Cong's Kitchen brings out nostalgic local flavors
Cong’s Kitchen is well-known throughout the city for its uncompromising tradition of serving up appetizing Shanghai cuisine.
The restaurant is particularly famous, among food critics and wine aficionados, for refusing to charge customers a fee for bringing their own wine.
The dining space is simply decorated but exudes a pleasant vibe to enjoy your meal, while the red ceiling lanterns add a Chinese touch to the overall ambience.
Cong’s Kitchen specializes in native Shanghainese food and it is one of the few restaurants in the city still offering classic dishes that are almost extinct to the metropolis today.
Shanghai cuisine, also known as benbang cai, is the youngest of China’s 10 culinary styles. It has a history of more than 400 years and has its roots in hearty peasant cooking, often using heavy oil and thick sauces.
Another character of Shanghai cuisine is the use of seasonal vegetables and aquatic products as raw materials.
Cong’s Kitchen is keen on bringing out nostalgic local flavors but you will not find any greasy, heavy oils or extra sweetness from the dishes. Most of the plates are flavorsome and delicate.
Tufei (sautéed fish liver at 288 yuan) is a must order. It is considered to be one of the most famous Shanghai dishes over the past century.
One plate of Tufei is made from the livers of about 15 black carps.
The texture and taste is absolutely divine, similar to pan-fried foie gras but less greasy. Interestingly, rare ingredients are often seen on the menu, for instance, coral mushroom from Wuyi Mountain, Fujian Province, fresh Gastrodia tuber and Panus giganteus — a wild mushroom.
Other delicious plates include the housemade fermented bean curd, water bamboo with shrimp paste and stewed beef tenderloin in casserole. The dishes are well developed with a great understanding of local cuisine.
A Shanghainese meal is not complete without delicious local snacks. Try the restaurant’s signature wonton or the wonton with leopard coral grouper meat filling.
It is not a typical Shanghainese eatery serving red-braised pork belly or sautéed eel slices. It is much more than that.
Opening hours: 11am-2pm, 5pm-9:30pm
Address: 158 Liuhe Rd
Average price: 260 yuan