Shipu, a Sifangcai Restaurant

August 16, 2015 2015年8月16日

Shipu is a “sifangcai” (or private dining) restaurant, run by three women from Shaoguan in Guangdong province. Panini is Shipu’s head chef, Fifi manages the restaurant, and Jiale manages Shipu’s press and marketing.


“食铺”是由三个女生经营的一家私房菜馆。她们是来自广东韶关的主厨Panini,负责统筹管理的Fifi以及负责市场和公关的佳乐。

The image conjured up by the term “sifangcai” likely is one of a private dining room inside of an exclusive club. It was a surprise then to visit Shipu, located off Zhongtan Road in Shanghai, in an unassuming residential neighborhood. Just inside the entrance is an open kitchen, with countertops filled with sauces and ingredients. The cozy space gives off a feeling of daily life, like walking into the home of someone who really loves to cook everyday. Head chef Panini laughs, saying that the space was in fact once a home – it was her apartment when she graduated from college eight years ago.


印象中私房菜应该是那种开在会所里的高大上餐厅,所以第一次拜访位于中潭路上某居民小区的食铺的时候有点意外,一进门就是一个开放式厨房,工作台上放满了油盐酱醋瓶,透着极浓的生活气息,仿佛走进了一个爱做菜的主妇家里。主厨Panini笑说其实这就是自己8年前大学毕业之后就租住的“家”。

As someone who comes from the land of food lovers, Guangdong province, and also someone whose grandfather was a chef and whose father loves to cook, Panini seems to have been destined to work in the culinary arts.


作为来自吃货之乡的广东人,家里既有做过烧腊师傅的爷爷,又有虽没有做厨师但很爱做菜的爸爸,Panini似乎就是注定要成为一个和食物分不开的人。

When talking about how Shipu originally started, Panini says that she has always loved cooking for other people and having friends over for meals. Soon these meals turned into a popular and favorite experience for friends who could eat the authentic and hard-to-find Cantonese food that Panini likes to make. That’s when Panini thought about opening a “sifangcai” restaurant. With a smaller group of customers, the restaurant could maintain a high standard of authentic ingredients and flavors, and Panini would not be exhausted by the amount of the work. With some “instigating” from Fifi and Jiale, who also share the same passion for food, Shipu came into being.


说到为什么会想到开“食铺”,Panini说自己是一个很喜欢给别人做饭的人,朋友们也很爱来家里聚会,于是变成经常给他们做饭,再加上做的是在上海很难吃到的地道广东菜,Panini的菜在朋友圈子变成了一个“传奇”,于是她想是不是可以开一个私房菜馆,招待少一点人,这样既保证食材的新鲜和菜的味道,自己也不会太累,在同样对食物有着执念的Fifi和佳乐的“怂恿”下,食铺就这样出现了。

Even after walking past the kitchen and into the living room where the food is served, one still doesn’t get the sense that Shipu is a restaurant at all. The entire experience feels just like being in a friend’s apartment. If you didn’t have to pay for your meal in the end, you might in fact mistakenly think you’ve just dined at a friend’s house.


其实即使走过充满生活气息的厨房,来到就餐区域(也就是客厅的位置),作为客人也仍然没有感到“餐厅”的气氛,这根本就是一个朋友的家,要不是已经付了钱,你甚至以为自己正在一个朋友家做客。

Fifi says that this is perhaps what makes Shipu a special place. It is a “sifangcai” restaurant that really treats its guests more as friends rather than just customers. Panini jokes that describing themselves in this way is a little boastful. In reality, their work everyday is very much like entertaining their friends. Everyday the three of them make a trip to the market for fresh ingredients in the morning and choose only the best of whatever is in season, rather than having a delivery company bring the ingredients to their door. From washing the vegetables to preparing the ingredients, then cooking the meal and finally cleaning up the dishes, these three women really do it all.


对于这点,Fifi说食铺最大的特色可能就是,这是一个真正意义上把客人当成朋友来招待的私房菜馆。Panini笑说这么说难免有点自吹自擂之嫌,但是她们每天的工作流程确实就很像招待朋友会做的事,比如上午去菜场买菜,当季的食材会好好挑选,不会找供应商送菜上门,从洗菜、切菜、做菜再到最后洗碗都由三人共同完成。

We asked Panini about the possibility of Shipu growing into something bigger. Would it then become just a regular restaurant? Having said very little up to this point, Jiale speaks up and addresses this question by saying that the three of them “honestly hadn’t thought about expanding Shipu into anything bigger. The current scale of Shipu is the perfect size for the team to manage.” They can ensure a high quality of food, maintain great reviews from their guests, and more importantly stick to their original concept.


我们问Panini,如果食铺再发展得大一点是不是就也会沦为普通餐馆?在一旁很少说话的佳乐这时候发表了自己的看法“老实说还没有想过把食铺发展大一点,现在这个规模,我们的人员配置刚刚好可以hold住,既能保证菜品质量,客人的好评率也很高,重要的是能维持住我们的理念。”

After opening in March, the team at Shipu went from serving friends, to serving friends of friends, and then the friends of those friends. Seeing total strangers eating with each other at the same table, chatting and drinking together, and finally exchanging contact details as they leave, is a rewarding feeling for the small team of three. This is a real added bonus to any praise and profit that they may get from the actual business. Speaking from her own experience of having previously opened a restaurant, Panini says that typical restaurants don’t really allow guests to leave an impression on those who work there, unless it is a regular customer who comes back again and again. At Shipu though, Panini can find a new friend in someone who comes to eat just once. “Congratulations on making a friend who is a great cook,” Panini jokingly says to her guests.


从3月开饭以来,食铺从接待朋友变成接待朋友的朋友,再到接待朋友的朋友的朋友,看着完全不认识的人在同一个餐桌上攀谈,碰杯喝酒到最后临走的时候交换微信,这种氛围带给了食铺三人除了赞扬和金钱之外的认同感。曾经开过餐馆的Panini说普通餐馆,一个客人可能要来好几次才会给老板留下印象,而到食铺来过一次的客人可能吃完饭就会变成自己的朋友。“恭喜你认识一个你身边做菜做得最好的朋友。”Panini甚至想对客人这样说。

When asked about how Panini comes up with new dishes, the three of them all laugh. Fifi replied that Panini always calls up her father or her grandfather to ask for new recipes. As the head chef, Panini always has the final say on the dishes that are served. She doesn’t like fusion cuisine, because she sees that more as just merging different styles of cuisines together rather than the execution of great authentic cooking. For her, consulting with her father and grandfather is the best way to learn about traditional Cantonese cooking.


在问到Panini如何开发新菜品的时候,三人开始哈哈大笑,Fifi笑说Panini都是打电话给自己的爸爸,或者爷爷问。作为食铺的主厨,对于菜品Panini有绝对的决定权利,她不喜欢所谓的改良菜系,认为它们形式感太强,而且也不一定可以发挥食物真正的味道,向爸爸或爷爷请教,可以学到最传统的广东菜做法。

Recommended dishes from Shipu:

Fermented Red Bean Curd Pig’s Feet:
Pig’s trotters stewed in bean curd until the meat is very tender.

Soup of the Day:
Panini makes soups and stews for every season, according to traditional Cantonese methods.


食铺的推荐菜

南乳猪手
炖得酥酥的猪蹄说是入口即化一点也不夸张。

每日例汤
Panini会根据季节做适合的炖汤,炖汤的方法也是严格按照广东炖汤的做法来制作。

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Contributor: Taylor Shen
Photographer: Chan Qu


微信:wenwen4539

 

供稿人:Taylor Shen
摄影师:Chan Qu

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