16 November 2018
The mutton hotpot at Hong Chang Xing follows the Old Beijing tradition. Photo: HKEJ
The mutton hotpot at Hong Chang Xing follows the Old Beijing tradition. Photo: HKEJ

A night of nostalgia in Shanghai

As soon as we arrived in Shanghai, we headed to Hong Chang Xing (洪長興), a halal restaurant famous for its mutton dishes.

Their hotpot follows the Old Beijing tradition. In front of us was a charcoal-fired copper fondue pot where we boiled mutton slices in plain broth. The meat was fresh and tender.

Boiling removed the strong smell of the lamb’s liver and kidneys, allowing us to enjoy bites of the delicious internal organs.

Later we were told that we were having premium-grade sheep chuck rolls from Jiangsu and Anhui. No wonder the fatty meat melted in our mouths. Heavenly taste.

Such a fabulous dinner for eight cost us only 900 yuan (US$133). It’s a real bargain.

We all had our fill, but still we decided to cross the street for coffee and cream cake at Deda Western Restaurant.

Opened way back in 1897, the eatery was popular among upper-class Shanghainese.

Frankly speaking, compared to cafés in modern hotels, Deda’s fare no longer stands out.

But never mind that. Customers come to Deda for the nostalgic ambience.

We checked in at Hilton Shanghai, which has a history of 28 years in the industry.

In the early years, the business was so robust it was difficult, if not impossible, to secure a room in this 40-storey building.

It was once China’s top hotel with the highest revenue for five consecutive years.

It’s easy to get sentimental in a place of good old memories.

Time does fly a bit too quickly.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 4.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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