This morning, I woke up with a terrible head cold. Fortunately, my schedule for the day was pretty relaxed and I was able to sleep on the plane ride from Beijing to Shanghai. Upon arriving at our hotel, several of us found out that our rooms weren't ready to check into, so we opted for a trip to lunch before getting settled. As recommended by The Cleaver Quarterly, I suggested that we all head to Fortune Cookie, an "American-style Chinese Food" restaurant located in the heart of Shanghai! We crammed into a couple cabs and off we went, hungry and hoping for something familiar and comforting after several days of foreign food.
As soon as I stepped into the restaurant, I knew I was only moments away from experiencing something great. A quick look around and it was obvious that the restaurant had become a go-to for expatriates living abroad and looking for something that would remind them of home. The menu's design was flawless, and I found out later that it was designed by Fei Yin of Shanghai design studio, WHITEISMYCOLOUR. Fei also designed their fun business cards, chopstick wrappers, and is currently in the process of designing their first tshirt! I hope they ship international...
The group-- there was eight of us-- decided to order family style, so we could sample a variety of menu offerings. We went for the things that we were craving the most; sweet and sour chicken, orange chicken, kung pao chicken, beef and broccoli, general tso's chicken, and lots of rice. I loved the little bio on the menu that included a bit about owner Fung Lam's family history in NYC's Chinatown restaurant business, but probably the most reassuring part about ordering our meal was a tiny box located at the bottom that said "traceable meats." You can't really understand how happy this made me, considering the Chinese restaurant tendency to serve "mystery meat." All of the dishes were superb, and the familiar food really lifted our travel-wearied spirits.
Fung Lam, Fortune Cookie's owner and founder, brought out some of our last dishes, and ended up speaking with us about his story as an entrepreneur and future goals for the restaurant. Who knows, maybe there will be a Fortune Cookie in Portland soon!
Back at the hotel, I settled into my room and eventually passed out. I needed to rest up before tackling Shanghai's other offerings!
Tomorrow: Shanghai's DIY music scene, more hotpot, and a 7th floor speakeasy. Stay tuned!