South African-born Jan Van Dyk is the executive chef at the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund. He has worked in hotels across the world, from the Dead Sea to Hamburg, as well as the Palmer Coolum Resort in Queensland. His latest dish at the annual Taste of Waldorf Astoria competition is the Shanghai suckling pig with ziao long bao (Shanghai dumplings). See waldorfastoriashanghai.com
You can go to extremes with fine dining in Shanghai, but for a nice evening out I choose Villa Le Bec bistro. It's an old villa turned into a restaurant, with good, solid French food. Nicolas le Bec was a two Michelin-star chef in Lyon, France. I love the beef cheek and the beef tartare is great. See lebec.com.cn
LOCAL FOOD DISCOVERY
We have a little group of chefs working on sourcing local food. When I came here from Australia two and a half years ago, everything had to be imported. Slowly, now we're getting halo tomatoes, all grown from around Shanghai – buffalo mozzarella and burrata. I get honey from the Yunnan Province, straight over the mountains. I want visitors to Shanghai to know that this is local food from Shanghai.
BEST-KEPT FOOD SECRET
A local Shanghainese favourite, Chinese sea bass with Shanghair style noodle – chong shi hail lu yue. It's a dish of noodles with spiced beef mince on top, with a piece of fried sea bass on top again. You have to go where the locals go to eat it, down a hall, down an alley. Try it at a famous Shanghainese restaurant run by a local family called Morning Shanghai, in the Astor House hotel opposite the Russian Embassy, 1 Huangpu Road, Hongkou District.
Shanghai dumplings, xiao long bao. On the second floor of the Yu Gardens, the staff just walk past and give you a basket of dumplings. You've got no choice: you just get a shrimp one or a pork one. It's very local, not upmarket, the floor's a bit sticky, but it's really, really good and it's very, very cheap, about RMB35.
Ultraviolet. It's a one-off experience, it's mind-blowing. Just going through the different levels of food, you'll smell grass, you'll see mist, there's a video projection going on … and then the food comes. It's a journey, not a sit-down-talk-with-friends place, it's a whole experience. It's very modern French. The truffle bread is awesome, the smoked fois gras in a jar is just perfect. They're booked up three months in advance. There's talk of Michelin coming to Shanghai at the end of this year: chef Paul Pairet would get two-stars off the bat. See uvbypp.cc
WHERE TO GO ON A BIG NIGHT OUT
I always go out on the Bund with my team because it's close to work. The Commune Social, or the Nest – it depends on the weather. Nest does good oysters, great fish and chips and flank steak. And awesome cheese sausages come out at 1am. I finish with a Hendricks and tonic at M1NT, on the 24th floor of 318 Fuzhou Lu, or Bar Rouge, on top of L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon at Number 18 on the Bund. It's one of the nicest late-night bars, with day beds and a great view over to Pudong. See communesocial.com, bar-rouge-shanghai.com
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Chinese mitten or hairy crabs are in season here in November. Yangcheng Lake in Jiangsu Province is famous for its crabs, which are served in Shanghai restaurants.