Audrey Voyage: “My Food Tour of Shanghai in La Presse”

Journalist Audrey Voyage joined UnTour Shanghai for our Street Eats – Breakfast food tour. She wrote about the experience in French at La Presse and then translated it to English for her blog here.

Here’s an excerpt:

In between delicious stops where we get to try various local breakfasts, our guide tells us the story of Shanghai and its culinary traditions. We taste a youtiao (a stretched out doughnut), a wonton soup (a bowl of chicken broth with pork, prawn and bok choy wontons), two types of dumplings and a cifantuan (a fried dough holding glutinous rice with a filling of sugar and sesame or of vegetables, pork and duck egg). It’s thejian bing (a savoury thin pancake with eggs, green onions and hot sauce) that wins our heart. The group tours from Untour Shanghai are offered in English, but it’s also possible to take a private tour in French.

Where to Eat in Ji’nan, Shandong


Located a few hours away by train from Shanghai, Ji’nan is the capital of the Shandong province. Known for it’s artesian springs within the metro area, Ji’nan also has a vibrant history (it was first settled over 4000 years ago), and a burgeoning food culture that is perfect for those looking for a weekend away from Shanghai.

Finding English speakers in Ji’nan is a bit more difficult than in Shanghai, so it may be a good idea to take a Chinese speaker with you. That said, Topher – one UnTour’s Night Markets guide who previously lived in Ji’nan – has given you the address in Chinese, along with some suggested dishes to order. Keep in mind that serving sizes of Ji’nan food are much more generous than in Shanghai.

You Xuan Zhang – 油旋


Breakfast snack, really only one or two things to order here:

油旋 – light onion pancake, you’ll want 2-3 to come close to filling up

甜沫 – a somewhat flavorless porridge that is usually ordered alongside the you xuan (pancake)


Lao Dong Jia – 老董家


Homestyle Ji’nan food, suggested dishes:

黄瓜拌油条: an appetizer dish with cucumbers, fried dough sticks, sesame, and garlic

风味茄子: “tasty” eggplant that’s sweet, salty, a bit spicy, and mouth numbing

黄焖鸡: chicken stewed in a sweetened light soy sauce

两吃里脊: fried pork with two dipping sauces: sweet and sour, and salt and pepper

泰山原奖啤酒: a delicious wheat beer from Tai’an, a city south of Ji’nan


Di Ji Crayfish and Snails (night time only) 记龙虾田螺炒


Excellent way to spend an evening (gets started around sunset)

小龙虾 – crayfish, you can tell them how spicy you want them but they won’t go crazy on you

炒鸡 – chicken stir fry with green peppers and potatoes

田螺 – stir-fried snails, a lot of work but everyone else is having them

花生毛豆拼盘 – a small mixed plate of boiled peanuts and edamame

炒花菜 – stir-fried cauliflower, just about the only veggie that people eat there

扎啤 – get a small keg of Ji’nan’s local beer for your evening (and prepare for locals to come up and cheers you)


If you have time, a visit to Ji’nan’s Muslim district for some BBQ is highly recommended. The place that I would always go to has moved, but the family who runs it is super kind. It’s called 伟伟烧烤 (Wei Wei’s BBQ) and taxi drivers probably won’t know it. If you’d like to go, it’s probably easiest to take a taxi to the south entrance of the Muslim district at 源大街与永, then walk north past the Chinese style mosque on your left. They’ll be another mosque soon after with an onion dome and a smokestack behind it. Turn right there and walk about 50 meters. Wei Wei’s will be on your left. Drop my name (Toufa – 头发) and you’ll be treated like royalty. They have a daughter who speaks decent English too.

Order the beef, lamb, and some bbq bread. 牛肉串,羊肉串,

Ji'nan skewers

Sightseeing-wise, there aren’t a whole lot of obvious places in Ji’nan. Locals will suggest Baotu Spring, Thousand Buddha Mountain, and Daming Lake. Those are the places where tourists busses stop. They’re worth a visit, but I suggest keeping your expectations in check. I usually recommend visiting Black Tiger Spring (黑虎泉) as an alternative, as it’s more community oriented but still pretty. Near that area in old Ji’nan, see if you can find the Prince’s Pool (王府池子) hidden down an alleyway. North of that is Qushuiting Street (曲水亭街), which was voted the loveliest lane in Ji’nan a few years ago. There is good hiking (or step climbing) south of the city in the mountains. I used to go to Big Buddha Head (大佛头) behind Thousand Buddha Mountain. There’s also the old Austrian cathedral at the Shandong University old campus.

If you’d like to learn more about Chinese street food in Shanghai, please join UnTour Shanghai for our Night Markets, Street Eats-Breakfast or Hands-On Dumpling Delights Tours.


Glutton Guide Melbourne Takes Tourists Off the Eaten Path

Glutton Guide Melbourne Cover

Glutton Guide: The Hungry Traveler’s Guidebook is on a mission to help tourists eat like locals. First published in Shanghai in June 2015, the digital culinary guidebook series launched its Melbourne dining guide this month, offering a curated collection of dining experiences by one of the city’s foremost foodie experts.

The author of Glutton Guide Melbourne is Monique Bayer. A Melbourne native and the owner of Walk Melbourne, a culinary tour company, she is also the author of Devouring Melbourne: Uncovering a Delicious City. Monique knows all too well how much research is necessary to create a delicious meal-based itinerary. She believes there is nothing worse than a mouthful wasted on mediocre guidebook recommendations or outdated online listings when exploring a new country.

“Designed by a Melbourne foodie for foodies, Glutton Guide is all you’ll need to plan a memorable meal-based trip, highlighting the city’s most delicious foods,” Monique says. “More than just a book of listings, you’ll find an overview of the best food experiences in Melbourne and her surrounds, including the most respected coffee roasters the city is famous for. This gets you off the tourist trail and eating the best dishes at each restaurant, shoulder to shoulder with local diners.”

By concentrating just on the F&B offerings of a city, Glutton Guide Melbourne’s focus is narrower than broad-strokes guidebooks, picking up where these books fall short by using locally-based author-eaters, like Monique, who know the city’s dining scene inside and out. Unlike travel writers who come and go, these locals bring their thorough understanding and knowledge of the city to each edition, updated regularly as the dining scene evolves.

Alley -iphoneGlutton Guide goes beyond simple restaurant listings by providing a comprehensive look at the city’s dining scene. The Melbourne edition covers everything from neighborhood guides featuring the best eats around the city to day trips in the Yarra Valley wine county — plus everything in between, including the city’s best bars and handy translations to where to try ‘roo for the first time.

Glutton Guide Melbourne is available for download from our website, Amazon’s Kindle store or Apple’s iBooks store from US$6.99.


About Glutton Guide: Founded in June 2015, Glutton Guide is the first and only global, locally written guidebook series to focus solely on the dining scene of its destinations. Its mission is to ensure no traveler falls into a tourist trap when eating their way through a new city. The Glutton Guide series is written by locally-based food professionals in cities across the globe that they call home and are updated regularly to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.

About the Author: Monique Bayer owns Walk Melbourne Tours ( She shares Melbourne’s stories while sharing food. Her walking tours focus on the things that locals love – coffee, dumplings, rooftop bars and the city’s laneways and arcades. She loves exploring her hometown with visitors and uncovering its treasures for them. She says, “If you haven’t seen Melbourne on foot, you missed the best bits”. Monique’s first book ‘Devouring Melbourne: uncovering a delicious city’ contains six self-guided food and drink themed walking tours of Melbourne with stories of the people and places you’ll meet along the way. She is the winner of the 2014 Victorian Tourism Award for Youth Achievement.

About the Publishers: Jamie Barys and Kyle Long are the co-founders of the Glutton Guides series and co-writers of the Shanghai edition. Collectively, they have lived in China for more than 14 years. They believe that the best way to get to know a culture is to eat your way through it, which is why they have been writing about food and travel for nearly a decade. In addition to Glutton Guide, they founded UnTour Shanghai, the city’s leading food tour company (

Where to Eat in Chengdu

eating chengdu food

Love spicy food? Sichuan is the province to beat in China for fiery fare. The region’s ideal geographical features make it a perfect site for foraging and growing great produce, and UNESCO recognized the the city as a “City of Gastronomy” in 2010 – the first Asian city it bestowed the honor on, in part thanks to its history as a the start of the southern Silk Road route, where it served as China’s entry point to exotic vegetables and spices from Central and Western Asia. Here are some of UnTour Shanghai guide Mitch’s favorite restaurants when he heads out to Chengdu:

Mushroom Restaurant in Chengdu:

Restaurant that specializes in all mushroom dishes. Some amazing offerings but my favorite two are:   Mushroom buns 菌包 & Mushroom soup 菌类汤

JiuPin FengShan ZhenBao Restaurant 九品风山珍宝酒楼

Ke Hua Middle Road New 11, Chengdu, China

武侯区 科华中路新11号(武警一支队对面)

Phone: 028-85212323

Chinese Link. English(-ish) Link.

Most Authentic/Delicious Tibetan Restaurant We’ve Ever Been To:

Lots of monks eat here; on the third floor across from Holly’s Hostel. We really liked: Sweet Mare’s Milk Tea, Yogurt, Yak meat pot, Potato dumplings, Jiaozi and the little highland tubers in sour yak butter (cannot remember what they’re called o_O).

Langqin Pozhang (former Elephant)

郎钦颇丈朗丈 (象王藏传私房菜)

246 Wuhouci Da Jie No. 15, Chengdu


Phone: (028) 13228118833

Chinese link. FourSquare. English Link.


Chen Mapo Doufu – the classic spicy Sichuanese tofu & pork dish

197 Xi Yu Long St | West Jade Dragon St, Chengdu 610015, China

青羊区 西玉龙街197号(近交通银行省分行)

Chinese Link .English Link.


Fine Chinese Dining

Also for a more up-scale tasting by one of the best chefs in Chengdu, check out Yu’s Family Kitchen.

And here are a couple recommendations for specific dishes native to the region:

You must eat Dandan Mian (担担面). This is a snack-sized bowl of noodles that people eat all day, with peanut sauce, chili oil. A good place to eat it is at Xiaoming Tang Dandan Tianshui Mian (小名堂担担甜水面) which has a few branches around town. To numb the spiciness, also get a bowl of the sugar noodles (tianshuimian, 甜水面) which is another specialty they do.

Little wontons in spicy chili oil called Chaoshou (抄手) is another classic. You can get them in a lot of places, but one place I used to go was a small place called Laoma Chaoshou (老麻抄手)

Another specialty is skewers of food served in chili and numbing spice bowls called Chuanchuan Xiang (串串香) which literally translates to fragrant skewers. This is more of a nighttime thing to eat, you can try them at Kangerjie Chuanchuanxiang (康二姐串串香) which is located on the Middle Walking Street (中大街) but you’ll see places around the city.

Something else that you must do if settle in at one of the teahouses by the lake in peoples park (人民公园) or in the Donghu Garden (东湖公园)if the weather is nice. Drinking tea and people watching is a classic Chengdu Activity.

You can also check out this interview we did with Robyn Eckhardt of Eating Asia fame – she loves devouring her way through Chengdu.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Sichuan cuisine, but aren’t heading that far west on this trip, hop on our Night Markets tour where we finish at a local Sichuan restaurant for a few fiery dishes.

Blogger Explores UnTour Shanghai’s Night Markets


Jennifer from Adventurous Appetite joined UnTour Shanghai for our Night Markets tour. Here’s a taste of what she had to say:

I recently discovered a food tour group that has made this desire a bit more feasible. UnTour was founded in 2010 by a woman named Jamie Barys, a food writer and longtime Shanghai expat. She says, “More and more people rank eating local foods in authentic settings as their number one priority when traveling, but discovering where the locals eat can be difficult in an unfamiliar location.” She states that Shanghai especially can be overwhelming with the language barrier and street food options.

adventurousappetitenightmarkets copyI personally hadn’t eaten much street food before joining Barys’ night tour last month. Stories of recycled oil and ingredient sourcing had scared me away. Plus, I wasn’t sure what to order and where to order from. But in just one night, I made up for it.

Along with about ten others, I met the Untour team on Shouning Lu to experience our first night market of the evening. It began with an explanation of the market, along with identifying all of the items being grilled and barbecued. Then it was off to a local restaurant to eat all the street food after it was prepared. Crawfish, lamb kebabs, garlic scallops, lotus root skewers, green bean skewers, snake, and roasted garlic eggplant filled the table. “Make sure not to fill up, guys!” our tour guide warned. But it was hard to show restraint, and the food kept coming.

After sampling a variety of fruit puddings and custards, we waddled over to a hole-in-the-wall noodle shop on Fangbang Lu for beef noodle soup, hand-sliced noodles with lamb and peppers, and noodles with egg and tomato. The chefs welcomed us into the kitchen and dazzled us with their flour pulling and knife skills. We finished with pepper cookies and beer.

Read the whole post here to check out her mouthwatering pictures!

Shanghai Road Closures During October Holiday (National Day) 2015

Shanghai 2015 October Holiday National Day Road Closures Traffic

As you might have heard, it’s October Holiday (or National Day or Golden Week – it’s got all sorts of names!), which means that getting around town might be a bit harder due to an influx of domestic tourists. In addition to the sheer number of people in Shanghai, the government is also shutting down areas around the Bund and Lujiazui to traffic, making it even harder for those of you who will have a great view of the fireworks to find a taxi.

Here’s the info you need to know:

Dates: 30 Sept – 3 Oct

Time: 3:30pm – 11:30pm

Area: Bund, People’s Square & Lujiazui (see map above)

Public Transit Closed: East Nanjing Road (Line 2/10), Bund Sightseeing Tunnel, South Bund Ferry service

(Also, on Oct 3 & 6, Shanghai Science & Technology Museum will change its entry gates).

We highly recommend you use the subway to get around the city over the next couple days – use Explore Shanghai to find out the best metro routes. And we hope you’re not heading out via plane or train – record ticket sales ensure this is going to be a very busy holiday season and extra security checks will mean it will take even longer to get to your gate, so prepare accordingly. Happy travels!

UnTour Shanghai will still be running tours during the holiday, so join us and get eating!


UnTour’s Night Markets Tour in Fiji’s Shanghai Guide

Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 1.16.41 PM

Fiji Water is branching out of the volcanically-filtered, tropical-rain bottled water business and writing city guides of the most exciting cities in the world, including Shanghai! UnTour Shanghai’s Night Market food tour is featured the “Taste” section of the guide, so check it out. We’re whipsmart. And unconventional!

UnTour Reveals Favorite Breakfast Street Food for Time Out Shanghai


We love Chinese street food breakfast so much that our Street Food – Breakfast tour was the first one we ever designed at UnTour Shanghai! So when Time Out Shanghai approached us to talk about some of our favorite local breakfast spots, we could barely stop talking…

Read the whole article here or check out some highlights below:

The first stop on UnTour’s Street Eats – Breakfast tour is Xiangyang Lu, just north of Changle Lu. This half block is the densest concentration of morning street food in the area. I love that street food is the ultimate open kitchen, and our guests enjoy watching everything being made right in front of them, from the dough being kneaded for danbing (a yeasty pancake crowned with fried egg and a slather of sweet chili sauce) to the spinning wok technique ofguotie (potstickers). I cannot resist a good jianbing (Chinese crepe), and the husband-wife team here whip up a delicious one with a fiery chili sauce that will wake up more than your tastebuds. If you order the guotie orshengjianbao (Shanghai’s famous fried pork buns), you can pull up a stool at the dumpling shop’s tiny dining room and rub elbows with the locals slurping congee. There’s more than a half dozen other stalls selling youtiao (oil sticks), baozi (steamed buns), zhima qiu (sesame balls) and doujiang (soy milk) – just to name a few of the dishes.

UnTour Shanghai’s Food Tours in Sunday Times Magazine


Sunday Times UnTour Shanghai


Self-proclaimed dumpling devotee Ellen Himelfarb ate her way through Shanghai for the Sunday Times Magazine, and along the way discovered UnTour Shanghai’s food tours. 

To get your fill of all the regional dumplings in Shanghai, come on our Hands-On Dumpling Delights tour, where you’ll eat xiaolongbao, boiled northeastern dumplings and more – plus you get to make your own shengjianbao (pan-fried dumplings).