Sunday, January 30, 2011

Shanghai House in Richmond

6340 No 3 Rd
RichmondBC V6Y
(604) 278-0709

A group of us were planning on going for lunch.....of course the question always is, "where should we go?"

Usually anything goes with me, but a few months ago I enjoyed a dish at Shanghai House and have been thinking about it many times since.  I suggested we go to Shanghai House so I could see if my obsession was really as good as I remembered.

This gigantic vase greets you at their front door.  The first time I was here, I thought this was going to be a really fancy, higher end place.  In actuality, it is just nice.  The room is comfortable and the tables are not too crowded together.  Service is exactly as one can expect from this kind of restaurant.

OK onto the food, the dish I have been obsessing arrived at the table looking and smelling exactly as I remembered......oh the anticipation.  I hope it doesn't disappoint me.  It's been a tough long week.  A friendly food hug would make me feel a whole lot better.
Seaweed Fish Strips - $11.95
Ahhhhhh.....this was exactly as I remembered it.  Crispy, tasty batter with a hint of ground seaweed that imparts just a nice "sea" flavor.  I know those of you that know me are shaking your head......I don't like seaweed, but this is different.  It adds a nice subtle flavor to the batter and really enhances the whole fried fish experience.  It's a perfect pairing and for sure will be replicated in A Wok in the Tuscan Kitchen!  I love this dish.  The serving is quite large too.  $11.95 is good value.
As for the fish, it's cooked to perfection.

Look at how moist and flakey it good! I must admit, the green in the batter doesn't look the most appealing, but one taste and I am sure you will be hooked. So twice I have had this dish and both times it is equally as delicious.......points for consistency here!

Spicy Beef Noodle in Soup - $5.98
This noodle soup was also very good.  The broth was nice and rich tasting. It had  a lot of depth with many layers of flavors.  The star anise flavor came through, but  didn't overpower. It was a perfect balance of beef flavor and aromatic spices.  I also like that the broth had been strained of all the bits and pieces of spices.  I don't like to have hard bits floating in my soup.

The noodles had a very nice texture; chewy to the bite, felt nice in my mouth and very slurpable.  The beef shank was a perfect balance of tissue/fat and meat.  It had good flavor, was well braised, but still had a bit of chew to it.  All in all a very good bowl of noodle soup.  It was a bit spicy, almost too spicy for some of us, but I added more chili (dou ban jerng) to my own serving.  I like it hot and spicy!

As an aside, their chili sauce was also very tasty.  I asked if it was house made or bottled and learned they make it themselves.  A nice combination of garlic and soy bean....very yummy.  I was tempted to ask if they would sell me some!  Does anyone have a recipe to make this kind of sauce?.......please share if you do.

Steamed Pork Buns, Xiao Long Bao - $4.50 for 6

These were pretty average, but to be fair, I let mine cool down too much before eating.  The skin had hardened a bit before I got around to sampling. 

I thought the skins were just a tad thick, but the pork filling had a nice flavor. Good balance, not too gingery and not too salty. These also had a good amount of soup....see all that soup in my spoon! 
So, these were good, better than some but perhaps not the best.
Moon Cakes stuffed with Pork Meat - $4.98 for 3

I had never tried this before so was looking forward to it......too bad it was very disappointing.  I think this dish has potential, but today's version didn't quite do it for me.  The pastry was nice.  Good flavor and was nice and short and was browned nicely.  However, the meat tasted like it had been frozen.  The "freezer" taste overpowered everything, so I didn't enjoy this at all.  It might have something to do with the preparation of this dish, as I believe this is quite a complicated dish to execute well.  Hot juicy, soupy meat, inside a delicate pastry crust that is pan-fried......doesn't sound easy to produce...  I wonder if they actually prepare these ahead and then freeze them and cook them from frozen when they are ordered.  It was too bad, but these really tasted kind of gross, even dousing them in hot chili didn't help.

We were four for lunch. So considering value/quality for $$, we all agreed it was a very enjoyable lunch.
We'll be back, but we won't be ordering the moon cakes with pork!  Lunch worked out to about $8.00 per person before a tip.....not bad, not bad at all.  


  1. I went there last Sunday with friends and one of them is from Shanghai. So I got to taste some really typical Shanghai dishes that I usually don't order. They were excellent, like the XLB with crabmeat; wine marinated chicken feet/duck gizzard mix; deep fried daikon cake; savory soya bean drink with Chinese doughnut. It was really good and good way to try something different.
    I enjoyed reading your post, thanks:-)

  2. Hi Doris,
    Thanks for visiting with us. I'm looking forward to my next visit to Shanghai House so that I can try your recommendations. I don't think I have ever had deep fried daikon cake!