July 24, 2009

A Shanghainese feast

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An old friend is in town for business, and I found myself having Shanghainese for the second time this week as a group of us gathered for a casual Friday evening. I last came to Liu Yuan Pavilion (留園雅敍) exactly 5 months ago and had a pretty good meal.  Once again I didn't do the ordering, but in retrospect I probably should have. There was simply too much food, at least for me. But I can't complain too much as it was all very good.

First, the appetizers:
wheat gluten with bamboo shoots (四喜烤麩) was pretty good.

The deep-fried freshwater eel (炸鱔魚) was excellent, crunchy enough and covered with the sweet sauce that's slightly acidic from the vinegar.

The pork terrine (鎮江肴肉) came in large but thin slices, and there was the cucumber in garlic sauce (蒜茸小青瓜).

The shredded chicken with bean jelly and peanut sauce (棒棒雞絲), with nice, soft gelatin-like flat noodles made from mung beans, was pretty nice.

Fried prawns with salty egg yolk (咸蛋黃中蝦) - no shells today, but the flesh of the prawns were nice and succulent, covered with the yummy salty yolk.

Smoked chicken (煙燻雞) - as delicious as I had it the last time - nice smoky flavor and just sweet enough to make it yummy. Needless to say the meat was very tender.

Mandarin fish noodles (龍鬚桂魚) - this was the most interesting dish of the evening. The flesh of the fish was removed from the bone, shredded into thin strips resembling noodles, then stir-fried. Of course the flesh has been lighted coated with starch so that the "noodles" held their shapes.

Chicken soup with wontons (砂鍋雲吞雞) - the chicken soup is pretty light and not as heavy as some of the ones I'm used to, but it's fine. I am a little bothered by the use of the term 雲吞 instead of 餛飩, as the former really is a Cantonese expression.

We finished with stir-fried leaf amaranth (清炒莧菜), some good homestyle pancakes (家常薄餅), and nice and juicy xiao long bao (小籠包) with lots of meat juices inside. I was too full and decided to give up my pan-fried potstickers (鍋貼) to others.

Another very good meal, but a little too much food this time around. Overall this is still a pretty good place for Shanghainese and I'm sure to be back soon.

1 comment:

笑狼 said...

It was an excellent feast! Especially the pan-fried potstickers. I might have had your portion. It is also nice to catch up with old friends...


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