I have to preface that we intended to go to Tim Ho Wan, the Dim-Sum Specialists 添好運點心專門店. But after seeing the large crowds and queue’s. . . Mr. J smartly had a back up with New Star Seafood, which was just around the corner.
After about a half-hour wait, we finally got our table. This low ceiling restaurant was packed with tables and people. I don’t think there’s any restaurant in Hong Kong, and perhaps Asia, that uses the dim sum push carts that we see in the US. Personally, I thought some of the allure and interesting facets of dim sum were picking and choosing what you wanted to eat as it rolled on by. With the menu, we hand-wrote the dishes were wanted. Our collective Chinese, though limited, coupled with deductive prowess of picture to number to name, allowed us to order some of our favorite dishes.
Our first order, of business, was the roasted pork. As you can guess, I was drawn to the pork, which can be written in any language – and I’ll figure it out, was my first pick. Thank goodness it arrived first. I couldn’t believe how good the roasted pork was. The skin was crispy, as it should be. Then the pork, marbled, had the right fat to lean meat ratio. This combination of moistness with crispiness was perfect. I think, there and then, that this was the best roast pork that I had ever had. BEST.
Outside of the roast pork, I don’t remember much of anything else. I know we had the steamed sticky rice, the steamed pork dumplings, the steamed shrimp dumplings, the meatballs, and the deep fried dumpling with ground pork. The meatballs, which I mistakenly ordered, looked nasty, but tasted ok. With everything else, I shouldn’t have ordered it regardless. The steamed sticky rice was good. I like it with a little soy sauce and hot sauce to spice it up. The deep fried dumplings with ground pork were Mrs. C’s favorites.
Even with the roast pork, I am not sure I would return to New Star. The service is horrible. The staff is rude to customers, but they don’t care – with a packed house. If I was to return, it would only be to pick up a to-go order for the roast pork. Next time, I will wait for an hour – perhaps two for Tim Ho Wan.
What to Order: Roast Pork
What not to Order: Meat Balls
Price Range 2 $/¥/NT
新星海鮮酒家New Star Seafood
旺角廣華街15-33號明威閣地下至2樓G/F-2/F, Mainway Court, 15-33 Kwong Wa Street, Mong Kok
What not to Order:
Fu Sing Shark Fin Seafood Restaurant
1/F, Sunshine Plaza, No. 353 Lockhart Road,, Wan Chai
+852 2893 0881
When I first heard that there was a Shanghai Tang Cafe, I knew I should look into it. But then when I heard they had a Sunday Brunch, I was more intrigued. Yet, when I found out that the all-you-can-eat brunch included drinks – Beer . . . I needed to get there!
Located near Xintiandi, right across the street, the Shanghai Tang Cafe is part of the Shanghai Tang fashion empire. There’s 4 or 5 of the eponymous boutique all over the city. Personally, with me liking the style and brand, the cafe was on my short list of places to try.
Once you walk in, you notice the bright color pillows and accents throughout the dining room. The dark hues of the traditional furniture contrast with the Shanghai Tang trademark colors, of orange, blue-green, and red.
For the Sunday Brunch, we were given a traditional menu to pick and choose the little dim sum plates – sort of like Chinese tapas. I think I picked almost 10 little dishes, before I realized there was only 2 of us. The menu featured Cantonese dishes with Shanghainese ones. Since Shanghai Tang originated from Hong Kong, I wasn’t too surprised by the dim sum offering. Some of the standouts was the fried dumplings – shen jian bao’s, fried shanghai rice cake, and the hot & sour soup. In this Sunday Brunch, the all-you-can-eat menu also includes drinks – such as beer.
I hope to return soon, since I didn’t get a chance to try everything. Since we were a bit pressed for time couple with the slow food, I was a bit disappoint – which was more my fault. Next time, I plan to go with a group of friends, to have beer, as well. Perhaps they might have a TV, so we can enjoy some sports or something as well.
Shanghai Tang Cafe
Level 2 & Level 3, 333 Huang Pi Nan Road, Shanghai, China
+86 21 6377 3333
One would expect traditional Portuguese cuisine at a restaurant name Lisboa. Named after the capital of Portugal, this chain features Macanese cuisine – a combination of Cantonese and Portuguese flavors.
Not expecting much at all, from this 3 story food & restaurant court/mall. Lisboa appears like a typical Hong Kong cafe, with flashy menus and quick service. But what made Lisboa special is their preparation of pork, fish, and beef. This brightly colored restaurant – sort of a cross with McDonald’s and a 50′s style diner, features anything but American food. Located on the famed Wujiang Lu, where famous street vendors used to be, Lisboa is on the 3rd story of the large restaurant building complex.
The first dish we had was a stewed pork in light broth. Swimming in this clear broth were these thick slices of fatty pork. With about 30% fat on the meat, each bite you knew would be flavorful and juicy. This is a very good dish. Plus you would get the broth or consume to spoon up as well. Then we had another pork dish, which was stir fried with onions. This was good, but I felt, after the first one, it was almost a let done. Not as succulent as the first, but this one was more savory and went well with rice. Next we had a large bowl of tomato based sauce with thin slices of beef and enoki mushroom. Slightly lemony in flavor, you needed rice to offset the bold tastes. I like this one as well. Next we had another bowl, you could see the trend here, of braised or boiled chicken with large intestine. I didn’t try the intestine, kinda too chewy for my palate. To round it out, we had a fried fish that was served with a sweet sauce – which was very Cantonese and some stir fried vegetables.
I’d come back for a quick meal. Not bad, but not a destination restaurant. On another note – you can check out their other business Taipan Massage & Spa, on Dagu Lu. If you bring a DVD, you can watch it while you get your foot massage.
What to Order: Pork Stewed in Light Broth
What not to Order: Not a big fan of Large Intestine
Price Range 1 $/¥/NT
Jingan District, No. 269 Wujiang Road, Suite 303
I was asking a couple of friends, one who is Shanghainese and the other from the North who’s lived in Shanghai for awhile, what are some of the better restaurants in town. Surprisingly they said they like southern cuisine, more specifically Guangdong, Cantonese, or Hong Kong dishes – could be considered the same. One of the finest in Shanghai is Crystal Jade.
This chain, surprisingly from Singapore, has some of the yummiest dishes. With locations in Hong Kong, Beijing, and other cities, Crystal Jade is popular and well known. I know friends in Taipei have been wanting expansion there as well. Though I have only been in Shanghai for 6 months . . . people keep asking what I think is good or what I like. Other than speaking of Xiaolongbao’s. . .I keep thinking Crystal Jade – time and time again.
Located at the popular Xintiandi, Crystal Jade has some of the best Dim Sum that I have ever had – even from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Taiwan, and even Hong Kong. The three delicacies plate with roast pork, bbq pork, and chicken. The BBQ pork was tender with the right amount of fat to meat ratio – for succulent moistness. The chicken was fine . . .but I think I ignored it after one bite. But the roast pork was the best I have ever had – and it wasn’t even the best dish I had for that meal. The crispy skin wasn’t too hard nor too chewy. The skin was light and crunchy . . . almost the same texture Mexican Chicharrón, but roasted with the meat together. The meat was almost an afterthought, since I have never experience greatness like this in my pie hole.
The other dim sum items . . .like the fried radish cakes, the flakey baked radish mini-pies, hot sticky rice wraps, steam pork dumplings, and pork spare ribs were all very good. I like the flakey baked radish mini-pies, which were delicate and tasty. The steamed pork and shrimp dumplings were as good as they ought to be. But, personally, I couldn’t tell a good one from a bad one.
The star of the day was the slow cooked diced beef with roasted garlic chips in black pepper sauce. This dish was awesome. Anything with roasted garlic chips – gives that great crunchy, and almost chewy texture, makes everything better. The slow cooked cubed beef was strikingly tender . . . not sure why I used strikingly . . .but I don’t think I have ever had beef for tender. The beef fell apart in my mouth before my tooth chomped right through. I look at pictures and still imagine this dish. Anyways. . .I know other restaurants have tried, but they can’t come close to duplicating this great dish.
What to Order: Roasted Pork and slow cooked diced beef with roasted garlic chips in black pepper sauce
What not to Order:
Price Range 2 $/¥/NT
湾区兴业路123弄新天地南里6-7号2楼(近马当路) +86 21 6385 8752
2F-12A, Lane 123, Xinye Lu (near Madang Lu), South Block Xintiandi Plaza, Shanghai 200021, China. Tel: +86 21 6385 8752