Stepping into this cozy, perpetually crowded dining room is like stepping into a Shanghailander's house during a rowdy game of transcontinental mahjong--the delectable local fare attract expats, local and tourists alike (all with cameras to document their crowded, but delectable dinner). Whether you're craving the eight treasure roast duck, complex wine marinated crab, or the heavenly sweet, sticky red dates filled with glutinous rice, this restaurant has it, and does it better than (almost) everyone else in town.
For a quality, mid-range Shanghainese meal, Jesse is a must-try. Stepping into this cozy, perpetually crowded dining room is like walking into a Shanghailander's house during a rowdy game of transcontinental mahjong. The local fare attracts expats, locals, tourists (all with cameras to document their crowded, but delectable dinner) and celebrities too—even Jackie Chan has tasted their hongshaorou. Unlike most Shanghainese joints, the food is so clean and crisp that you’d be forgiven for thinking oil was missing altogether. The dried beancurd with parsley is perfectly balanced with tofu so meaty you’ll consider going vegetarian. The fried prawn and chicken with chili is a highlight, with the biggest and juiciest prawns we’ve had at that price. Other popular dishes include the eight treasure roast duck, soy sauce stewed pork and the complex wine-marinated crab—they do those staples better than just about everyone else. But don’t leave without trying a sweet appetizer of jujubes (red dates) stuffed with glutinous rice. Each glossy, piping-hot jujube is filled with a fresh morsel of rice cake. The rich, earthy dates combined with the satisfying chewiness of pure white rice cake are thoroughly delicious and quite addictive.
Find it: 41 Tianping Lu 天平路41号, Tel: 6282-9260
Editor Rating (Review):
Average: 4(1 vote)
You've probably seen this sweet dish of jujubes (red dates) stuffed with glutinous rice (RMB30) on a few menus in Shanghai, but the very best one is at Jesse Restaurant. Even on a table with dishes like marinated crab and the signature soy sauce stewed pork, this pretty appetizer always steals the show. Each glossy, piping-hot jujube is filled with a fresh morsel of rice cake. The combination of rich, earthy date combined with the satisfying chewiness of pure white rice cake is thoroughly delicious and quite addictive. It's also a bit of a diva. Though listed as a starter, this steaming treat has invariably pranced onto my table along with the entrees, after every other appetizer is kapoot. They're work it though. when I ask why the dish is always such a lagger, the waiter said the same things to me: we don't start these jujubes until you order, and be careful, they're hot! Just believe him. Approach these "red hots" like you would xiaolongbao--don't pop more than one into your mouth at a time if you want to taste the rest of your meal.