My cravings for xiao long bao (soupy dumplings) and shallot pancakes have gone unsatisfied after a trip to Beijing / Shanghai where they fed us pretty crappy xiao long bao on the tour.
So, I was excited that we got to go out to Ashfield to a place with apparently awesome xiao long bao. The first thing I noticed that along Liverpool Road, there were so many restaurants with the word ‘Shanghai’ in its name. ‘Shanghai Night’, ‘Taste of Shanghai’, ‘Shanghai Food House’ and they are all next to each other. You’d think, this would be bad for business, due to the rule of monopolising. However, each restaurant had about 20 people lining up, waiting to get in. I guess the Chinese don’t follow the basic laws of economics! ;-)
Anyway, I found the food in the restaurant to be quite polarised. Things were done quite well and quite poorly and there was no in between.
Let’s start with the food in the done “quite poorly” category…
The shallot pancakes. It essentially tasted like really bland sandpaper. I was so disappointed, as this is usually my favourite dish.
The dumplings. If they look bland, it’s because they were. They tasted like those microwaved frozen dumplings from Coles.
Jellyfish salad. A scathing review from my fellow blogger who said “even the jellyfish salad my godsister makes from the packet tastes better than this”.
Now for the stuff worth ordering;
Fried dumplings - flaming hot soupy dumplings! If you’re like me and you love fried stuff, you’ll love this dish. It’s just like improving on xiao long bao by frying it. Genius!
Fried pork buns - soupy, pork filled buns. We ended up getting two of these by mistake and I certainly wasn’t complaining. This was probably my favourite dish of the night and I know I’ll be craving this for weeks to come.
And last but not least, some pretty “up there” xiao long bao! It had all the right elements - soup so hot that it’ll burn your tongue and a nice casing which wasn’t too thick. Mmmm. We ended up ordering 3 of these.
The final three were done to perfection! I should have stopped there, but we all ordered the fried icecream to finish. That was another mistake. The fried icecream casing (which was too thick) tasted like minty powder which wasn’t too great.
Overall, it was a good restaurant if you know what to order. And at $15 each, it was a pretty cheap dinner too.
New Shanghai Chinese Restuarant
273 Liverpool Road
Ashfield, NSW 2131
Ph: (02) 9797 7284