Jin Hua opens new chapter in Yunnan fare

Restaurateur Daliah Spiegel closed Daliah and opened Jin Hua, swapping European fare for Yunnan cuisine in the process.

All good things must come to an end, so the saying goes, and this could be said about Daliah, a modern Austrian restaurant in Shanghai. But, fear not, when one chapter closes another usually opens and this is the case with this story.

Restaurateur Daliah Spiegel closed Daliah and opened Jin Hua, swapping European fare for Yunnan cuisine in the process.

“It was time for a change,” Spiegel said. “When I first moved to Shanghai I wanted to share European/Austrian cuisine with the locals and today I want to discover, understand and learn more about China, its cuisine and culture. It is a change of perspective. Daliah was a journey. It made me realize what is truly important for me.”

The space still retains its quirky spirit that encourages difference, subculture, experimentation and ambiguity.

Courtesy of Jin Hua / Ti Gong

The Dai minority’s “eat with your fingers” banquet 

“We want to create a safe environment, where people of all gender, color, belief or size can be themselves,” she said. “My friend Simon Moore designed the interior and a granny feminist tropical heaven was his mission. Moore recycled a lot of old furniture giving the whole place a nostalgic touch.

“I met Niu Yun years ago and found her inspiring. I became a regular customer at her restaurant Slurp! & Pilipala. The more I ate Yunnan food, the more I got intrigued by the fresh ingredients — the mix of chilies, fresh herbs and pickles. So one day, I sent the team a message asking if we should collaborate and a new adventure began.”

The Dai minority “eat with your fingers” banquet is a unique dining experience. Instead of chopsticks you use your fingers. It allows you to explore the textures and mix of flavors.

Courtesy of Jin Hua / Ti Gong

A lot of old furniture gives the place a special and nostalgic touch.

“In the banquet we serve wild mushroom rice together with a mint salad, traditional Yunnan cheese with rose jam and Dai minority BBQ chicken or mushroom stew,” she said.

The menu also focuses on Yunnan vegetables, from Chayote leaves to flower dishes or needle salads. I also liked the passion fruit fish soup that featured a spicy sour taste and the Yunnan sour and spicy rice noodle bowl with sauteed minced pork, carrot, greens and peanut. The bar manager skillfully pairs the food with some tropical cocktails and it is recommended to try the Jin Hua cocktail that comes in a mannequin head.


Opening hours: 11am-11pm

Tel: 6288-8773

Address: 408 Shaanxi Rd N.

Average price: 150 yuan (US$22.32)

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