Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: 375 Zhenning Lu, near Yuyuan Lu, Jingan district, Shanghai

Telephone: +86 5239 7878

Owned by the same owners as Fu 1015 and the more casual Fu 1039, Fu 1088 is a high-end Shanghainese restaurant housed in a quaint 1930s colonial villa. There is no main dining room and instead, each table is located in its own private room.

The kitchen offers a selection of Shanghainese dishes, ranging from the authentic, classic ones, to the contemporary, re-interpreted dishes. There are 2 of us at dinner, and instead of ordering from the à la carte menu, we ask the waitress to design a “tasting menu” for us at RMB450 per head, and she gladly complies. This restaurant is considered quite pricey for local standards, but we find the price tag justified given the fine ambience, service and cuisine at our meal.

(1) Our meal starts off with a delicately presented platter of Shanghainese appetisers, of tea smoked egg, smoked fish, drunken chicken, chilled jellyfish and sweet lotus roots. My favourite is the sweet lotus roots which are sensuously soft and sweet, while I wish the drunken chicken isn’t covered in ice as the flavour is diluted.

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(2) A bowl of chicken soup with bamboo shoots follows, and it is clean-tasting and delectable.

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(3) Some deep fried shrimp in wasabi sauce and Shanghainese braised pork belly is served. The former is crunchy and delicious and the wasabi sauce offers a nice tang, while the braised pork belly is tender, perfectly seasoned and instantly melts in the mouth.

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(4) The stir-fried snow peas is simple but unforgettable –  the peas are beautifully sweet, and pop delicately in the mouth. The chicken noodle soup is equally impressive, as the thin noodles are a perfect match with the thick, deeply flavoured chicken broth.

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(5) As I visit the restaurant during the hairy crab season, a platter of hairy crab, done 3 ways, is served. On the left is a deep fried glutinous rice ball which is stuffed with hairy crab roe, in the middle is stir fried hairy crab leg, and on the right is baked stuffed crab. The crab flavours are outstanding in each of them, and I like the deep fried glutinous rice ball the most, as it has an excellent crunch and tastes moreish.

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(6) These xiaolongbao‘s (Shanghainese pork dumplings) complete our meal. The dumplings are broth-filled and flavour-packed, but the wrapper can be a tad thinner.

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(7) The dessert is a fusion dessert that tastes like frozen yoghurt but is more icy and coarse in texture. I personally quite enjoy the dessert, but my dining companion aptly points out that the dessert lacks the creamy flavour of milk.

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(8) Our meal finishes with a serving of fresh fruits.

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I would recommend this restaurant as the food is consistently delicious and the decor is charming and elegant. I might even go try out its sister restaurants, Fu 1015 and Fu 1039, if I have time!