Dahuchun (大壶春) Is A Shanghai Institution

Dahuchun is one of the oldest fried pork bun shops in Shanghai and has been designated as a national treasure by the Chinese government.  It opened its doors in the 1930s and currently has six locations across Shanghai.

Dahuchun Shanghai China
My breakfast

Dahuchun is an institution of an old Chinese traditional dish and it must have sold more than a gazillion to have stayed in business for over 80+ years.  The reason I say a gazillion is because the Sheng Jian Bao runs about 8-10 RMB for four pieces and 8-10 RMB equates to about 1.00-1.20 USD.  These aren’t the size of McDonald’s chicken nuggets, but near tennis ball size portions.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Dahuchun has quadruple the amount of Big Macs sold in the world.

Food in Asia generally runs really cheap unless you’re dining at a Westernized or Michelin starred restaurant.  The majority (i.e., 95%) of Asian restaurants focus on the food instead of the service cause its where they excel.  Furthermore, service comes at a cost and a lot of the restaurants are family owned, so they rather draw in clients with the food.  Dahuchun is no different.  Dahuchun is the definition of a “local dive” where its full of locals who come in and out of the restaurant regularly.

The shop is tiny with no more than 6-8 communal tables and the decor is your typical Chinese restaurant.  The sweet lady in front takes your order and hands you a receipt then you turn around to give it to the lady cooking the Sheng Jian Bao.  After receiving your order, you are welcome to grab any open seat in the house.  When I arrived in the morning, the place was half full.  The place was completely packed with patrons when I returned during lunch time cause I left my GoPro there.  GoPro was turned in by someone and the lady in front place it back into my hands with a big smile.

Now, the food.  Dahuchun is no different from Xiaoyang Shengjianguan in that it specializes in two types of Sheng Jian Bao, which are the following:

  1. Pork – The bread dough is fried with a ball of pork inside it.  It’s a cross between a wonton, xiao long bao and pork bun.  The bun is fried to a golden color and until it has a crisp seared mark on it.  The seared mark gives it a crunchy layer as you bite into it.  However, the bread dough takes a back seat as the focus at Dahuchun is on the pork filling.  The sweet pork filling is fully cooked and squirts out juices as you bite into the bun.  Hence, why I called it a cross between a wonton, xiao long bao and a pork bun.  The flavors combined with vinegar makes it a sweet and sour.

    Dahuchun Shanghai China
    Pork
  2. Pork & Shrimp – The buns are essential the same except with the addition of shrimp to the mix.  It’s definitely worth the price to get an additional four pieces for another 10 RMB.

    Dahuchun Shanghai China
    Pork & Shrimp

Overall, Dahuchun is a great option with a lot of history behind its store front.  It’s filled with locals trying to find an empty seat to eat their Sheng Jian Bao and provides the perfect quick meal at dirt cheap prices.  I absolutely adore this little restaurant like how I adore the little hole in the wall noodle restaurant in Myeongdong.

Check out our other Shanghai articles here.

  • 7.5/10
    Service - 7.5/10
  • 6/10
    Presentation - 6/10
  • 8/10
    Flavors - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Ambiance - 7/10
7.1/10

Summary

Dahuchun is a Shanghai institution and the no-frill restaurant has been around more than 80+ years. It provides a quick and cheap option for those on a budget or on the go. I would definitely recommend checking out their Sheng Jian Bao.

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