Shao Nan Guo, ShanghaiXiao Nan Guo (“Little Southern Country”) is the place to go for classic comfort food in Shanghai. So it was a great last supper on our trip after two weeks of northern cuisine.

The cold appetizers were refreshing, especially the drunken chicken which I always find quite bland elsewhere. Here, it was served in a clay urn, still soaking in Chinese rice wine.

The braised pork knuckle had that thick gorgeous dark brown layer of fat on top, with oh-so-tender meat underneath, all in a nice soy-sauce based gravy.

Then came two dishes I’ve never tried before.

Sauteed turtle was served in a bamboo basket on top of glutinous rice. Cooking the turtle’s shell turned the rice black, but there wasn’t much turtle meat or anything. Other than the colour, this didn’t taste much different from regular sticky rice. (We forgot to snap a photo.)

Deep fried snake, Shanghai

The next dish was finger-lickin’ good – the deep-fried snake handled like chicken wings. But instead of ranch dressing, there was peppercorn salt for dipping. It was surprisingly tasty. And yes, it tastes like chicken.

For reservations at any of Xiao Nan Guo’s seven Shanghai locations, call 3208-9777.

Snake leftovers, Shanghai