While walking past Suntec's fountain basement the other day, I saw a sparkling new chinese restaurant of Shanghainese cuisine. Being half a Shanghainese, I was rather curious of their offering and had dinner there with my family.
The decor of the place was comtemporary modern with bright lightings, comfortable plush seats and soft chinese music. But i do find it ironic that many of the staffs were conversing in Cantonese among themselves, not that their service wasn't good though.
To be honest, I felt abit cheated by their name because I straight away assumed that they had xiao long bao, but oh my, it wasn't on the menu at all! Usually I would judge a Shanghainese restaurant's authenthicity by its standard of xiao long bao so I was rather disappointed by its absence. On the plus side, they had plenty of other interesting items available.
Grilled River Eel in Lotus Wrapped Rice ($13.80)
The rice was fragrantly wrapped in lotus leaf and left plenty of flavour in your mouth. The eel was cooked almost the same way as Japanese unagi and was soft yet not overcooked, with strands of meat noticable on your tongue. Though it was meant to be shared among 2, we felt that the rice was more than enough while the amount of eel could be increased.
Double-styled Pork Ribs ($13.80)
I couldn't remember what the two styles were, but I'm quite sure one of it was sweet and sour sauce with the other something like sweet vinegar. The meat was juicy with suitable mixture of fat and lean meat, but eventually both sauces tasted about the same to me. The portion was also abit small given its price.
Roasted Duck and Egg in Simmered Bee Hoon ($9.80)
This combination was rather tasty! The bee hoon was delightfully cooked in a slight gooey and tasty soup, with strands of cooked egg and pieces of tender roasted duck. Again, we realised the portion was suitable to be shared instead of a single eater.
Steamed Egg Tofu with Baby Clams ($10.80)
This was something my mom certified as authenthic! The clams was steamed on a bed of tofu, lightly drizzled with soy sauce and spring onion (actually I'm not sure if thats what you call 大葱). Alas, it will be much better if they used fresh clams that doesn't stick onto the shells, as well as using pure egg tofu instead of mixing it with normal cubes of tofu.
Glutinous Rice Siew Mai (4 for $4.50)
Another orignal street snack from Shanghai. This was rather well done with chewy glutinous rice, savoury bits of cured meat and a soft layer of skin. I think its a better rendition than the ones at Ding Tai Fung.
Lime and Sea Coconut ($3.80) Egg White and Milk Custard ($.80)
We were rather full with the mains so only shared two bowls of desserts. The sea coconut was somewhat artificial that tasted a tad too syrupy, while the egg custard was acceptable with its smooth texture and milky taste.
Total bill for 4 was $96.40 after taxes, including table snacks and towels. We also had two more orders of Steamed Vegetable Buns (Bad choice of vegetables used!) and Chicken with Chives & Onions (Plain-tasting unless eaten with given sauce) that was rather forgetable.
A series of hits and misses, perhaps I should go back and try out their series of double-boiled soups that I saw on almost every table. And maybe, they might just include xiao long bao later on?