Add:15, Lane 1399, Lingyan Rd S., Pudong New Area
Time:10:30am-2:30pm for lunch; 4:30pm-8:30pm for dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
San Lin, an ancient water town in a suburb of the Pudong New Area, has a history that can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and is regarded as the birthplace of Shanghai cuisine. Talented chefs abound, combining local produce with culinary techniques from neighboring provinces Jiangsu and Zhejiang to create a distinctive food culture.
Pin Yue restaurant in San Lin offers an education in creating authentic Shanghai flavor, and Shanghai Daily paid a visit to see if it deserves top marks.
It sits on the bank of the river that flows through San Lin, a tributary of the Huangpu River,
Diners in a private dining room on the second floor have a wonderful view of the riverbank lined with red lanterns, an old stone bridge and distinctive early 20th-century local architecture, mixing Western features with Chinese construction.
While the view is impressive, the restaurant ambience, to be honest, is less so — with the decor lacking distinctive cultural or historical touches.
To a large extent this can be explained by the fact that the clientele is mostly locals whose prime concerns when eating there are flavor and value.
This extends to presentation of dishes, which frankly is rarely up to the standard for even taking a snap and posting it on social media.
First-time diners are strongly recommended to try their zhugansi — literally stewed shredded tofu. The dish is actually tofu, ham and chicken shredded to fine threads stewed in stock.
The stock turns golden and rich after absorbing all the flavor from the ingredients while the shredded tofu is juicy and flavorful, thanks to the stock.
The Shanghai-style hotpot also deserves a try — combining shrimp, fungi, egg dumpling filled with pork and fungi, plus most importantly, local specialty Sanlin pork skin.
This features a fluffy texture and fatty aroma, achieved by drying the skin in the air and then soaking it in oil.
Meat lovers can try their pudding-like mutton knuckle, in which fat and lean meat is marinated in five-spice sauce, jellied and finely sliced so that each bite is flavor-filled.
Vegetarians should try their gingko braised with black fungus in soy sauce — a famous Shanghai dish and juicier and more savory than downtown versions.
For a light bite, try tossed shredded opo squash, which is crunchy and slightly nutty.
And for a sweet end to the meal, try the brown sugar rice cake to. Steamed rather than baked, chef adds some jujube for a sweet-and-sour flavor.
After a meal, explore the ancient town and have a cup of tea house opposite the restaurant, where the ambience mixes modern with Zen. The teahouse owner collects comic strips, ranging from the 1920s to 1990s, offering an interesting perspective to learn about Shanghai history and folklore.
Average per person: 105 yuan
If you plan a visit, book two days in advance.