Made for trade, the modern city of Shanghai came into being in the second half of the 19th century as a commercial link with the West. British, French, German and American traders settled there, eventually followed by White Russian refugees. They built a metropolis with Asia’s first telephones, running water and electric power, a city of drugs, warlords, brothels and legendary riches. And like all expatriates everywhere, they brought their tastes in food with them. To this day, the Shanghainese have an appetite for croissants and French pastry and for Russian borscht (luo song tang, or Russian soup, on menus) although many may well not know their precise origins.