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Share & Compare: Chicken Noodle Soup

Turns out your grandmother wasn’t pulling your leg when she told you that chicken noodle soup can cure a cold. Researchers discovered that these comfort broths actually have anti-inflammatory properties that makes cold and flu sufferers feel better. With the winter sniffles spreading through Shanghai’s schools and offices, TALK took preventative measures, taste testing Shanghai’s chicken noodles soups to find out who ladles up the best bowl in town.

Brasa Chicken

The draw for Brasa’s chicken noodle soup is the promise of the poultry joint’s juicy Peruvian-style rotisserie chicken swimming in the broth, but the roughly chopped meat is full of bones, veins and other unsightly bits, making the slurper wonder if the chicken comes from Brasa’s reject birds. The ratio of macaroni to chicken is overwhelming, the oil slick on top of the watery broth is disenchanting and the serving of vegetables is stingy. All together, it’s the recipe for one insipid bowl of pasta.

Price: RMB 18

Xuhui: Block 6, 888 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Jiangguo Xi Lu

Jing’an: N-960B Kangding Lu, near Yanping Lu

Tel: 400 820 0401. Web:

Blue Frog

One of Shanghai’s most consistent chains, Blue Frog adds a solid competitor to the chicken noodle soup fight. The broth is delicately flavoured and the hearty chunks of celery, carrots and onions float below parsley-adorned ribbons of tagliatelle – two points for using egg pasta. The only real complaints we had were the minuscule serving size and the inescapable lack of chicken. The few bites of protein we did find under the garden of veggies were shredded so thin they could hardly be considered meat anymore. For the price, we need more poultry.

Price: RMB 40

B12, 131 Tianyaoqiao Lu, near Xingeng Lu. Tel: 3368 6117. Web: Six other locations around the city.

Urban Soup Kitchen

Word to the wise – if you’re planning on coming down with a cold, shoot for the middle of the month. Urban Soup Kitchen’s menu rotates 26 soups on a weekly basis, and the classic chicken noodle is only available from the 8th to the 22nd. Finely diced onions, carrots and celery pepper the broth, along with a multitude of chicken chunks and a proportional helping of rotini. All in all, a big bowl of solid soup.

Price: RMB 28 for 450ml, RMB 38 for 700ml

Lujiazui (delivery and pick-up only):17 Nanquan Bei Lu, near Pudong Da Dao.

Luwan: 280 Madang Lu, near Zizhong Lu.

Tel: 3331 1861. Web:

Winner: Urban Soup Kitchen

USK’s option is the closest thing to homemade Shanghai has – but the real discovery this month was the dearth of good chicken noodle soups in town. With USK only serving their hearty bowls for half the month, you’re better off whipping up your own soup and freezing it for your next sick day.


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