What's Cooking In... Shanghai

This item appears on page 53 of the August 2015 issue.
Chefs Gary Yang, Jerry Zhou and William Hu of the Wei Jing Ge restaurant — Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Shanghai, China. Photo by Sandra Scott

On a visit to Shanghai that my husband, John, and I made in January 2015, I checked one more thing off my bucket list when we had a drink at the Long Bar in the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund (No. 2 Zhongshan Dong Yi Road, Huang Pu District, Shanghai 200002, P.R. China; phone +86 [0] 21 6322 9988 or, in the US, 800/445-8667, www.waldorfastoriashanghai.com/english).

The Waldorf Astoria officially opened in 2011 in the restored, historic Baroque Revival building that once was home to the elite Shanghai Club in the 1920s. I had always wanted to enjoy a libation at its Long Bar, so called because, at nearly 112 feet in length, it was the longest in Asia when it first opened.

In its heyday, British gentlemen were seated at the bar according to social rank, with the most important people at the Bund end. Women were not allowed entry. 

Today the bar’s interior has been restored to its original glory. The dark paneling is lustrous, the oyster bar offers their famed “Waldorf Special Oyster,” and the Long Bar is open to all of the public, including women.

Our visit to Shanghai was a stopover between Chicago and Bangkok. We made use of China’s new, 72-hour visa-free stay, which allows for a 3-night stopover as long as travel continues to another country other than the one of origin (May ’15, pg. 15).

We stayed overnight at the Waldorf Astoria at a media rate of $195; the standard rate is about $370. 

The entire hotel is exquisite. John and I had lunch at its contemporary Chinese restaurant, Wei Jing Ge (phone +86 21 63229988 or email shawa.fb@waldorfastoria.com).

Their Dim Sum Brunch (11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday), which cost CNY248 (near $40) per person, included a variety of wonderful items, but my favorite was the barbecued pork. 

When Chef Jerry Zhou was making his rounds to the tables, greeting diners, I commented, “The barbecued pork is delicious. It must be difficult to make.” 

“No,” he claimed, and he invited me to follow him to the kitchen, where he showed me how easy it was to prepare. 

The barbecued pork can be served as a main course or tapas style.     

Sandra Scott can be reached by email c/o ITN.