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During our visit to Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Town — the “Venice of Shanghai“ — we stopped into one of the local restaurants for some lunch.

We wanted a place right off the canal, and 知青 — Zhi Qing Restaurant — fit the bill. (It’s situated diagonally across from the Water Town’s boat ticket-booth and offers great views of the waterway traffic.)

Our first dish —Yangzhou Fried Rice (38 CNY or $5.34 US) — was supposedly created by Yi Bingshou (1754–1815), and was given the name of the area where he served as regional magistrate. It’s usually made with rice, pork, shrimp, scallions, eggs, carrots, and peas.

And while it was light and flavorful, we had asked the chef to exclude the pork (due to a guest’s dietary restrictions), but for some reason, our request was dishonored.

When we brought that discrepancy to our server’s attention, she claimed she hadn’t heard our request (which our local guide had repeated at least twice when we initially placed our orders), and she also failed to offer a replacement. The error, and the unpleasant exchange that followed, alienated the group, and landed this dish a near failing “C-.”

[Had our request been heeded, the score for this reasonably priced (and not-so-bad-tasting) dish would otherwise have been in the “B” to “B-“ range.]

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