Top Shanghai is one of my favourite Shanghainese restaurants! My family went on a Monday and it wasn’t busy at all. They are usually packed on weekends. Their table spacing is quite cramped so it makes moving around difficult.
This was a Suzhou Style Spiced Smoked Fish. The flavour is a little bit sweet and the meat is still flaky but more tough and cooked through? It also has a lot of bones. Continue reading →
Whenever my parents want to go out for dinner, I always suggest Shanghainese food. We also always have a hard time deciding on a restaurant since there are so many options! This time we went to Shanghai House on No. 3 Road and Cook. It’s located in the plaza where Staples is across from Richmond Centre. It was a week night but I was still surprised to see that the restaurant was only a quarter full.
To start, we ordered the Hot and Sour Soup. It came with the usual ingredients like tofu, wood ear fungus and bamboo shoots. However, it was very sour and not hot at all. I’ve definitely had better.
Next we had the Chicken Marinated in Wine Sauce.The wine flavour was very prominent and the pieces of chicken had a good amount of meat on them.
Of course we can’t visit a Shanghainese restaurant and not order Xiao Long Bao! You knew this was coming up right? The XLB seemed a bit larger in size but the skins tasted a bit too chewy? Otherwise there was the proper amount of soup inside and it was tasty.
I have a weakness for chewy things like mochi and in this context, it would be Shanghainese Fried Rice Cakes! This version is served with preserved vegetables, bean sprouts and edamame beans. The texture was just right and it wasn’t too salty either. The veggies helped balance out the dish.
This is another one of my faves! Do I say that a lot…? Anyway this is Beef stir fried in a sweet honey-like sauce and served with small buns. I think you’re meant to put the meat in the buns but the buns are really small so it’s kinda hard. Also I think I’ve seen it served with more buns before. I love how tender the beef is and the sauce is delicious too.
Lastly we had to order a veggie dish. This was Chinese Lettuce served with something like ham but tasted more smoky like bacon. It was interesting because the ham gave the lettuce its’ saltiness and infused some smoky flavour with it too.
I didn’t feel particularly impressed with anything here. It was alright but I would probably stick to Top Shanghai.
Dinesty is located in a plaza beside Lansdowne along with Ebisu and Chapters but I had never really paid much attention to it before. When I had Shanghainese food cravings I always went to Top Shanghai across the street but finally I was ready to try Dinesty after reading a lot of good reviews. It was a moderate sized restaurant and rather modern inside. We didn’t have to wait in line since it was a weekday and it was already 1pm. Yes I seem to eat late lunches right?
Looks good right? Pictures are worth a thousand words so drool away! We went for lunch and we were presented with the ordering sheet above. I was glad that their menu is equipped with many pictures though because even though I can read Chinese the pictures help!
So being the “adventurous” eater that I am, I decided to get the Sesame Seed Cake with Egg. I’ve never had a sesame seed cake before and it looked flaky in the picture. However, it was just very starchy and didn’t have much flavour. The egg didn’t taste like much either so I was pretty disappointed. I should have got the Beef Pancake Rolls instead! Well now we know…
Of course the one thing that you MUST get at any Shanghainese restaurant is the Xiao Long Bao (XLB)! There was plenty of soup inside and the skins were quite thin. One did break though =( But otherwise I thought they were pretty good and the soup inside was not overly salty either.
The cold dish picture above is various beef parts in a chili oil sauce. I think there was beef tendon, beef stomach and something else. It was not a dish that I would usually order but I found the chili oil sauce appetizing. I think they should have served this first!
We also ordered Noodles with Mushrooms and Pork Sauce. When they say sauce it practically looks like soup! The sauce was slightly spicy and the noodles were just chewy enough. I really like this kind of sauce!
There were also a lot of other menu items that I would love to try and before our food came I already knew I wanted to come back lol I also like their open kitchen concept. It makes you wait even more anxiously for your food! By the way, a new Dinesty location recently opened up on Robson street as well.
I had a craving for xiao long bao (little dragon buns!) and decided to go to Top Shanghai for some Shanghainese food. Top Shanghai is probably my favourite place for Shanghainese food and I’ve been here multiple times for dinner but only once for lunch. It’s conveniently located near the plaza with Price Smart on No. 3 Road. I was surprised that the menu sheet for dim sum they gave us was all in Chinese! Thankfully I can read 80-90% of it except even when I could read it I didn’t know what it was exactly.Excuse my rough translations! However, their regular dinner menu has English on it. The menu sheet also did not include any prices on it either but I liked that they had a lot of variety from cold appetizers to many noodle dishes and desserts. Strangely enough, the items we ordered weren’t that Shanghainese because my friend wasn’t feeling very adventurous.
This was our first dish which was a deep fried bunwith many “layers” inside and it came with a side of condensed milk for dipping which is the best part. The exterior gave it a slight crunch and the inside was very soft and the sweetness from the condensed milk gave it some flavour.
I know this looks like soup but it’s actually noodles with cucumbers and firm tofu in “ja jeurng” sauce. Sorry I have no idea what that’s called in English (feel free to tell me what it is in the comments!). Anyway, the noodles are hidden under the thick sauce and they were quite soft. I think there was a too much sauce though I expected it to be mixed with the sauce but not drowning in it although I’m not sure what the traditional way of serving it is. Still very tasty though!
Finally we got our xiao long baos (XLB)! They were full of juice and the skins were pretty thin too. The pork inside was very tender and well flavoured. They looked a bit uglier than usual presentation wise. They also have 3 different types of XLB available as well but we had the more traditional Nanjiang style. This is probably my favourite place for XLB! Or I’m just saying that because I’ve eaten them here a lot. :P
Finally we had dumplings in soup.The soup was more like a light chicken broth and seemed oily. There were 8 dumplings so it was a nice dish to be shared. It wasn’t particularly remarkable though.
There were a lot of other dishes to be tried but overall I had a satisfying experience here. It would help it we had more people next time! It gets quite crowded at night though and the tables are fairly squished together. Try to make reservations first!