Friday, May 25, 2007

Bei Wei, Century Ave, Shanghai

Bei Wei, Century Ave, Shanghai
Friday 25 May, 2007
Today we discovered the new Xiang Yang markets located in Pudong alongside the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum. The Museum is an impressive building and has its own Metro station. There is a lot of secrecy around the new markets as the government shut down the old Xiang Yang Markets last June. It's such a lucrative industry that they weren't going to disappear altogether and several new versions have popped up in the last 6 months.
We arrived by taxi and had to look around for the new markets. They are located underground and because the grounds of the museum are so huge they aren't that easy to locate. That said, we were approached within minutes by a young gentleman who asked if we were looking for the markets. When we replied 'yes' he offered to lead the way.
Walking into the underground markets is an experience. There are literally hundreds of stalls and they all seems to be connected by hidden doors, secret passages etc. It's exciting. After spending a few hours shopping and bargaining we had worked up an appetite. We didn't know where to go so asked one of the locals where they had purchased their lunch. It looked like Bei Wei was a firm favourite so we happily walked inside.
Just inside the entrance is a viewing area to watch the chefs prepare xioalongboa. It's fascinating the watch this as they effortlessly kneed the dumpling dough and create the small pieces required for each dumpling. Each steamed basket came with 6 dumplings and our lunch was literally made to order. So, we waited in the relative cool air-conditioned environment and enjoyed a cold drink.
The steamed baskets arrived with an accompanying dish of sweet soy sauce. Each dumpling contains a pork/ crab mixture and soup. So, when you pop the dumpling with your chopstick you can either suck out the soup or drain it into the basket and replace it with soy sauce. They were absolutely delicious and we polished them off so quickly that we could have easily gone another round. However, there was more shopping to do...
For lunch we paid a bargain 6 Yuan or $1 AUS each.
Bei Wei - 2002 Century Ave, Pudong, Shanghai


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