Yet another staple in the Shanghai street food scene, Mala Tang offers a noodle dish not to be missed. Pick out the ingredients you want, all conveniently strung on sticks and arranged in individual baskets by variety. Hand your selection over to the lady of the hour, who blanches everything in a spicy tasty broth. Must-picks include mushrooms, egg tofu, crunchy seaweed strips, leafy greens and rice vermicelli, but feel free to add sausages or chicken fillet if you prefer to have meat.
The hawkers do not speak English, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue with the straight forward do-it-yourself style of ordering. Part of the novelty definitely lies in the local experience—huddle over your piping hot bowl in a squashed space that probably sits a maximum of six people.