So, I have blogged about New Shanghai before. However, the last time I went – this Chinese New Year – we were a larger group and had the opportunity to try some new dishes. Of course, we had all the classic dumplings – Shanghai style fried pork dumplings, steamed vegetable dumplings, xiao long bao (plus ginger – extra 50c) and boiled pork and coriander dumplings.
Another essential dish is the Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce. At New Shanghai it is always always perfectly cooked and seasoned, a reliable favourite for me and Mr Black. Look at the gloss on those stalks of delicate earthy greens! Moist but never watery, slathered in a combination of rich and salty oyster sauce and a touch of smoky sesame. Add a little chilli and it’s just fab.
The other dishes tried this trip were salt and pepper tofu, eggplant hotpot and crispy chicken with garlic and chilli. All were hits – the tofu a glorious balance of salty, thin and crispy edges and squishy pillows of light, silky, almost nothingness inside.
The eggplant dish tasted far better than it looked. The eggplant was skinless, slippery and soft; the sauce slightly sweet and with an undercurrent of warm, smoky chilli flavours. Yummmmmmmm!
Last to arrive, but certainly not least, was the crispy chicken. I have tried this next door at Shanghai Dumplings, but it’s been so long I can’t judge whether one was better than the other. They are certainly both fantastic – crispy skin flavoured with spicy Szechuan peppercorsn surrounding tender white chicken flesh, generously scattered with chilli and garlic, sitting in a pool of rehydrating soy and rice wine dressing.For the first time we also ordered dessert – after all, it was a celebration. there were three orders of deep-fried ice-cream with chocolate topping and one red bean with shaved ice dessert… The red bean was me, trying something I’d not had before, hoping it might be vaguely similar to my Malaysian favourite cendol. It wasn’t. 😦 I know it’s very Western of me, but I ditched it in favour of some deep-fried ice-cream! Unlike the red bean dessert, it was sweet, creamy, and cakey. Unusually the chocolate sauce reminded us of Terry’s chocolate orange, but on reflection this might just be because it was made with cheap chocolate…