The 4 Best Places To Buy Kitchen Supplies In Shanghai
You’ve just moved into your new flat. While scouring the place to make sure everything suits your needs, you open the kitchen cabinet to find... a spork and some dust bunnies. Time to shop for cooking supplies. Here’s where to find them.
Hotel Equipment Center
Most stores cater to either Chinese or Western cooks. The Hotel Equipment Center (HEC) is an Okavango Delta of kitchenware, where Chinese and Western chefs, hoteliers and home cooks alike go to buy a variety of cookware for wholesale prices. This three-story warehouse offers everything from kitchen-grade deli meat slicers to cocktail shakers to bamboo steamers and copper Xinjiang hot pots shaped like pilgrim’s hats. They even have a section just for chef’s garb. It’s as if all of Shanghai’s restaurants threw a giant garage sale.
Find it: 345 Aomen Lu (near Jiangning Lu) 澳门路345号 (近江宁路) Tel: 6266-9988
If, for whatever reason, HEC's selection is too limited for you, hit up Shanghai's kitchen market, a veritable elephant graveyard of industrial-grade cookware spanning several blocks. Seriously, they have a whole street devoted to lazy Susans. Best of all, it's emptier than a nuclear test town.
As HEC and the Kitchen Market's wares are purely utilitarian it’s not the place to find unique dining ware that’ll impress guests. To really Martha Stewart it up, hit up Spin Ceramics, where artisans source raw materials from China’s porcelain capital, Jingdezhen, and mold them into modern pieces like beer glasses shaped like crooked beer cans and quirky vases of all sizes. The minimalist designs offer a nice respite from the gratuitously gilded “kitsch-enware” found at traditional depots.
Find it: 360 Kangding Lu (near Shaanxi Bei Lu) 康定路360号 (近陕西北路) Tel: 6279-2545
Zhang Xiao Quan
Taking up Chinese cooking? The most important tool in a Chinese chef’s arsenal is the cleaver, which is used for everything from splitting pig skulls to peeling ginger. Find one at Zhang Xiao Quan, a Hangzhou-based chain that’s been selling high caliber cutlery since the Qing Dynasty.
Find it: 490 Nanjing Dong Lu (near Fujian Zhong Lu) 南京东路490号 (近福建中路)