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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Shanghai, Chatswood

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.

The taste-test

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.

View Larger Map
New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
Lemon Grove Shopping Centre
Shop 20, 427-441 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9415 3536

Opening hours:
Monday to Wednesday 10.00am - 8.00pm
Thursday to Sunday 10.00am - 8.30pm

Also at
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)
27 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/14/2010 01:45:00 am


  • At 4/14/2010 6:29 am, Anonymous Mark @ Cafe Campana said…

    I am fairly new to the wonder that is dumplings. These pan fried pork buns look pretty special, I might have to go the Chatswood just to try these babies out.

  • At 4/14/2010 8:56 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    i went past this place the other week with my parents. they'd been before and weren't too happy with the place but i still want to try it to compare to Shanghai Nights. i'm not sure what they ordered though but i'm willing to take them again.

  • At 4/14/2010 10:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, pan fried pork buns are great. On a trip to Shanghai a few years ago, I stumbled across these at a street stall, and they are my fondest memory of that trip! Seems to be lots of Shanghai restaurants popping up all over Sydney (eg, Taste of Shangahi at Eastwood, there's a place downstairs in World Square just opened). Wonder why this is?


  • At 4/14/2010 10:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thsi is my favourite place for dumplings! The crispy bottom pork buns are my favourite. The noodles taste better at their sister outlet at chatswood chase.

  • At 4/14/2010 10:33 am, Anonymous Minh said…

    Yum I love pan fried pork buns, especially the hot hot soup inside! It's a challenge to eat it without burning yourself but oh so worth it :D

  • At 4/14/2010 10:40 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Those pan fried pork buns are my favourite thing to order at New Shanghai. And I still prefer going to the Lemon Grove shop because the lines at the Chatswood Chase restaurant down the road are always huge!

  • At 4/14/2010 11:43 am, Anonymous Tina said…

    Isn't Lemon Grove a bit of a hidden gem?! A bit 'blast from the past' too ;)

    Highly recommend the Grape Garden Beijing shop for freshly made Shanghai noodles!

  • At 4/14/2010 12:06 pm, Anonymous shez said…

    Everything is 50c cheaper at Lemon Grove too :) I went back again more recently and have decided that fried-bottom-dumplings are the best thing on the menu.

  • At 4/14/2010 12:55 pm, Anonymous Mr. Pineapple Man said…

    loving the pics!!

  • At 4/14/2010 5:41 pm, Anonymous Craig @ What We Ate Today said…

    Those dumplings look amazing!

  • At 4/14/2010 5:43 pm, Anonymous Min Ai said…

    Ooh, I love this place! So glad you have finally had the chance to go there too. The pan fried pork buns are my favooourite! The steamed versions are pretty good too. :) You'll also have to try their crispy chicken, the sauce is to die for. There is also a similar place.. possibly the same owner (?) opened up at Chatswood Chase's new food court. They have very similar dishes available.

  • At 4/14/2010 7:28 pm, Blogger Fouad @ The Food Blog said…

    hahaha. love the first photo!

    So i don't get it. dessert first? What's the deal? And how come I see people drinking shakes when they are having noodle soup? Is this normal?

  • At 4/14/2010 8:16 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    All good meals start with a descent into bowels, I've found... ;)

    Those dumplings are adorable - their two-tonedness makes me think of children's toys!

  • At 4/14/2010 9:56 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    Love those pan fried buns, Lemon Grove was where I first tried them and will forever be a sacred foodie site for me!

  • At 4/14/2010 10:14 pm, Blogger nomnomnibblies said…

    ohh the pan fried pork buns look sooo nice

  • At 4/14/2010 11:01 pm, Anonymous catty said…

    oh man the white fungus and papaya looks DELICIOUS!! Good ol' Chatswood. Always providing good Asian food :)

  • At 4/15/2010 7:11 am, Anonymous Maria said…

    I've been wanting to go here and after seeing your post I'm convinced! I need dumplings!

  • At 4/15/2010 8:44 am, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    I keep reading about all these Shanghai dumplings... the only dumplings I've had are vietnamese and those that you get at Yum Cha. Ryan absolutely loves dumplings so maybe if I tell him about it we can finally get to go try some. And Ashfield is like 5 minutes away!

  • At 4/15/2010 1:11 pm, Blogger lmblau said…

    Those pan fried dumplings are AS good as that famous pan fried dumplings chain in Shanghai.

    Incidentally don't order the Eel noodles. Oily.

  • At 4/16/2010 10:27 am, Blogger Brenda said…

    Mmmmm those pan fried pork buns are the best! Do you ever buy them already made but frozen? I buy a whole bag from one of the restaurants in Ashfield. It's great for those nights you don't want to trek out and can make it at home ; )

  • At 4/18/2010 3:41 am, Anonymous Amy @ cookbookmaniac said…

    I appreciate a good dumpling. My father is a former Yum Cha Chef and he use to experiment in our kitchen for hours. I have been quite dissappointed with the dumplings that I have eaten at restaurants lately. I am very happy to hear that you have had a good experience. This place is now only my hit list the next time I am in Chatswood.

  • At 4/18/2010 11:27 am, Blogger thang @ noodlies said…

    Yum Helen, will definitely have to try, work in Artarmon so not far from Chatswood!

    Good to see you again at Billy's photo workshop too!

  • At 4/18/2010 7:18 pm, Anonymous Simon @ the heart of food said…

    The menu is massive! That's not double-sided, is it?

    I presume this is a branch of the store that's in Ashfield with the same name?

  • At 4/19/2010 12:50 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mark - Oh you must acquaint yourself with the joy of dumplings and quickly! And thoroughly! The pan-fried pork buns are great. You'll also find Shanghai restaurants in Ashfield too - perhaps a little closer for you?

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - I thought the pan-fried buns on this visit were better than the ones I've had at Shanghai Night but yes, it's always good to engage in dumpling research. And often!

    Hi Stan - There have always been Shanghainese restaurants in Ashfield but I think it's great to they're now expanding all over Sydney. More power to the dumpling, I say. I think Sydneysiders have finally discovered and are embracing their tastiness and beauty!

    Hi Ellie - Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only crispy bottom pork bun fan. Have yet to try the Chatswood Chase outlet but thanks for the tip!

    Hi Minh - I'm always worried about burning myself but I've been reasonably lucky so far. Pan-fried pork buns are so good aren't they? Like all my favourite things rolled into one!

    Hi Stephcookie - Hurrah for pan-fried pork bun fandom. Queues are always an annoying hindrance but they're also reassuring too.

    Hi Tina - I love the name Lemon Grove too, and thanks for the tip on Grape Garden Beijing. Will have to check it out on my next visit!

    Hi Shez - Ooh I like your attentiveness to pricing. Privately I think pan-fried pork buns are always my favourite thing on the menu! lol

    Hi Mr Pineapple Man - Glad you enjoyed them :)

    Hi Craig - The buns were very tasty. Even after I'd eaten five!

    Hi Min Ai - I do like a good crispy chicken and yes there is another outlet of New Shanghai at Chatswood Chase although I've yet to try it. Hopefully sometime soon!

  • At 5/03/2010 2:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OHEMGEE, pan fried pork buns! You totally got me there, oh nom nom nom~

  • At 8/07/2010 5:00 pm, Anonymous Shane said…

    I've been to the Mandarin Centre in Chatswood and they offer a variety of delicious foods.

  • At 8/11/2010 5:52 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Debbii - The pan-fried pork buns are my weakness. So much goodness!

    Hi Shane - Glad you enjoyed it. I still haven't tried the one at the Mandarin Centre but hope to soon.


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