You'll notice that most Chinese restaurants in Shanghai have large, round tables. The reason becomes clear the first time you eat a late dinner at a local restaurant and are surrounded by jovial, laughing groups of people toasting and topping off from communal bottles of beer, sharing cigarettes, and spinning the lazy Susan loaded with food. Whether feting guests or demonstrating their wealth, hosts
will order massive, showy spreads.
Shanghai's standing as China's most international city is reflected in its dining scene. You can enjoy jiaozi (dumplings) for breakfast, foie gras for lunch, and Korean beef for dinner. It's traditional to order several dishes to share among your party. Tipping is not expected, but sophistication comes at a price. Although you can eat at Chinese restaurants for less than Y30 per person, Western meals go for Western prices.
Most restaurants in Shanghai offer set lunches—multicourse feasts—at a fraction of the dinner price. Also, check out the dining section of City Weekend, That's Shanghai, Time Out Shanghai, or Smartshanghai.com, all of which list dining discounts and promotions around town.
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