Big thumbs-up for delicious, inexpensive breakfast menus

Li Qian
Jing'an has opened 58 canteens offering delicious yet inexpensive lunch options to workers in bustling commercial zones. Now, 26 have expanded their menus to include breakfast. 
Li Qian
Big thumbs-up for delicious, inexpensive breakfast menus
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

White-collar workers have breakfast at canteens set up across Jing’an by the government to provide convenient meal services at reasonable prices. 

Over the years, the district has opened 58 canteens offering delicious yet inexpensive lunch options to workers who often complain about the pricey lunches availed at restaurants in bustling commercial zones.

Now, 26 of these canteens have expanded their menus to include breakfast. One located in the New Ideal Mansion and run by Jing’an’s time-honored Meilongzhen restaurant offers a breakfast buffet for only 12 yuan (US$1.75).

Its menu features more than 20 dishes, including the “big four” of Shanghai-style breakfast — youtiao (fried dough), dabing (big flatbread), cifan (glutinous rice rolls) and soy milk. It also offers porridge, noodles, yogurt, fruits and vegetables.

“It’s a real bargain,” said a white-collar worker surnamed Zheng. “I can try so many different delicacies for only 12 yuan. It makes me feel like I’m in a five-star hotel.”

People can place orders in person at Meilongzhen or online.

“It’s very convenient,” said a white-collar worker surnamed Meng. “I can order in advance on my phone and take my breakfast to the office. It saves time. Compared with roadside breakfast stalls, I feel safer having breakfast here.”

Big thumbs-up for delicious, inexpensive breakfast menus
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

“We set prices lower than surrounding breakfast eateries,” said Shi Qunwei, Meilongzhen’s deputy general manager. “At the same time, we provide a wide selection of safe and delicious food.”

The breakfast menu is offered from 7am to 9:30am. In addition to white-collar workers, the breakfast menu is popular with local residents as well.

“I come every morning,” said a local surnamed Wei. “I can’t find any place as good close to my home.”

 In the future, all canteens catering to white-collar workers will have breakfast menus, according to Lu Jun, director of the Jing’an Commerce Commission’s trade and business management department.

“We will continue to introduce time-honored eateries to run such canteens,” Lu said. “Also, we hope to involve wet markets and convenient stores. We are talking with officials from office buildings and industrial parks about installing mobile breakfast stalls that provide hot breakfast delivery.”

“We should focus on providing good, wide-ranging breakfast menus to meet the demands of different kinds of people,” said Lin Xiaojue, director of the commission.

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