Friday, April 08, 2011

Taste of Shanghai, CBD

It's another Thursday night and The BFF and I head into the city again to catch up with our old work friend, Snooze.  The BFF suggests we try Taste of Shanghai at World Square, somewhere he's been before and enjoyed.  He confirms that, YES, Taste of Shanghai has dumplings which seals the deal for me.

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.

Taste of Shanghai on Urbanspoon


  1. haha! funny recount with the xiao long bao :P im sure it was a good attempt! theyre just too slow to get it. not ur fault at all *pat pat*

    i can teach u mandarin if we meet!

  2. mmm i love their deep fried mantou buns with condensed milk :P

  3. Wow, did you apply any Photoshop effects to that ribs photo? They do look deadly oily. Glad you had good luck with the dumplings, I guess they made up for the noodles.

  4. Yes please dumplings. I had the same thoughts as you on the ribs - not exactly appetising...

  5. The last time I ate here, I also had those noodles but couldn't finish them (very heavy). It's good to know that the xiao long bao are hiding there somewhere on the menu!

  6. haha those ribs do look very 'shiny' :)
    Every time I see you posting about dumplings I start craving them!

  7. I keep forgetting about this place! The ribs don't look all that appealing in your photo but the xlb, however, looks beautiful! yummo

  8. The ribs look awesome! So juicy *drools*

  9. I love this place for lunch, I always get the pan fried pork buns :)

  10. This restaurant must be new...Until 3 years ago I used to live just in front of World Square...;)!! The dumplings look so yummy!

  11. I love sweet and sour pork too- the sauce on this one looks so good!! I usually just point to the menu for difficult to pronounce words :D I probably woul dhave had the same problem as you trying to pronounce xiao long bao...haha :)

  12. Hi Everyone - thanks for your comments. So funny that half of us like the look of the ribs and the other half thing "eep"! The honestly didn't look that oily in "real life"!

    I'm going to take some Mandarin lessons soon as The Boy and I are hoping to go to China in 2012. That should help in ordering my beloved XLB!

  13. Oh how fabulous that they've got one in the CBD now :) I don't mind the trek to Ashfield but sometimes it's nice to go somewhere a bit closer :)

  14. lol, I hate it when they don't have Xiao long bao written like that on the menu at dumpling places and use some other word for it along with the 20 other similar worded dumplings. I always whisper when I say it so I don't look like an idiot who can't say it properly!

  15. looks yummy...nice recipe...with all the
    ingredients i am sure its yummylicious.


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