Street View/ H. Novak
ShangHai 1 is a little restaurant on the right-hand side Chinatown’s main street, if you’re approaching from Jefferson Station. Look for the sign with an enthusiastic-looking steamed bun wearing a chef’s hat. The bun’s expression captures the vibe of the restaurant—delicious food and enthusiastic eaters.
My friends and I are avid hot pot eaters, and our favorite place is a stylish restaurant deep in Chinatown called Nine Ting. Since my birthday was Wednesday, and Chinese New Year was Saturday, we went for hot pot to celebrate. (I credit my friend K. for introducing me to Nine Ting. K. has the ability to polish off an extraordinary amount of hot pot and is an all-around food enthusiast.) If you eat at Nine Ting on your birthday, your hot pot is free! They require proof of your birthday and a little post on Facebook. Otherwise it is about $22 a person.
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House and Spice C
Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House/ M. Ye
My friend says she goes to Chinatown whenever she needs a “taste of home.” Steaming hand-drawn noodles, stir-fried vegetables, roast pork buns, hot pot . . . Chinatown has it all. How glad I am that Philadelphia is a city with a Chinatown! Fresh noodles are not common in our everyday cuisine. They are difficult to acquire and even more difficult to make.