Shanghai: Americans eating German food in the French Concession

That title sure is a mouthful isn’t it?

Let me explain.

For my final weekend in China, Peter wanted to take me to the French Concession for dinner. He had been there before with some Chinese friends but didn’t know how to actually get there (whoops). So we did some research online, picked a nearby metro stop, and went to town.

Getting off the metro, we have absolutely no idea where we are so we pick a direction and start walking. The area is typically modern which means we are definitely in the wrong place so we go to a hotel for directions. Well the concierge has never even heard of the French Concession. Excuse me? Confused, we grab a hotel map, locate the French Concession ourselves, and begin walking in the opposite direction.

30 minutes later we finally turn off the main road and begin sauntering down quiet streets lined with trees and quaint architecture. We found the non-existent French Concession! The streets are dark and mostly residential and so keep walking in hopes of finding some restaurants.

Well we get lucky. Really lucky. 

Making our way to a cab-lined street, I notice a big building nestled away from the sidewalk behind a fence and some serious shrubbery. Enticed by the brightly lit windows, I convince Peter to explore this building. As we near the building, I see a sign that says “Paulaner Brauhaus”. We opened the door and are greeted with a big, bustling, German restaurant and beer house!

The restaurant is 3 stories tall with an open floor plan that reveals the extraordinary number of people dining. There is a fairly large German population in Shanghai so I am not that surprised. We are seated on the third floor with a great view of the bar below. The menu is chocked full of typical Bavarian cuisine that reminds me of my time in Austria. “This is the food of my homeland!” I joke with Peter.

Clearly he is excited to eat.

To start I order a beer because it would blasphemous not to drink beer in a beer house. Duh. The beer is refreshing and lasts comfortably throughout our entire meal.

Then they bring out fresh German bread with a variety of spreads including butter, liver pate, and some other meat spread. Oh my lord it so delicious. I am practically licking liver pate off my fingers.

For the main course, I convince Peter to try the beef goulash. It was one of my favorite dishes in Prague and is served here Vienna-style with potato dumplings that knock our socks off. Yum.

For my dish, I order the Vienna sausages with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Oh my goodness. The sausages are perfectly crispy on the outside and pair fantastically with sauerkraut and potatoes. You honestly cannot go wrong with sauerkraut.

Stuffed and happy, we notice a band setting up downstairs. Soon, they begin playing American classics such as “Stand by Me” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. Children get up to dance in front of the stage while a group of rambunctious Chinese youths begin hollering and taking shots.

It is time to go.

So that was our random experience in China. Just a couple of Americans eating German food in the French Concession of Shanghai. You gotta love China.

Cheers!

Paulaner Brauhaus @ Fen Yang Road
150, Fen Yang Road, Xu Hui Qu
Metro: Shanxi Lu