NEW SHANGHAI: A very popular little joint in the upper floors of the Emporium foodcourt, New Shanghai offers an authentic, Shanghainese experience that satisfies my inherent craving for home-cooked, Shanghai food that reminds me of mum’s home cooking! The setting is vibrant and busy, with fast service and speedy waiters. Being in Emporium, the prices are a little higher than those in Chinatown.
Steamed Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) – $9.9
The good fat: Very authentic! Xiao Long Bao is something that I have grown up with, and everytime I go back to Shanghai, I unashamedly stuff my face with them – especially considering they’re about 5 times cheaper. The Xiao Long Bao here have the characteristic thin skin, hot soup inside with a tasty, pork filling – marinaded lightly just like the way they do in Shanghai. The famous soup inside is also very plentiful and tasty, enhancing the pork filling and making it a delightful combo of flavours. Trying not to be biased towards this in my review as Xiao Long Bao is among one of my favourite foods in the world ^_^
The bad fat: I think the skin in this instance was slightly chewier/rubbery compared to usual, but for some reason it stuck a little bit to the bamboo base and meant that it would rip more easily than usual. Appearance-wise it was also a little bit flat, with the skin sticking to the filling.
Hot and Sour Soup with Prawns, Shredded Pork and Tofu – $13.4
The good fat: Not really a true Shanghainese dish but the hot and sourness of the soup balanced quite nicely to capture the light, Southern China taste. The texture was light but slightly gooey and thick which was nice. There was a plentiful amount of noodles and tofu, so a decent portion size, especially with pork buns on the side.
The bad fat: In my opinion, the sourness was slightly overpowering compared to the spice, so, in saying that, it definitely wouldn’t be up to the spicy standard of those who are intent on feeling a bit of heat on their tastebuds. A greater quantity of prawns and pork would’ve made it better as well.
Pan Fried Pork Buns – $13.4
The good fat: Once again, captured the spring onion, authentic Asian taste of the Shen Jian Bao I’ve had in Shanghai. The pork filling was on point, and as expected, was a bit tougher and larger in quantity compared to the portion in the steamed dumplings. The bottom was perfectly crispy, and the dough was light and chewy.
The bad fat: Presentation slightly different to pamp it up a bit, as usually, the section where the dough is squished together during the making process is the section that’s fried (to make it super crunchy and crispy), and facing the top with a dash of sesame seeds for extra taste. Whereas here, that section became the top part of the bun for aesthetic purposes and they didn’t have sesame seeds.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – Albeit slightly overpriced to compensate for its Emporium location, the Shanghainese buns are authentic, and flavoursome – definitely enough to satisfy my cravings once in a while.