Don't you love a menu that's the size of a newspaper?
Its unwieldy size is presumably the reason why Shez and I only receive one menu to peruse between us. If we had one each we wouldn't see each other over the top of it.
After a day of shopping, a lunch of dumplings is the perfect antidote for sore feet. It takes some time to find the entrance to Chatswood outlet of New Shanghai on Victoria Street. "It's here somewhere," sighs Shez, as we pace up and down the mall. "I always walk past the doorway by accident," she mutters.
"Aha, here it is!" And like all things in life, it seems so glaringly obvious once we find it. We descend the stairs into the bowels of the Lemon Grove Shopping Centre and a food court that is swarming with fellow Sydneysiders in search of lunch.
The view into the dumpling prep station
Queues are the norm at New Shanghai, but we're in luck today and only have to wait five minutes for a table. A glass-walled dumpling station offers a view of the pristine uniformed staff, industriously filling and pleating pockets of dough with pork mince whilst oblivious diners eat on. The dining room is crowded and chaotic, a tumble of families and couples wielding chopsticks with hungry intentions.
Red bean paste topped with shaved ice $4.20
Our desserts arrive first, although they quite easily double as drinks. Cooked and sweetened red beans are served in a tall glass beneath a cold tongue-numbing layer of shaved ice crystals.
White fungus with papaya $3.80
My bowl of white fungus with papaya is a traditional Cantonese dessert. The rock sugar syrup holds frilly fronds of crunchy white fungus and slippery sweet mouthfuls of bright orange papaya. It's a cooling dessert that's perfect for summer, and acts as a useful palate cleanser throughout the meal.
Braised beef served on noodle soup $8.80
We share a bowl of the braised beef noodle soup, a dish engulfed by vapours of steam when it first arrives on our table. The beef is soft and tender, the fibres falling apart easily in the mouth as we slurp up the thin strands of noodles and beef-stock soup.
Famous New Shanghai pan-fried pork bun $8.80
I'd put in dibs for the pan-fried pork buns and whilst they take twenty minutes to arrive, I'm delighted by the sight of them when they arrive.
Inspecting their pan-fried bottoms
Pert and glistening with visible pleats, their bottoms are a glorious shade of gold - I love it when pan-fried buns are allowed to wallow in oil until beautifully tanned.
One always feels a little odd taking photos of their food mid-bite, but this is where I'm glad I did. The bun is soft, the bottom is crunchy, and the inside is a squelch of broth lapping around a tender meatball.
I'm impressed by the amount of broth inside the bun - too often it's lost somewhere during the steaming or pan-frying process, but here there's so much soup inside you need to tip the bun forwards so you can drink it all in.
I marvel at the perfectly fried bottoms too, enjoying the first, second, third and fourth with delight. I may have polished off Shez's spares as well.
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New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
Lemon Grove Shopping Centre
Shop 20, 427-441 Victoria Avenue
Tel: +61 (02) 9415 3536
Monday to Wednesday 10.00am - 8.00pm
Thursday to Sunday 10.00am - 8.30pm
Ashfield - 273 Liverpool Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9797 7284
Chatswood Chase - 345 Victoria Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9412 3358
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
New Shanghai, Ashfield (Feb10) and (Oct09)
New Shanghai, Chatswood Chase
Dumplings - China Grand, Haymarket
Dumplings - China Noodle King, Haymarket
Dumplings - Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Haymarket (Jun07) and (Oct04)
Dumplings - Daniang Dumpling, Haymarket
Dumplings - Dynasty, Belmore
Dumplings - East Ocean, Haymarket (Oct 08), (Aug 06), (Aug 05) and (Oct 04)
Dumplings - Hung Cheung, Marrickville
Dumplings - Palace Chinese, Sydney CBD
Dumplings - Regal Restaurant, Sydney CBD
Dumplings - Shanghai Night, Ashfield (Jul 08) and (Mar 06)
Dumplings - Uighur Cuisine, Haymarket
Dumplings - Zilver, Haymarket (Jan 07) and (Feb 06)
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4/14/2010 01:45:00 a.m.