Monday, March 01, 2010

Shanghainese Cuisine, Shanghai

With that many days in Shanghai, I would be able to savour some delicious Shanghainese cuisine, no? Surprisingly, I only ate 2 proper Shanghainese meals, the rest were other chinese cuisine or even international fare. 2 good meals nonetheless :)

Shanghai Spring ( Xiao Nan Guo)
Perfect place to have dinner after Pearl Tower and good shopping at Super Brand Mall, Shanghai Spring serves a large array of chinese food, mainly Shanghainese. Ambience, other than the naturally noisy chatter in chinese restaurant, was comfortable and we get an excellent view of the Bund at night.

We left the ordering to Irene and Alfred, since they have been in Shanghai a couple of years- they should know what's the famous dishes to order here :p
Started off the meal with some cold and hot appetizers..
The pickled cucumber, sweet sour small ribs (tangcu xiao pai), Shanghai drunken chicken and Shanghai tofu were absolutely scrumptious. It's even hard to point out a favourite from these 4 as each had it's charm..The pickle cucumber was extremely crunchy, sourish and spicy, great to whet my appetite. The ribs were delicate yet tasty, the shaoxing wine used for the chicken was so aromatic that the fragrance lingers while the tofu was very flavourful.

Lion head's (Shi Zhi Tou) meatball was another famed Shanghainese dish
Here, we had it cooked with crab roe and egg sauce rather than the conventional braised. Not a good picture though, cant see the huge meatballs. The meatballs were succulent and tender; you wont feel too overwhelmed with a lot of mince meat, while the thickish crab roe sauce complemented it very well.
The stewed pork with knotted beancurd was stacked high..
I love this dish, especially the beancurd which had soaked in the aromatic sauce.
The bamboo shoots stir fried with dou miao came as a surprise..
The dou miao was super huge! How can it be called miao (young sprouts) when it's the size of choy sum? Bamboo shoots were acquired taste, so this dish was not so popular.
When in a Shanghainese restaurant, it's inevitable we ended up with some xiao long baos..
Pretty decent XLBs, the soup was tasty and the skin was not too thick. But I prefered the pan fried dumplings. The base was crisp - I took one bite and all the juices squirted out! Yummy stuff :)
I find the beancurd with crab roe/ meat a delicate dish..
My friends thought it was ma poh tofu, but was immediately aware it was not after a mouthful- the flavours were so mild, so this dish was not a big hit. I actually liked it though, the crab roe sweetness was very subtle, and pairing it with the velvety smooth tofu was perfect. Adding the vinegar changes the flavour dramatically, which I enjoyed too.
The final filler for the night (sans desserts) was the stir fried rice cake..
Find it sticky to teeth, too doughy and plain. Didnt like it.
We were stuffed but how could we leave without a taste of the desserts? :p
Tried 3 types - the 8 treasures sweet rice, glutinous rice balls with fermented rice and gui hwa, and pumpkin pancake. I liked the 8 treasures the best- the rice was warm, not too sweet and the red bean filling was a wonderful match with the rest of the ingredients. The glutinous rice balls was just were too fragrant with gui hwa- I felt i was drinking perfume. The pumpkin pancake was bland.

XinJishi (Pudong Restaurant)
This place was our last meal before we left Shanghai- it was near where we stayed, but located in the middle of the financial district.
Some appetizers to start the meal
We had vinegared jelly fish, stir fried rice cake and stuffed red dates. All 3 was different and delicious in its own way. The jelly fish was thick and ultra crunchy, unlike those puny, skinny ones we have in Msia. The vinegarish sauce whetted our appetite for the rest of the dishes. The stir fried rice cake (more like cubes) was extremely delicious- it was stir fried with chopped peanuts, mushrooms, peas, carrots, prawns- in a sweetish tangy sauce. Very addictive. The stuffed dates with warm glutinous rice flour coated with syrup was comfort food- simple yet scrumptious.
The 'popiah' was just average..
Think the veg was too rough to be wrapped as popiah filling- also, it was a tad dry..
The fried chicken in dried chillies came in a menacingly large basket..
All I could see was chillies. Glad to say, the chicken was not spicy, but juicy with very crisp skin. Good beer food :)
We braced ourselves for the surprise to the night, which came in the form of...
Can you guess what this is??

No, not deep fried grass :p. I called it crouching tiger hidden dragon..hahaha. Alfred said its called Opium fish. Not sure if that's the correct name. It's actually fish head- I guess it was baked/ smoked under this huge stack of deep fried spring onions. Very smooth, rich textured fish head- we all liked it. Extremely oily though, I had to drink a lot of chinese tea..

Shanhai Spring is located at Level 9, West Zone 0203, Superbrand Mall, 168, Lujiazui Xi Lu near Fucheng Lu, Pudong, Shanghai. Across the road from Pearl Tower.

Xin Ji Shi is located at Pudong, 2/F 166 Lujiazhui Dong Lu near Pudong Nan Lu, Shanghai. There are also other branches at (main branch) Jin Shi Jiu Jia, 41,Tianping Lu and New Jesse Restaurant, 9 Xintiandi Complex, North Block, Taicang Road, Shanghai.

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Blogger CUMI & CIKI said...

wow, i wonder how u guys finished the stewed pork with knotted beancurd.. its massive!

04 March, 2010  
Blogger mimid3vils said...

I think I can have XLB everyday with feel boring cause I like XLB or dumpling very much~~ :P

06 March, 2010  
Blogger boo_licious said...

Such interesting fare esp the last dish - literally fish covered by grass.

08 March, 2010  
Blogger sc said...

cumi&ciki: it looks big, but was ok :p

mimid3vils: woah, then shanghai would be your paradise! there's XLB and dumplings everywhere :)

boo: yeah, some dishes were really cool..and the 'grass' covered fish sure takes the cake :D

10 March, 2010  

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