Although the Old Jesse Restaurant has spawned a whole chain of newer joints, many people (us included) swear by the original. The restaurant is admittedly a bit cramped with little in the way of decor, but they dish up some of the best home-style Shanghainese food in this glorious city.
The restaurant is known throughout Shanghai as one of the cornerstones of the unique Shanghainese cuisine and is viewed as a benchmark for Shanghai’s local culinary landscape.
They’ve been awarded Bib Gourmand status by the folks over at Michelin, so you know they serve some pretty delicious food at a price that won’t break your bank.
Although the dining area is spread over two floors (they’ll even serve you food if you make a booking at Constellation Wine across the road), you should definitely make a booking in advance if you’re planning to visit this small eatery on your next trip to Shanghai.
When making a reservation (or getting someone who can speak Mandarin to book for you), make sure to order the roasted scallion codfish head too. It’s basically a whole fish head served under a blanket of fried spring onions and is one of Jesse’s signature dishes.
They do all your Shanghainese favourites too (and very well, we should add!), like cold salted chicken and a succulent pork belly braised in a delicious brown sauce. And while it’s not the most visually appealing dish on the menu, their xiefen is another must-try. It’s basically a super delicious mix of the meat and roe from the hairy crab (a Shanghainese delicacy), with egg whites and fried tofu sheets.
They also have their menu in English, so no excuses not to go to this iconic Shanghai restaurant!