There is a number restaurants serving set lunches around the downtown area I work. Some are ridiculously priced especially compared to Chinese food which you can get for an eighth of the cost. Most set lunches, although more expensive than the local Chinese fare, are reasonably priced for lunch in Shanghai. But by no means is Shanghai considered a cheap place for expats to live. In 2014 it was rated as most expensive city in Asia for expats. But the great thing about Shanghai is that you can you live in a high-low fashion. A 50 cent Chinese breakfast, $7-10 dollar Western lunch and a bowl of noodles for another 75 cents for dinner. Same with drinks as you can get Chinese beer for half a dollar or a glass of wine for ten.
One of the great joys of living in Shanghai is the flight of new restaurants and bars opening so even though I ‘can’ live on the ‘low’ side, it’s often the new places I want to check out and those are not often (ever?) in the ‘low’ category. A new-to-me lunch spot is a Japanese restaurant on Wuding Road and Changhua Road. The waitresses and waiters don the traditional Japanese kimono and the food is good to boot. A bowl of ramen for six dollars and chicken teriyaki for seven – I’ve tried both so far and this place has my approval to be added to the lunch rotation.
Even though my work is set in a suburban area, there is an abundance of ethnic restaurants. On any given day, I can choose from Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Chinese, the list goes on. When another coworker wants Indian food, I can’t resist. We ventured to Yak & Yetti, an adorable restaurant serving Indian and Nepalese cuisine. Everyone splurged on the buffet because, well, why not! My favorite dish was a sweet potato masala dish. It had an unusual but amazing flavor. I will be looking up a recipe for this soon!