After a quick skim of the menu the BFF confirms the menu has changed a bit since his last visit. A good portion of the menu is given over to main meals and there there are less of the dumplings, handmade noodles and side dishes than I was expecting. Not to worry, there is still quite enough options for us to choose from.
The Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs ($8.80) catch my eye, but the BFF berates me for being a boring Aussie with sweet and sour tastes. He seems to think being a food blogger is all about eating eye-of-newt stew and pretending to like it! Snooze seems pretty happy to go with the ribs so girl power wins and I order the ribs.
Now, for some reason my photo of the ribs looks like the Exxon Valdez stopped by our table and spilt a couple of barrels of oil onto the ribs which is totally not the case. The ribs were coated in a generous amount of sauce, but it didn't feel oily in the mouth at all. The sauce had a very smokey flavour, totally unlike the sweet and sour sauce I grew up eating in country Chinese restaurants. The meat was very tender and came away easily from the bone. Although listed under the Cold Dish section of the menu, the ribs were served hot. This was probably my favourite dish of the night.
We all decide that we are craving for some Xiao Long Bao but can't see them anywhere on the menu. I ask the waitress if they have them but my description of "those yummy dumplings with soup in them" seems to be somewhat insufficient. I then try to actually pronounce Xiao Long Bao = massive fail. The BFF, who can actually speak Cantonese/Mandarin seems to be off with the fairies whilst this exchange takes place. When he finally comes back to earth he ascertains with the waitress that Taste of Shanghai do have Xiao Long Bao, but they are called Shanghai Style Mini Steamed Pork Buns ($8.80). Phew, crisis adverted!
The dumplings are really really nice. They arrive at our table quickly, and the soup inside the dumpling is pipping hot. The dumpling skin is perfectly thin, and the dumpling filling is flavoursome. All in all we're all very happy with these dumplings.
The Vegetarian Dumplings ($8.80, plus $2.00 if you want them pan-fried) are also really lovely. The filing is hot, juicy and savoury. Overall, I was incredible happy with our dumpling experience at Taste of Shanghai.
The Drunken Chicken ($8.80) is another lovely tasting dish. The first time I had Drunken Chicken I was surprised that the chicken is cold - I was expecting a hot dish. This time I knew what was coming and was impressed with the tender, moist meat. This dish just looks so simple and clean, and you can't help but feel healthy eating it.
Our last choice, Shanghai Style Stir-Fried Noodles ($9.80) is sadly our least favourite dish of the night which is a shame as we were all looking forward to a big bowl of hearty, handmade noodles. The noodles in this didn't seem hand-made. The texture more resembled the Hokkien noodles I get from the supermarket to use in my stir fries and were quite chewy. The sauce was also a disappointing and had an 'odd' flavour (like bottled sauce), and the bok choy and chicken pieces were almost non-existent. If you came to dinner at my house you'd probably get a nicer bowl of noodles - and that my friends is really saying something!
This is obviously a popular restaurant as by the time we leave there is a decent crowd of people waiting for a table. Overall, we had a good meal at The Taste of Shanghai. Whilst we were disappointed with the noodles, the dumplings and the Drunken Chicken wee both outstanding. And the ribs...sweet and sour win the day!
Taste of Shanghai is at Shop 907, World Square, 644 George Street, Sydney. The restaurant is located at the Basement level near the Coles Supermarket.