September 5, 2009

Dining by the water

Pin It

An old friend met up with me today and drove me to the town of Luchaogang (芦潮港) where she has been working for the last couple of years. It’s directly south of Pudong Airport and marks the southeast corner of Shanghai.

The town has literally risen out of the ground through the will of the city government, and I was told German city planners were brought in. I think they did a good job – the roads were nice and wide, with lots of greenery and canals around supporting flora and fauna. Reminds me of certain areas of Singapore. They’ve even created Dishui Lake (滴水湖) - a circular man-made lake fed by a stream – and built circular roads around the lake.

We stopped in at Shanghai Zhiming Seafood Restaurant (上海志明海鮮酒樓) for lunch. This is on a touristy street full of seafood restaurants right by the inlet where fishing boats were moored. I guess when you come to a port town by the sea, the obvious choice is seafood!

Steamed chicken (白切雞) – made with locally raised chicken, which I presume would be more free-range? The flavor was slightly stronger than your average chicken, and I didn’t dip the meat into the soy sauce in order for me to get the original flavor.

Blanched white shrimps (海白蝦) – these tiny shrimps were very tender, and the shell stayed white even after cooking. Some of the shrimps were female and carried the very yummy roe, which were either bright orange or purple.

Marinated jellyfish (拌海蜇頭) – pretty crunchy and came marinated with soy and coriander.

Braised fish (紅燒魚) – I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the fish, but it’s something local that’s in season. The fish wasn’t particularly big but just perfect for the two of us. The flesh was tender and there were few bones needing to be picked. The thick and sweet gravy was pretty nice.

Stir-fried Indian aster (清炒馬蘭頭) – I’ve never had this stir-fried before, and as I expected the heat from the wok had turned the veggie ever so slightly on the yellow side, having destroyed some of the chlorophyll. The distinctive taste was still wonderful, though.

Lionfish and tofu soup (虎頭魚豆腐湯) – the small fish made for a pretty yummy and milky soup, although the spiny fins of the fish took a little more work. Very peppery.

I really enjoyed my lunch, having had no expectations by coming to this very rural part of Shanghai.

I found myself back in Xintiandi (新天地) as I met up with friends for dinner. While I was treated to dinner at Villa du Lac (湖庭) on my last visit, tonight we would be right across at Le Platane (梧桐). Both restaurants are nestled next to the man-made lake in the heart of the whole development.

Having consumed way too much alcohol the night before, I settled for a glass of 2006 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Nose of green apple, muscat and minerals. Sweet and ripe on the palate.

I started with roasted pigeon breast with fresh fig, Roquefort emulsion. The pigeon was very tender, and the execution was perfect. It rested on a fig, with a slice of baked prosciutto on top. The dish was an interesting combination of all the different flavors, especially the intermingling of sweet and savory tastes. Unfortunately, it was just a tad small...

The pan-seared red perch fillet with chanterelle jus was pretty darn good. Browned and perfectly crisp on the skin side, tender with lots of flavor. Nice with lots of beautiful little chanterelles and chives.

For dessert we shared the wafer-thin tarte tatin à la mode. It wasn't as good as I remembered. The bottom fell out of one of the pieces I had.

I was happy to have come back to Le Platane after a prolonged absence. Justin Quek may have gone, but the standards here are still high and well worth return visits.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map