Packed on a Friday night, brightly lit and cleaner than most, Jin Chunseemed promising.
The menu presented the usual Shanghainese fare, starting with cold dishes of which we had to try what they called, "Fingered Citron Mushroom in gravy" (RMB16). Apparently, a more appropriate translation would have been "Buddha's fingers minced mushrooms," but hey, still interesting. What emerged from the kitchen was a plate of button mushrooms immersed in oil and a special soy sauce.
Simple, yet tasty. We figured that the true test of a Shanghainese restaurant would be a mean hongshaorou (RMB42)–the type that melts in your mouth and whose sweet, salty sauce goes so well with steamed rice. Jin Chun's had the right flavor but the meat should have been left to simmer some more. Told not to miss the homemade braised chicken, Jin Chun style, we obliged with half an order (RMB38) and wished we had gotten the whole chicken (RMB68).
The rice vermicelli pot (fensi), Jin Chun style, came highly recommended and despite the oiliness, did not disappoint. We'll be back to give the other dishes a try and we're definitely going for whole orders to energize us for some DVD shopping across the street. Service was good too, attentive and accommodating, with the boss personally checking in on guests. On our way out, we were even escorted with a "xie xie guang lin"–an A for effort.
Add: Bldg 9, 3911 Hongmei Lu