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Chinatown’s Bund Shanghai Solves the Plight of the Solo Diner

At last: an individual-portion Dongpo pork. 

The plight of the solo diner at a traditional Chinese restaurant is well-documented. Lacking the stomach space to dispatch multiple family-style dishes, you’re relegated to dull lunch-special rice plates or, if you’re lucky, a half-decent noodle stir-fry.

Not so at Chinatown favorite Bund Shanghai, where the hidden gem of the menu is the individual-portion Dongpo pork ($6), a dish so rich and fatty that even the most committed carnivore usually wouldn’t order it when dining solo. (Famously, the slow-cooked dish is said to have been the accidental creation of Song dynasty poet Su Dongpo, who was so engrossed in a game of chess that he left a pot of pork simmering for hours.)

At Bund Shanghai, the cube of pork belly—cooked to a burnished red sheen and quiveringly soft enough to eat with a spoon—is perfectly compact, the right size for a hungry lunch eater armed with a bowl of white rice to soak up all the savory-sweet meat juices. Might you order a vegetable or a steamer of soup dumplings to round out the meal? Sure. But mostly you’ll just be thankful you don’t have to share. 640 Jackson St. (near Grant Ave.), 415-982-0618


Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco 

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