplings with a golden crispy layer at the bot­tom) and vege­tar­ian dishes.

“We ar­rive every day around 6 am. We work much longer hours and wrap dumplings much faster than usual, but have still been un­able to feed ev­ery­one,” said Sun Weim­ing, head chef of Nanx­i­ang Xiao­long, one of Shang­hai’s most cov­eted eater­ies.

Lo­cated in­side the city’s fa­mous tourist site Yu Gar­den, it dates back to the 19th cen­tury. Sun has worked at the eatery since the age of 18. The 34-yearold said this is the first time the restau­rant has served dumplings out­side its usual lo­ca­tion.

To­gether with Sun’s team of six chefs, the restau­rant is staffed by some 200 ex­pe­ri­enced wait­ers hand­picked from 24 rep­utable restau­rants across the city, as well as an­other 40 bilin­gual vol­un­teers.

A meal at the restau­rant costs around 50 yuan. In or­der to cater to an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence, more beef dishes have been added to the menus, as Chi­nese menus are usu­ally more pork-dom­i­nant. shengjian,

Shang­hai.

with a golden crispy layer at the bot­tom, or are pop­u­lar at the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo in

Pan-fried dumplings

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