After our afternoon at South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market (南外滩轻纺面料市场) where D had 2 shirts tailor-made, we made our way to Xin Tian Di (新天地, xīn tiān dì), an urban attraction that holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. It is a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen and modern architecture style.
Xin Tian Di is unique because of its concept of construction. It retains the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen (row houses with courtyards and stone frame gates) housing of old Shanghai. On the other hand, its interior embodies a totally different world of international gallery, bars and cafes, boutiques or theme restaurants. When you walk into it, you will get the taste of both Shanghai in the 1920’s and the sonic modern lifestyle of urbanites of the 21st century. (Source)
Xin Tian Di (XTD) is, simply put, 2-square-block pedestrian mall of cafes and boutiques:
(Click image to view larger map or just ‘Google map’ Xin Tian Di)
Xin Tian Di is divided into two parts: the South Block and the North Block. The South Block mainly consists of modern architecture with Shikumen architecture as an accompaniment. Its North Block kept the old Shikumen architecture style, forming a contrast to the modern South Block.
South Block: As the complex of shopping, entertainment and leisure, the South Block covers 25,000 square meters (6.2 acres) and opened in the middle of 2002. This glass wall building has a very modern atmosphere. Besides restaurants from all over the world, boutiques, fashionable ornament shops, food courts, cinemas and one-stop fitness centers provide places of leisure and entertainment for customers and tourists from home and abroad.
North Block: Composed of antique Shikumen buildings with inner modern design, decoration and equipment, the North Block features upscale stores and restaurants with cuisine from different countries such as France, Brazil, America, Japan, Germany and Italy, fully revealing the international level of Xin Enjoy coffee in Xin Tian DiTian Di.
Xingye Rd, the dividing line between two blocks, is the site of First Congress Hall of the Communist Party of China. The Shikumen buildings along two sides of the street have become the scenery embodying both the historical and artistic features of the city.(Source)
We took Subway Line 10 to Xintiandi Station, Exit 6, and walked north to get to XTD.
(Alternatively, take Subway Line 1 to South Huangpi Rd, Exit 3, and walk south to get to XTD.)
You’ll see these signs upon exiting the station (at Exit 6).
Just walk in the direction of the ‘The Site of The First National Congress of CPC’ and you’ll get to XTD.
Lovely sight on the way to XTD that reminded us to Europe 🙂
We walked by 302-306 Madang Road, where the Former Provisional Government Site of the Republic of Korea is:
There were quite a number of Korean tourist there:
Oh look, I’ve got a shop here?? 😛
Here we are at XTD!
This place is emitting such a strong European feel that it’s making us miss our honeymoon in Europe!
The Christmas lights came on shortly after we took the previous photo, and so here’s another shot with a very European background! 😛
福禄寿 (fú lù shòu) – Fortune, Prosperity and Longevity statues:
“These statues were created for Shanghai Xintiandi by the renowned Dutch-Chinese sculptor Wu Ching-ju. They are here interpretations of the traditional Chinese folklore figures of Fortune (福 (fú)), Prosperity (禄 (lù)) and Longevity (寿 (shòu)). We would like to wish the same to all visitors to Xintiandi.”
上海滩 (shàng hǎi tān) is where we got our inspiration for our category, “Shanghai Tang”:
There is actually no place known as “上海滩 (shàng hǎi tān)” (滩 (tān) means beach) but there is a place known as “上海外滩 (shàng hǎi wài tān)”, which is actually ‘The Bund‘, where we will visit in time to come. 😉
This scene (the linkway) reminds us of Iluma/Bugis+ in Bugis, Singapore. 🙂
This feels like Raffles City Shopping Centre…
Maybe we’re just starting to miss home…
We soon got to Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐, dǐng tài fēng) at Xintiandi:
We made a reservation for dinner:
Yes, they take reservations here unlike in Singapore!
“The New York Times
JANUARY 17, 1993
By KEN HOM
In Taiwan, there is an unpretentious restaurant, Ting Tai Fung, that specializes in dumplings and simple foods, what the Chinese call “small eats.” In the front of the restaurant, in a tiny work area with large billowing steamers , the cooks can be seen rolling out the dough to stuff the dumplings.
Seating about 30 people on each of four floors, the place is sparkling clean, its cafe atmosphere enhanced by bright fluorescent lights and lots of clatter. There is no English menu. However, the Chinese menu is presented in a list with numbers that never change. One favorite of mine was No. 2, chicken soup, in which the famous Chinese black chicken (a type of poultry with black skin) is blanched and slowly steamed with ginger and scallions inside a casserole for hours until the broth is rich and clear.
But the specialty of this outstanding restaurant is its dumplings. Great dumplings should be juicy, with flavorful fillings and light, thin dough. No. 51, soup in dumpling, are Shanghai dumplings with a well-seasoned, savory pork filling wrapped in a thin wheat-flour skin, then gently steamed on bamboo racks with the juices forming the soup. Another treat is No. 53, shrimp and pork steamed dumplings, juicy open-face dumplings with a slightly thicker skin filled with fresh shrimp and pork. In a vegetarian version, No. 54, vegetable steamed dumpling, finely chopped fresh bok choy (Chinese white cabbage) is mixed with savory rice, wrapped and steamed. The burst of fresh vegetable with every bite is memorable.
Finally, don’t miss No. 58, pork vegetable baozi, and No. 59, pork baozi. These more breadlike, delectable small buns are often steamed and then pan-fried. Most patrons drink Chinese beer or shaoxing rice wine with their meal.
Ting Tai Fung, 194 Hsin-I Road, Section 2, Taipei, Taiwan; (02) 3218927 (no fax). Open Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday) from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M. and 5 to 8:30. Closed Jan. 22 to 28 for Chinese New Year. About $20 a person.
How did they do this? Their ginger slices are served like that:
We asked for chili and were given 2 types:
The service was good – once guests were seated, their coats/jackets (it was winter) were covered (see lady in middle-bottom of photo):
We love the graffiti on the walls, of famous personalities who had visited Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐, dǐng tài fēng) at Xintiandi:
Although their service and ambience were impressive, their food failed to impress – it’s more expensive than in Singapore but it did not taste better. 😐
Shanghai-style soy sprouts:
Pork Xiao Long Bao:
Fried Pork Chop:
Fried Rice with Egg:
Vegetable and Ground Pork Wonton soup:
Forgot the name of this vegetable but it was really crunchy to eat, one of the choices we’re more satisfied with for the dinner:
Steamed Taro Dumplings:
Overall, we were really satisfied with the service and ambience but we felt the food was too pricey.
We think the dumplings at Din Tai Fung pale in comparison to those at 佳家汤包 (jiā jiā tāng bāo), in terms of both quality and value – we’d rather spend the amount we spent at DTF eating a lot more at JJTB!
After dinner, as we made our way back, an advertisement caught our attention:
That’s a Mini Cooper up there!?
We noticed a few interesting vending machines on our way back.
Facial cleanser, moisturiser?
Besides Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐, dǐng tài fēng), we did not check out any other cafes/bars though we read that some of them are pretty legit. 🙂