Dī Shuǐ Dòng

Hunanese in French Concession

Until the chilled lagers arrive, the faint breeze from the spreading of the blue-and-white tablecloth by your waiter may be the last cooling sensation at Dī Shuǐ Dòng, a rustic upstairs shrine to the volcanic cuisine of Húnán. Loved by Shanghainese and expats in equal measure, dishes are ferried in by sprightly peasant-attired staff to tables stuffed with enthusiastic, red-faced diners.

The claim to fame is the Húnán-style cumin-crusted ribs, but there’s no excuse not to sample the làzi jīdīng (fried chicken with chillies), the excellent Húnán-style fried crab in claypot or even the classic boiled frog. Cool down with plenty of beers and crowd-pleasing caramelised bananas for dessert.