The New Horizon

A new world explored with a rational view

An Indian Restaurant in Shanghai

with 24 comments

Today I visited the Indian Kitchen, an Indian Restaurant in Shanghai. To get the road direction, I called them up and some Chinese girls greeted me. As expected, the conversation with them was futile; they called up an Indian to carry on. Getting the tone of an Indian in a foreign land is like a song of a bird in the morning. I wished to carry on the conversation a little more, but it was a short-lived one. I got the road-map.

In the evening, I started for Indian Kitchen. Before that, I took the address from the internet and a Chinese transcript of the same from a colleague. The Chinese transcript proved to be the key to reach the restaurant. I could dare to ask the road direction (at least a few silent gestures and hand-directions) from the pedestrians. Contrary to the culture in India, whomever I asked was at least able to approximately tell us where the location is, despite the fact that it is not a famous place to visit. In India, most of the people on the roads of a busy city do not know about the surroundings at all. Soon, I entered he small roads from the broader ones. Astonishingly, even those smaller roads are equipped with pedestrian signals and cemented pavements. And the roadside were full of small restaurants, small shops and massage centers. The houses in the backyard are mostly like Indian houses (resembles saltlake in Kolkata or Jubilee Hills area in Hyderabad). Each one is an entity separated by tall wall surrounding it. The flat culture is thriving in Shanghai with skyscrapers all around yet these small houses do exists. They at least have a free sight of the sky and a few more trees than the flat-dwellers.

The entry to the restaurant was decorated in an Indian style, with garlands and portraits of Hindu gods. I entered and felt the deviation from my expectation at the first sight. The first and the most striking difference was the scarcity of Indians inside. Most of the customers, as well as the waiters were Chinese. However, after a close look, I saw that the kitchen cooks were all Indians – south Indians in particular. The Indian boy, with whom I talked to, met us with a smile. He’s Ambrose from Tamilnadu. I saw that he was communicating with other Chinese waiters at ease – of course in Chinese. Soon, I became familiar with another Indian boy. They came to Shanghai three years back, and can speak in Chinese. I did not ask him more questions, although I think I should have.

Although the waiters are mostly Chinese and as usual are very poor to communicate in English, they were dressed up in traditional Indian dresses. Men were dressed up in golden color Kurta-Sherwani and women in pink Salwar-Kameez, with golden color embroidery on it. The interior is decorated with Tanpuras and Tablas, to conjure up an Indian image. One can match the experience with a Chinese coming to India and having food at a so-called Chinese restaurant. The men and women are dressed up in Chinese traditional dresses and the people who come to eat are all Indians.

There were Chinese couples coming to experience Indian food for the first time. The waiter (Indian one), was explaining Indian course sequence to him – kebabs first, biriyani-curry next and gulab-jamun at the end. To simplify the choices, they have what we call an Indian aggregate meal that we call a thali in India, consisting of one item each from the all three sections. Besides, there were Indian versions of the Chinese foods as well. The couple ordered one such thali. Soon, the kebabs reached them and they were really happy with the food. We had a normal dinner with a lamb kebab and a curry-bread combination. The cost was 130 Rmb, with 6 Rmb tips. In Shanghai standard, I cannot call it costly.

Yesterday, while searching in the net, I found many Indian restaurants around. I was a little bit skeptic of how really an Indian restaurant is defined, since I know that Indians are not present in high numbers here. The entire concept of Indian restaurant abroad, serving NRIs a home-like food, has been trashed in Shanghai. There are Indian restaurants serving the local population, with the customized menus those suit the locals.

Tomorrow, I am planning to visit a nearby Uighur restaurant named Shanghai Xinjiang Fengwei Fandian. The Uighur-community is from the western-most province of China, named Xinjiang. They are mostly Muslims and have a strong cultural tie with Central Asia. After all, China is a big country. If Tibet is the link between India and China, then Xinjiang can be termed as the link between China and the Central-Asia, up to the Middle-East. Same can be said for the food as well. The special item they produce is the juicy lamb-roast (kao quanyang), costs around 40 Rmb. The item is so popular, that it is advised to call them up before to confirm the availability. The other speciality is a square-shaped noodle, named miantiao. The Uighur cuisine includes laohu cai (salads with cucumbers, onions and tomato slices), da pan-ji (chicken with spices) and Xinjiang-pijiu (Xinjiang black beer).The restaurant also has a dance program starting from 7:30 in the evening and I have no idea how it will be. Chinese culture may not be as diverse as the Indian one, but there is no reason to think that it is a monolithic one.

From the above description we can easily identify the similarity between Uighur cuisine and the typical Indian Mughlai cuisine. After all, the Indian culture is an ecosystem of several cultures. And that helps us survive more smoothly inside a different culture with higher adaptability.

India, China, Shanghai, Travel.

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Written by Diganta

June 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Posted in China, India, Shanghai, Travel

24 Responses

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  1. How was the menu ? was it indian ? south indian and punjabi dishes ?

    bachodi

    July 1, 2007 at 4:13 pm

  2. Menu was simple Moghlai – i didn’t see any Punjabi/South Indian dishes but there were no Bengali dishes. Food quality was not bad.

    Diganta

    July 5, 2007 at 10:38 am

  3. Hi Diganta,

    I am from Mysore and I am travelling to Shanghai soon. Please help me with some Good food outlets. I am a pure veggie….. Thats the problem man… Please help me.. Thanks in advance.. Sharan

    Sharan

    May 9, 2008 at 7:56 pm

  4. All Indian restaurants do have veg options. Otherwise, you have to cook yourself.

    Diganta

    May 9, 2008 at 8:06 pm

  5. I AM TRAVELLING TO SHANGHAI ON 16 TH SEPT

    ADVICE A HITEL FOR STAY AND GOOD INDIAN VEG FOOD

    RAVI

    August 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

    • dear sir
      there is bollywood indian restaurant in shanghai pudong.and very close to ramada hotel also,best indian veg food.you can enjoy lot s of kinde authentic indian veg food and can stay in ramada hotel in biyun road .
      u can contact to mr kuldeep sharma
      emali.bollywoood.restaurant@yahoo.com
      phon no.0086-21-38726176
      mbil.no.13044694407

      balveer

      September 11, 2010 at 7:32 am

      • Bollywood restauarant is not that good .have been there 2 times ….i was disappointed … they dont even have machine for accepting any cards .. really caused us a lot of inconvineance as we had to walk all the way to an ATM to withdraw cash .. the quality of food is Average … mango lassi is good though… drinks are overpriced .. otherwise prices are fine … interiors are nice and decorated with Bollywood posters … spacious inside .. G water front is a better restaurant …

        vipul

        November 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm

  6. kebabs on the grille on 479 zhongshan nanlu has delicious veg and non veg food, excellent ambience, tel sandeep 008615921803307

    mehak

    September 6, 2008 at 6:26 pm

  7. hi
    we will be in shanghai end of month .have just a day there. can u suggest what 2 see,where 2 eat(near 2 the places we will be visiting)and reasonable and conveniant place 2 stay. need 2 catch a train 2 yiwu in evening. any idea how long it takes ?
    thanks

    vandana

    September 13, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    • dear madam
      there is bollywood indian restaurant in shanghai pudong.and very close to ramada hotel also,best indian veg food.you can enjoy lot s of kinde authentic indian veg food and can stay in ramada hotel in biyun road .you can all information also after get in bollywod restaurant .from here to yiwu ,train will take only 2hourse 20minutes
      u can contact to mr kuldeep sharma
      emali.bollywoood.restaurant@yahoo.com
      phon no.0086-21-38726176
      mbil.no.13044694407

      Reply

      balveer

      September 11, 2010 at 7:38 am

  8. TO BE OF HELP AND USEFUL TO A STRANGER ON A STRANGE COUNTRY, ANY PLACE MENTIONED OR SUGGESTED MUST HAVE ITS STREET ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER INCLUDED, IF POSSIBLE.

    ANY HOTEL-MOTEL EXPERIENCE ALWAYS GETS APPRECIATED.

    BP SHAH

    February 17, 2009 at 2:04 am

  9. THANK YOU FOR POSTING IT IMMEDIATELY.

    BP SHAH

    February 17, 2009 at 2:04 am

  10. Hi, i m going for shangai for 7 months for study at east china university of political science and law and i m veggie, can u suggests me anything regarding food, i know cooking but whether ready to eat would be available can u estimate approximate expense of one day food by self cooking. Thanks. Plz reply i really need help. Thanks again.

    Dhiraj

    April 3, 2009 at 6:48 pm

  11. I’ve been to Shanghai, and have visited Indian-kitchen there. Infact Indian Kitchen is a chain of restaurant. One is at 480 Minsheng road. The other is near Hongfeng Road, Biyun. Food is nice, and the staff is usually courteous. I prefer the Minsheng one.

    Do remember one thing when you order food there. Mention Medium spice. Else, they bring the default low-spice food which is rather sweet.

    You can also try Pizzas at Papa John’s. It’s very similar to what we get in India.

    Another choice could be “Element Fresh”. They have a few vegetarian options also.

    Enjoy

    Mita Jain

    September 10, 2009 at 6:37 am

  12. Hi
    I will be coming to Shanghai, and work around Jiangsu province.
    Please tel me do’s and donts .
    Help in in useful tips before I leave fromIndia

    Regards
    Rahul Jejurikar

    Rahul Jejurikar

    October 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm

  13. I want to go to Indian kitchen retaurant in Minsheng road, Shanghai. I would be going there from Intercontinental Pudong hotel. Can anyone please guide me how to reach there?

    Anil

    April 11, 2010 at 3:29 am

  14. i tried a new indian restaurant in Pudong, Shanghai. Name : Bollywood. the food was really good.

    anshul

    August 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

  15. i have been in bollywood indian resaurant in pudong shanghai,the food and atomosphare is very very ince,it’s in 2f 326 hongfeng road(near biyun roD),JINQIAO PUDONG SHANGHAI.phon no.0086-21-38726176

    balveer

    September 11, 2010 at 7:47 am

  16. i went to bollywood restaurant today ,the food was delicious and authentic,the service was excellent ,and environment was really indian.
    i am from india and i went to number of indian restaurants but i never felt the same atmosphere like i felt in bollywood restaurant.it was really like i am in india and i felt i am having really authentic indian food and i like really like the indian music so i would like to share my wonderful experience with you about bollywood ,it’s really worth have to go at bollywood restaurant .

    sikander

    January 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  17. Hello friends…
    i have been in shanghai from past 2 years,i have visited many indian restuarants but i feel Lotus land south asian foods in taikanglu road is very delicious and cost is very resonable.Though the restaurant is run by a chinese,they are maintaing excellently.

    chandu

    February 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

  18. hi..do i have an option of jain meals in shanghai,beijing and xian….if yes please give me the contact number and the address

    urvi

    August 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

  19. hi..do i have an option of jain meals in shanghai,beijing and xian….if yes please
    give me the contact number and the address

    pravesh jain

    October 1, 2012 at 5:31 am

    • Jai Jinendra!!
      Praveshji, did you get any options for Jain food in Shanghai..please do let me know
      I also will be travelling there and only need Jain food. Please suggest and help

      Shantanu Dodal

      March 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

  20. hello i and brother are traveling to china we are also jain so can u suggest for jain food or jain maharaj who make jain food please give me contact no

    viral shah

    October 20, 2015 at 10:36 am


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