When sifting through Xujiahui’s Jesuit treasures, you can’t miss Ye Olde Station Restaurant, an oddly named restaurant renowned for its two special old train carriages dining hall in its garden. This restaurant tells the most stories of Shanghai.
Since 1847, starting with churches, Xujiahui enriched the neighborhood with an entire set of French-style facilities bearing religious and cultural relics: church, monastery, library, museum, observatory, schools … this is a place with a complete European cultural atmosphere and a large-scale Chinese and Western cultural exchange center.
A white foreign style building outstands from a cluster of red-brick architectures – that is the famous Ye Olde Station Restaurant, standing just opposite the Xujiahui Catholic Church. The name of the restaurant suggests it was a former railway station, but it actually used to be the St Ignatius Convent. The Ye Olde Station Restaurant features authentic Shanghai dishes and old Shanghai museum like atmosphere.
When opening the wooden gate, you feel like you are about to enter a station of time. After going upstairs, you will find the most special dome in the building – it was a church hall from the last century, yet it turns into a wedding dining hall which has a fully booked schedule nowadays. The hall didn’t make any major change to the original design, even to the small stage which was prepared for the church choir.
When looking down from the balcony on the second floor, you will find the two famous train carriages in the garden. The carriage on the right side was for royal use, which was manufactured by German Hanover Train Manufacturer in 1899. The Dragon Lady, Empress Dowager Cixi, was one of its passengers. While the carriage on the left side was manufactured by Russian Yekaterinburg Coach Manufacturing Company, and once served for Madame Soong Ching-ling, the wife of Mr. Sun Yat-sen. Now the two carriages were re-decorated into dining spaces. You can imagine having dinners here: delicious food in mouth, the unknown time and space outside the coach windows, the train horn that comes up from nowhere…
Must-Eats in Ye Olde Station Restaurant
Braised Wild Long Snout Catfish
The long snout catfish is one of the four famous fishes in the Yangtze River. The middle part of a long snout catfish’s body is the best, with fresher flesh and fewer bones. So this part is mainly braised and contributes to the dish’s fame. Please taste while it’s hot. The fish skin is elastic – you will have wonderful experience with it.
Crab Roe Tofu
Crab Roe Tofu is a dish almost every guest orders here. Covered in golden sauce, tofu has all the rich flavors inside. It is so freshly delectable! Shredded celery is surely the best adding, both visually and gustatorily.
Steamed Vegetable Buns with Mushroom
Every one of the handmade buns must have 28 pleats, which is an extremely rigorous requirement. You may see the green vegetable inside, making you salivate.
Address: No. 201, North Caoxi Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai.