Interview on ShanghaiExpat

27th November 2014

Originally appeared on ShanghaiExpat. For some reason, the article has been taken down, here is the original interview for records purposes.

China Blogs: The Shanghai Kid

By Vashti Lonsdale

The Shanghai Kid is a visually appealing blog that features reviews of a range of restaurants around Shanghai. The writing comes across as direct and honest, and ratings on food, service and ambience sum up the experience at each restaurant. The blog is linked to his Instagram which is updated with dining experiences almost every day.

We asked blogger Fred Lin about the inspiration behind The Shanghai Kid.

Given your wide range of skills and talents, what interested you in starting a food blog?

Quite a number of reasons, but it all comes down to enjoying eating and learning more about good food. One of my favourite pastimes on the internet had always been reading food blogs, ogling over beautifully taken photos of food paired with good writing. I realized there wasn’t many such blogs for Shanghai, which I felt was a shame because of the vast eating options available here.

Therefore I decided to put some of my skills to good use, and started The Shanghai Kid. The blog allows me to document and share my experiences, while serving as an outlet for me to practise and improve my writing skills – a trait which is quickly deteriorating in this age of 140 characters.

What’s most important to you when you visit a restaurant?

Pricing and quality of the food. If you combine these 2 attributes together, it all comes down to value.

I will be equally happy if I chance upon an excellent bowl of noodles for ¥25 or a beautiful plate of scallops for ¥88.

If I am paying for ¥188 for a dodgy plate of ingredients, then I start to question everything about the restaurant.

How would you rate the food scene in Shanghai compared to other major cities you have lived in or visited?

The food scene here is kinda like the real estate scene. Up until maybe 5 years ago, the general population were happy with cheap to mid-range priced eateries. There were few options for foreign cuisine. Fast-forward to 2014, you can have semi-authentic tex-mex, singapore food, authentic taiwanese chicken cutlets.

You can now find steak cooked in a restaurant that is well-charred on the outside and pink inside. You can choose which place to savour seafood that had been freshly flown in from Tsukiji market. The food scene in Shanghai has grown and continues to grow rapidly. Locals and expats are willing to pay more now for food than ever before. Restaurants are challenging themselves to offer more affordable prices. I think these are exciting times.

That said, many eateries here are all about the profit, whereas in many cities I have eaten at, the businesses there take great pride in their own food. You could say the restaurateurs/chefs are more passionate about their food than the patrons (already) are. I think this is the distinction between good, and great. I would really like to experience more of that in Shanghai.

Do you have a favourite restaurant in Shanghai?

It’s a little unfair to have a single favourite, because it depends on what I want to eat. If we’re talking about a restaurant that I have visited the most, it would be Molokai at Xin Tian Di. The reason is because they serve a mean Laksa and Chicken Rice, and their food is very consistent. It also helps that there is a nice cinema upstairs.

What’s the toughest thing about maintaining a blog?

Getting disciplined to write regularly. Writing articles require a bit of effort for me because I am not naturally good at it.

Recently, the blog has been gaining some traction, so that is certainly motivating me to write more.

Picture from The Shanghai Kid.

Submitted by ShanghaiExpat Editor on Wed, 2014-07-23 11:38

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