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Western food, Shanghai style

By Wang Ying ( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-12-23 06:52:48

Western food, Shanghai style

[Photo provided to Shanghai Star]

For many elderly Shanghainese, Deda is where they start their day with a cup of coffee and a chat about old times. Wang Ying visits a local institution.

Many of Shanghai’s senior gentlemen will battle bad weather and the constraints of old age to have their regular cup of coffee at Deda Western Food Restaurant, It is one of the city’s oldest Western restaurants, and many of it’s elderly customers can remember going on their first date there.

Deda is not only popular with laokela (a word in Shanghai dialect meaning "senior gentlemen who know how to enjoy life") but enjoys excellent recognition among Shanghai locals, who regard it as one of the city’s most renowned Western food restaurants.

Its fried pork chop, salad sauce and sweet and sour borsch were some of the earliest Western dishes served in Shanghai more than a century ago. And they are still on the menu.

Deda was founded by French expats in 1897, and was later purchased by local Chen Ansheng. The restaurant got its name because it served German style cuisine, and de in Chinese means Germany.

Originally located at 177 Tanggu Road of Hongkou district, the restaurant sold beef and lamb wholesale, and ham, bacon, fresh and cooked beef and lamb, Western ingredients and vegetables retail. Their home-made ham, bacon and salads were extremely popular. On the second floor, Deda offered Western cuisine and food for foreigners and local white collar workers.

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