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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant, Ashfield

Dumpling kitchen

On a wet and wild evening, New Shanghai is a welcome shelter of warmth and cosiness. The tables are already mostly full when our group of five arrive, but our focus goes straight to the back of the room featuring a modern glass-walled view into the dumpling-making station.

Stuffing the pastry with pork mince

Dressed in crisp white uniforms and red-and-white checked aprons, the two women on duty turn the lumps of dough and a bowlful of mince into precision-pleated dumplings with their lightning-fast fingers. They chat as they work, barely looking at the dumplings as they feign a sense of casualness despite the intricacy of their efforts. It's a mesmerising sight, and I almost leave a nose-print on the window whilst I watch.

Pleating the dumpling skin closed

Xiao long bao soup dumplings ready for the steamer

Dumplings ready for steaming or pan-frying

Shallot pancake $4.80

Dumpling tv is almost good as pork tv. It's the perfect entertainment whilst we wait for our dishes to arrive. It doesn't long for the shallot pancake to arrive, a thin disc pan-fried to a deep golden hue made even more beautiful by the bubbles that have turned a dark brown.

The pancake is wonderfully and free from any lingering oil aftertaste, the shallots adding a touch of flavour although I ask for a dish of chilli sauce for a spicy baptism.

Pork with chives dumplings, fried $8.80

We crunch past the flaky pastry of the deep-fried dumplings to reveal a generous filling of chopped ham and chives. It's salty and sweet and I love the contrast with the sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Famous New Shanghai steamed mini pork $6.80

Xiao long bao, or soup dumplings are always a treat. We transfer these delicate bundles onto our spoons, taking a small bite first and then slurping up the soupy liquid within. The soup is scalding hot, and perhaps a little under-seasoned for my liking. The skins are a thin and almost slippery casing for the mound of pork mince inside. We dip them into bowls of soy and vinegar, a celebration of sweet pork, salty soy and the welcome astringency of vinegar.

Chef's special

Clanging typo's and spelling mistakes are part and parcel of many Chinese restaurants, and whilst I know I shouldn't throw stones (my knowledge of Chinese is far worse), I have odd visions of the "living fish special cooked" on the specials poster on the wall.

Red, greed with crushed ice

I'm also tempted to order the "red, greed with crushed ice" on the menu - it sounds like my kinda drink!

Pan-fried New Shanghai pork bun $8.80

Pan-fried pork buns are my other weakness. It's all about the joy of the fluffy steamed bun versus the luscious crispy-fried bottoms.

Is there are sight more beautiful than this?

I'm relieved that all the buns have spent sufficient time in the frypan to ensure an even coverage of tan. The buns holds a pork mince interior as well as a sip or two of sweet soup.

Deep-fried crab with yolk of salt egg $33.80

Deep-fried crab with salted egg yolk is the dish that Suze that has been waiting for all night. It's not a dish I would have thought to order otherwise, its presence buried halfway down the seafood listing. It's worth finding.

Two crabs arrive as a jumble of legs and claws, covered in a thin deep-fried batter that is rich with the crumble of salted egg yolk. The egg yolk is buttery and salty and sweet. Its taste is addictive and after nibbling away at the crust, we snap the shells to reveal tender flakes of succulent crab.

Deep-fried bean curd in yolk of salt egg $13.80

Those without the patience for hand-picking crab can order the deep-fried bean curd in salted egg yolk instead. We order both - because you can never have enough salted egg yolk. Admittedly there's not as much flavour on these compared to the crab, but the cubes of tofu are soft and silky beneath the crust of batter and egg. The leftover debris of egg yolk is also fantastic on rice.

Maneki neko lucky cat statue at the counter

Liverpool Road, Ashfield has witnessed a restaurant rejuvenation over the past couple of years with more and more dumpling houses opening and even a new Japanese restaurant. There's no chance of going hungry here, and the prices will keep both your stomach and your wallet well-padded.

View Larger Map
New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
273 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield, Sydney
Tel: +61
(02) 9797 7284

Open 7 days 10am-10pm

Also at
Chatswood Chase - 345 Victoria Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9412 3358
Chatswood Lemon Grove - 427 Victoria Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9415 3536

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
New Shanghai, Ashfield (Feb 10)
New Shanghai, Chatswood Chase
New Shanghai, Chatswood Lemon Grove

Dumplings - China Grand, Haymarket
Dumplings - China Noodle King, Haymarket
Dumplings - Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Haymarket (Jun07) and (Oct04)
Dumplings - Daniang Dumpling, Haymarket
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)

Ashfield - Ashfield Hotel
Ashfield - Crocodile Farm Hotel
Ashfield - Polish Club
Ashfield - Shanghai Night (Jul 08) and (Mar 06)
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/06/2009 12:24:00 am


  • At 10/06/2009 12:38 am, Blogger Yas @ hungry.digital.elf. said…

    hehehe it was a nice pre-sugar hit dinner! I loved the deep fried tofu, I could've kept popping them in my mouth.

    oy, the link to my blog is messed up the URL. ;p

  • At 10/06/2009 8:09 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Haha dumpling tv! I've never been to the Ashfield branch but I love stopping by the Chatswood store for the pan-fried pork buns, those crispy bottoms are definitely a thing of beauty. Didn't know they had salted egg crab, must try that!

  • At 10/06/2009 9:19 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    Good old New Shanghai, not the same without spelling mistakes of course. I had the salted egg tofu here once and it was a fail, looks like not much has changed! But then again, it's hard to make tofu sexy.

  • At 10/06/2009 11:25 am, Anonymous Zina @ tastedbytwo said…

    Wow, I didn't know they had crab on the menu. I usually stick to the dumplings and wontons at New Shanghai - after all, it's what I came here for! I love eating at the strip of Shanghainese restaurants in Ashfield, though the menus can be confusing at times. But being able to read the Chinese on the walls does come in handy (thanks mum)!

  • At 10/06/2009 1:00 pm, Anonymous clekitty said…

    Love the brown on the bottom of those dumplings! I must go and try all this yummy food over in Ashfield! My tastebuds and stomach are all begging me to.

  • At 10/06/2009 8:41 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    mmm eggy crab oh baby oh baby. i was one happy camper after the crab! and uh very very thirsty haha

  • At 10/07/2009 12:56 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I must say Suze is totally right about those dishes hee hee, the crab is good cos you can just eat the shell with it ^^!

    I could hit up some more sen jian bao as well mmm doughy goodness

  • At 10/07/2009 1:14 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Yas - Argh thanks for letting me know re: link error. I've fixed that now. And yes, Ashfield was much fun - we must do a dumpling dinner more often!

    Hi Stephcookie - The pan-fried pork buns are my must-order dish whenever I visit Ashfield. I highly recommend the salted egg crab - it is so so good. And dumpling tv would be great! Except I think I'd get very very hungry, although, er, what's new. lol

    Hi Howard - The salted egg tofu was ok, but the crab was much better. And tofu can be sexy! Tofufah anyone? Hello slippery silky goodness!

    Hi Zina - I discovered the crab thanks to the Suze - it's worth the price of the dish. I get frustrated by Chinese menus on the wall too :)

    Hi Clekitty - Ashfield is a haven for dumpling lovers and oh so cheap. Hope you get a fix of those pan-fried pork buns soon :)

    Hi chocolatesuze - Now I know your weakness! I couldn't believe you passed up so many other dishes waiting for the crab. lol

    Hi FFichiban - The crab was amazing, but then we always knew Suze had good taste. lol

  • At 10/07/2009 1:48 am, Anonymous cathy x said…

    omg i'm so going there now :P

  • At 10/07/2009 9:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How does the food compare to Shanghai Night? Shanghai Night had always been my go-to place for "rustic" dumplings and Shanghainese dishes.

  • At 10/08/2009 1:24 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Cathy X - Enjoy, and make sure you bring an empty stomach :)

    Hi Anon - I was always a Shanghai Night faithful too. I found the dumpling skins were thinner here, but the flavour of the soup was better at Shanghai Night. There's no crab in salted egg yolk at Shanghai Night either. The answer? A two-stage dumpling dinner!

  • At 10/08/2009 12:38 pm, Anonymous Bibifoc said…

    All of this food seems so YUMMY. I really have to try as I love chinese food. Helen, your photos are a real success and contribute a lot in my desire to get there to have a nice dinner.

  • At 10/08/2009 10:49 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    I like the fried xiao long bao over the steamed ones. Not because of the taste but because the steamed ones looks so sad being all saggy and baggy.

  • At 10/09/2009 2:18 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Bibifoc - Glad you enjoyed the post and the photos. Dumplings are always good fun and Ashfield is filled with cheap eats. Hope you get there soon!

    Hi Simon - Oh but xiao long bao are all about the soup. Saggy and baggy? That just sounds so wrong. It's what's inside that counts. lol

  • At 10/09/2009 12:11 pm, Anonymous Crista said…

    WOOOWWWWW¡¡¡ this food looks so yummy, a good choice to enjoy with friends and family...thanks :)


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