Review: Eating at Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund

Eating at Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund – I realise I don’t have photos of the restaurants facade, just of the food. This string bean dish was very good.

During our recent trip to Shanghai, we stayed near The Bund. (That’s not advisable as the area was very touristy – more to come in a later post). Thankfully, we found a good restaurant which we visited on two separate occasions. Eating at Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund was a pleasant experience. The food was affordable and tasty. It’s no wonder why the restaurant is popular among locals and foreigners alike.

Shanghai grandmother restaurant tripadvisor
Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant at the Bund. Photo credit: Tripadvisor user Keem88

Our first visit to the Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund was on a weekday evening. It was Saturday at about 7.30pm. The restaurant was bustling with people. We waited for more than half an hour before getting a seat.

The Service

When we finally sat down and looked through the menu, the staff took a while to take our order. It was quite hard to get their attention, as there were fewer servers on the second floor. We ordered a good mix of vegetable and meat dishes, together with a Yang Zhou Fried Rice. The cold dishes came first while the hot dishes came shortly. We didn’t have to wait too long, as by the time we ordered, it was past 8pm and the crowd had thinned.

The Food

1. Braised pork with egg

braised meat lu rou Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
A braised pork dish with egg (姥姥红烧肉) – RMB72

The braised pork dish was by far the best of all the dishes we ordered, in my opinion. The pork was well-flavoured and moist. It was not too salty and would have gone well with a bowl of white rice. I thought the eggs were well marinated too and not over-cooked.

2. Cold dish: Chopped vegetables and bean curd (Highly recommended!)

vegetable toufu cold dish Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
A cold vegetable/ bean curd dish – 野菜拌香干 – RMB20

This was by far the best cold dish we had. It was a simple dish of chopped up vegetables with dried bean curd. But it was the light seasoning of soy sauce and sesame oil which brought out the rich vegetable and bean curd flavours. Love the textures in this dish as well.

3. Cold dish: Lotus root with glutinous rice and chrysanthemum

lotus root cold dish Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Lotus root with chrysanthemum – 桂花糖藕 – RMB30

I like lotus roots but this dish was a tad too sweet for my liking. The lotus roots were coated with a sweet syrup and had a hint of chrysanthemum to it. It didn’t have the crunch that lotus roots should have.

4. Cold dish: Steamed bamboo shoots with dried bean curd (tau pok)

Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Steamed bamboo shoots (with a type of bean curd) 水笋烤麸 – RMB22

I found this dish to be sweet and savory at the same time. I typically avoid combining sweet and salty flavours (McGriddles is a no no), but the sauce went well with the bamboo shoots and dried bean curd (tau pok).

5. Green leafy vegetables

vegetables Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Vegetables, it’s like Singapore’s xiao bai cai – 鸡毛菜炒百叶 – RMB28

This was an average vegetable dish. It tasted quite alright – the price is modest too.

6. Black fungus with meat

Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Black fungus with meat slices – 山药黑木耳炒肉片 – RMB42

This was not bad. The black fungus had a nice crunchy texture to it.

7. Mapo Toufu

Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Mapo toufu 麻婆豆腐 – RMB30

The mapo toufu was one of the other highlights of the night. The mapo tofu had sufficient spice, but was a little on the sweet side It was good to have with rice.

8. Yang Chou Fried Rice

Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund
Yang zhou fried rice 扬州炒饭 – RMB28

I really liked the fried rice. It was nicely fried and wasn’t too oily or salty. Went well with the rest of the ingredients.

The total bill amounted to RMB290/ USD43/ SGD58.70 for 4 people, which I thought was very reasonable given that we ordered 8 dishes and a pot of chrysanthemum. (When I think about the RMB380 I paid for Jasmine tea in Beijing, I feel a tad pissed with myself.)

shanghai grandmother restaurant
The Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant. It’s popular with both locals and tourists. (It’s quieter in  the day.)

The Travelling Squid’s Take

In general, I think that Shanghainese food tends to be a little sweeter than Chinese food we have in Singapore. The food at the Shanghai Grandmother restaurant should be quite representative of what Shanghainese food is like, given its popularity with locals. It’s definitely a must-visit if you happen to be in the area visiting the Bund. Just note that they do not accept reservations during peak hours. Either come at 5pm or 8pm should you wish to avoid the crowd. (When we visited the restaurant at 3pm one afternoon, there were still several people having a meal. It’s recommended that you go at odd hours.)


Eating at Shanghai Grandmother Restaurant near the Bund (上海姥姥)