Former food haven in Shanghai blossoms once more

By ZHOU WENTING | | Updated: 2024-01-09 20:24
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A visitor poses for a photo at a decorated window with actor Hu Ge, who plays the protagonist A Bao in the new television series Blossoms Shanghai at Fairmont Peace Hotel near the Bund in Shanghai on Tuesday. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

Formerly known as a gastronomy paradise, Shanghai's Huanghe Road used to be home to over 100 restaurants, many of which served high-end fare that only the rich and famous could afford.

But everything started to change in the mid-1990s when a spate of changes sapped the lustre out of this bustling street.

New safety regulations, for example, saw the iconic neon signs that gave the street much of its character torn from the buildings. Fried snakes, a delicacy that many intrepid gourmands sought after, were also banned. The Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s and the SARS pandemic in 2003 subsequently resulted in many restaurants closing down.

But the area is now experiencing a revival of sorts, with throngs of people armed with cameras flocking to it in search of nostalgia and historical clues.

Wang Yongfen, who has been living in a shikumen lane house on Huanghe Road for the last 35 years, said she has never seen such crowds before.

The reason behind this phenomenon is Blossoms Shanghai, a new television series by Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai that was released on December 27, 2023.

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