Monday, October 6, 2014

Jammin’ At Jiashan Market!

Hello All! I’m back again with another post about life in Shanghai. This time, I will discuss a little spot known as the Jiashan Market….
Jiashan Market!
The Jiashan market started a couple years ago, as a chill and friendly market to buy foreigner (read western) friendly items. It also gave people a chance to market and sell their (mostly) homemade goods.  Lastly, it's a place where people can congregate and make new friends in a relaxed and peaceful setting. 

I had been to the Jiashan market once before in its early days a few months after I arrived in Shanghai. When I arrived a few weeks ago for a “Women in Shanghai” meet up event, I was surprised just how much it expanded.

Jiashan Market (South Shaanxi Road entrance)
The area was a bit tricky to find so I wandered around aimlessly for about 40 minutes (Note to Self: Take the metro line 9 to the Jiashan stop). After contacting the head of the meet up group for some directions, I retraced my steps and I arrived at a little unmarked alley off of South Shaanxi Road. I finally saw the sign for the market and I met the other women in a cute café in the market area called: Melange Oasis. Unfortunately, I had already had breakfast so I didn’t eat or drink anything at the café. I will say that it was nice, clean and comfortable and the menu looked really good with lots of foreigner friendly dishes. After chatting with the other women about all sorts of topics, it was time to see what the market had to offer.

Melange Oasis Cafe
 The Market:
The market itself was much bigger than before. There were vendors selling all kinds of things, but mostly food (take away and packaged), drinks and other home goods. I spotted a vendor selling shoes in bigger sizes (yay!), but the prices were a bit high for my taste. I chatted with a vendor who specialized in getting western food to expats in Shanghai at cheaper prices than the options already available. I took her contact information since I’m always in need of quinoa or Greek yogurt (especially if it’s under $10 USD which is the going rate at many other foreigner grocery outlets). I sampled some imported cheeses which were really tasty and; I stopped at a vendor selling homemade, all-natural soap. As much as I love all-natural soap, I refused to buy from this vendor on principal since she wasn’t friendly to me at all (Tip for Aspiring Entrepreneurs #1: Treat your customers well and they will support you!). After that, I stumbled upon the best thing at the market… The British Kitchen!
Shoes, Shoes and Shoes!

The Market in Full Action!

Handmade soaps
 Just as the name states, The British Kitchen is ran by a bloke who hails from the U.K. who serves up homemade British desserts that are authentic tasting and delicious! He sells brownies, shortbread, pies and different cakes. He also shares his recipes through his website ( and each month in the “That’s Shanghai” expat magazine. When I arrived at his table, I learned that many of his desserts had been sold (Tip: go early since his table is very popular), but he still had some brownies and shortbread to spare. 
The British Kitchen Table!
James, the owner of the British Kitchen was very friendly and approachable. He talked gleefully about his products and he gave me a free sample of his shortbread with dark chocolate chips. I’m not the biggest fan of dark chocolate, but mixed with shortbread and “Folks, we have a winner!” The shortbread was not fully soft or hard, but it had a nice bite and the hints of dark chocolate mixed with the shortbread gave it a sweet, distinctive flavor. It is also worth noting that his desserts are reasonably priced. I paid 15RMB ($2.40 USD) for a large piece of shortbread. I heard his other desserts are just as delicious and reasonably priced so; I will make sure to head down early next time!

Amelia's Jams and Spreads: Very Nice!

After James boxed up my goodies, I perused some of the take away food tables. There was a table selling Turkish style hamburgers, another selling sausages, sandwiches, and finally, there was a stall selling meat rolls and a Tex-Mex taco table. I learned that the meat roll table was managed by a family from Madagascar and the meat rolls were food native to their country. I had two beef rolls and they were really, really good. They reminded me of an Indian samosa, just not as oily. The family was also very friendly and spent a lot of time talking to me about their products. I also managed to have a  taco from the taco table which was managed by a local Chinese guy. I was left with pork taco since all of his other products were sold out for the day. Over all, the taco was OK tasting, and the pork tasted very bland. I think the thing that disturbed me the most was the vendor didn’t know or had tasted some of his products (Tip for Aspiring Entrepreneurs #2: Know what you’re selling!). I and another woman I had met earlier decided it was time to leave and we walked together to the metro. Not only had I tried some new foods and rediscovered a great place, I had also made a new friend!

Thanks again for reading and tune in next time!

Jiashan Market Information

Day and Time:

The Jiashan market is open the first and third Saturday of each month from 10:00am-5:00pm


Jiashan Market

No. 37, Lane 550 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Shaoxing Lu, Xuhui district

汇区陕西南路55037, 绍兴

Metro: Jiashan (Line 9), then a ten minute walk to the market.

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