Shanghai has been wonderful, with family I’ve not seen in over a decade together for Christmas (including my grandma who is over a century young) and so much good food I’m fit to burst!
The highlights were many, too many to mention here. Lunch and dim sum with my cousin at Jardin de Jade and their fabulous soup dumplings and guo tie (pork dumplings); dinner at modern Chinese restaurant the Chinoise Story with my dad’s youngest sister and her family with foie gras enrobed in preserved haw and delicate miniature mango puddings; Christmas lunch at our hotel the PuLi…
Finally we tried a restaurant called Yé Shanghai which has branches in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Kowloon. I have to say I much prefer authentic shanghainese food to some other regional cuisines as though there us a tendency for meals to be hearty rather than light, there doesn’t seem to be much of the overpowering, sweet sauces so characteristic of some Chinese cooking.
Nutty, slightly sweet crisp rice cake cones were filled with savoury chinese vegetables. Freshwater crab and tofu was lovely and clean-tasting, the crab full of flavour and an easy way to enjoy this delicacy. The flavour of the crab really stands out, and this is so far the best version of this dish I have tried.
The stir fried river fish was delicately flavoured with a pleasing texture, served presented with the head and tail on the plate and slender strands of fish in between topped with a pickled cabbage garnish. This was a totally new dish for me, but I was with locals who recommended it and it was delicious.
Soup dumplings were tasty though they didn’t hold their filling as well as some I’ve tried, and my dad ended up with a spoon full of dumpling with no soup.
The dish I had been waiting for is a typical shanghainese speciality, usually called either new years cake or spring cake. It’s a glutinous rice cake served stirfried with various vegetables and meat, and something my mother makes exceptionally well. I have to say though my mum’s version is still superior, Yé Shanghai did a pretty decent version of my favourite dish. I was impressed they didn’t drown it in sauce like Chinese Chinese restaurants have a bad habit of doing.
Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai
59 Maoming Nan Lu
Jardin de Jade (Su Zhe Hui)
No. 388 Zhaojiabang Road
338 Huang Pi
Nan Lu, Xintiandi
Pacific place shopping centre