Enjoy spicy Sichuan hotpot and views over Bund
The Way of the Dragon, recently opened on the second floor of The House of Roosevelt, is bringing authentic Sichuan flair to Shanghai’s historic Bund.
You can enjoy the wonderful Shanghai skyline and view of the Oriental Pearl Tower while savoring a traditional Sichuan hotpot.
The new restaurant is the higher-end brand of Xiao Long Kan, a top Sichuan hotpot franchise that has more than 800 outlets nationwide and several restaurants in Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
You can see the brand’s ambition to take this grassroot delicacy to a higher stage.
The high-ceilinged space is decorated in traditional Chinese style — red wooden chairs, a giant dragon’s head at the entrance and classic Chinese furniture.
The tables by the windows offer a great view of the Bund.
The experience of Sichuan cuisine starts before the pot is boiled. There is a traditional Sichuan tea ceremony, Chengdu snack danhonggao (an egg pancake with fillings) and classic performances which transport guests to Chengdu for a brief moment.
The menu of The Way of the Dragon features all the classics components of Sichuan hotpot plus a few dishes to up the game. There are six soup bases to choose from, but the classic spicy soup with beef tallow (128 yuan) is a must.
If you are dining with people who cannot eat spicy food, the two-flavor base allows you to choose a non-spicy broth presented in the middle of the square pot.
The seasoning is priced at 12 yuan per person, which includes sesame oil for the red meat and offal, soy sauce for the seafood and mushrooms, as well as Sichuan-flavored chili powder to add more spiciness.
Before the pot is ready, a couple of cold dishes can get the appetite ready for the long battle ahead — sliced beef and ox tongue in chili sauce (68 yuan) and seafood with fresh green peppercorn (68 yuan) which is not as spicy and very fragrant.
The pink beef tripe (288 yuan) is a house special. It’s transported to Shanghai from Tangjiasi by air and is sold in limited quantity. The beef tripe must be cooked briefly in the broth to avoid a rubber-like texture.
The right technique is to hold a piece of beef tripe with the chopsticks and dip it in the boiling soup eight times.
The sesame oil can neutralize the spiciness of food cooked in the beef tallow broth and add more flavors.
There’s also a more economic option, the regular fresh beef tripe is 88 yuan.
Other must-haves in Sichuan and Chongqing-style hotpot are goose intestines (88 yuan), pork aorta (78 yuan), spicy beef slices (68 yuan) and thousand-layer tripe (78 yuan).
Vegetables include bamboo shoots, mushrooms or the super-thin potato slices.
The restaurant does offer some upmarket delicacies that aren’t easy to find in other Sichuan hotpot places in Shanghai such as shorthead catfish and baby jeweled blenny.
Both are unique small-sized river fish from Sichuan.
They are sold by weight starting from 250 grams and the price adjusts according to the market.
Most of the staff members at The Way of the Dragon came from Chengdu, and they can help cook the dishes for people who are new to the cuisine.
The Way of the Dragon has a great location and view, the prices of most of the dishes are reasonable and the portion sizes are quite generous. There’s a 10 percent service charge.
Opening hours: 10am-2am (Monday-Sunday)
Address: 2/F, 27 Zhongshan Rd E1
Average price: 400 yuan