There is one road in Sydney where you can run all your errands in Shanghainese, the spoken dialect specific to the cosmopolitan seaside city of Shanghai. Need groceries? The doctor? A hairdresser? Ashfield's Liverpool Road has got you covered.
But what you’re really here for is the eateries. If you stand outside Ashfield Mall, you'll see a veritable smorgasboard: Shanghai Night, New Shanghai, Taste of Shanghai, New Shanghai Night, Taste of Shanghai, Shanghai Dumpling. This is Little Shanghai.
Here, you'll find steamed soup dumplings, known in Mandarin as xiaolongbao or xio-long-bo in Shanghainese. These are a staple, as are shallot pancakes, pan-fried pork buns (also known as potstickers), fried dough sticks, Shanghai-style pulled noodles (la-mi) and spring rolls. If you recognise any of these plates, after a trip to Little Shanghai, you'll see that they're only a gateway drug to Shanghainese cuisine.
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Note: All pronunciations are the author's own transliteration of Shanghainese, which is a spoken dialect only.