Home > iDEAL Focus > Features > Sampling southern comfort food in the city
Sampling southern comfort food in the city
By Yoyo.He

For globe-trotting gourmets who believe that food is a huge part of any trip, there is arguably no region on earth that provides more opportunities to tantalize your taste buds than Southeast Asia. But jetting off to Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam is, unfortunately, not always an option for busy Shanghai residents. But fear not, Southeast Asian cuisine is taking off in Shanghai. Authentic Southeast Asian food can range from simple fare to seriously spicy dishes. 

So to save you using up all your annual leave traveling south to culinary hotspots, iDEALShanghai has sampled the wares of some of the city’s authentic Southeast Asian restaurants. Here are some of the best. 

Five Star Hainanese Chicken Rice 


Opened last year, it is instantly recognizable from the seemingly perpetual queue. The restaurant was founded by Singaporean chef Xander Ang and his team, on a mission to promote Singapore’s favorite chicken rice dish in Shanghai.


Xander and his team — including design partner Yuan Lingling — have also introduced other popular Singaporean dishes and beverages, along with the main attraction of the shop — steamed chicken. These delicacies include mouth-watering sambal kang-kong (stir-fried water spinach with spicy prawn paste), fried chicken giblets, and, of course, not forgetting the kaya toast and teh tarik (Singapore style milk tea).



Chef Xander’s team is also going to launch a new Thai bistro with new concept next door of this restaurant at 184 JiaoZhou road.

Pho Zen 


It is an exciting new concept bringing a little piece of Vietnam into the Yongkang Rd food and bar street. Launched early this year, it already has a steady following among pho connoisseurs who fall in love with the authentic flavors. It not only boasts fresh ingredients and true Vietnamese taste, its menu also captures the creative spirit of the S.L.A.W team, featuring items such as banana fritters and lemongrass fries. 






Fusing traditional Chinese with modern Western concepts, it features exceptional Chinese herb-infused cocktails, a range of freshly imported oysters and a variety of Southeast Asian delicacies. In Yuan’s chic environment, one can sip on a Shaoxing Chivalry — a reimagined Manhattan using Chivas Regal whisky infused with oriental red dates — while nibbling on a pizza with its base replaced with an Indian fried flour-based pancake popular in Malaysia and Singapore. In Yuan, East meets West is not a buzzword but a way of life.





Serving authentic Singaporean cuisine, it offers customers a taste of Singapore’s unique culture. The restaurant has different decor themes which represent different tourist attractions, such as Sentosa and Chinatown. The menu covers all the popular dishes of Singapore — from Hainanese chicken to bak kut teh. If you’ve been to Singapore before, the restaurant will bring back memories and experiences. And if you haven’t been yet, it will make you want to book a ticket for the Lion City right away. 



Food Fusion


Malaysian cuisine is a mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian cooking and is best represented by Food Fusion, a restaurant that serves more than 200 food items most popular in Malaysia from Hainan Chicken Rice to Roti Canai, Bak Kut Teh, Musang King Durian, and Teh Tarik. Chef Shah, the winner of Malaysia Teh Tarik Competition, uses finest ingredients imported from Malaysia to prepare food. Malaysian travelers and officials are amazed that they can eat their favorite dishes here in Shanghai.


For a chance to win a 100 yuan (US$16) voucher to use at one of these Southeastern Asian restaurants, try your hand in our lucky draw. Click HERE to take part in the draw and tell us which is your favorite one among the five restaurants listed. You could win a 200 yuan voucher for that restaurant! Why not come to join us?

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164