October 1, 2009

Shanghainese family gathering...again

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My parents are creatures of habit.  They tend to dine at the same restaurants over and over again, especially for family gatherings.  Not very adventurous in that sense.  So I found myself once again at Shanghai Shanghai (紅豆食府) for a large family gathering, this time with dad's side of the family.  We were having an early reunion for Mid-Autumn Festival.

We took one of the set menus and there was really a lot of food.  I could never understand how people can finish one of these set meals and not feel stuffed and bloated...

Drunken chicken (醉雞) - pretty decent here.

Celery sticks with mustard sauce (芥末西芹) - I never quite understood why this is considered Shanghainese and served at this restaurant...

Stir-fried wheat gluten with bamboo shoots (烤麩) - not too bad.

Marinated jellyfish and shredded radish (蘿蔔涼拌海蜇皮) - refreshing.

Pig trotter terrine (鎮江肴肉) - don't like the version here... too much jelly and too little pork.

Stir-fried freshwater shrimp with sweet peas (豌豆炒蝦仁) - the tiny shrimps were fresh and bouncy, and the peas were pretty sweet - as the name would indicate.

Stir-fried freshwater eel (炒鱓糊) - a classic Shanghainese dish...and done pretty well here.

Deep-fried diced chicken (炸子雞) - huh? Since when has this become Shanghainese?  Poor execution here and we left half of it untouched.

Stir-fried bamboo shoots with fatty winter meat (竹筍炒臘肉) - I just love the 臘肉 with all that hardened fat... really enjoy the chewy texture.

Steamed stinky tofu (蒸臭豆腐) - still refusing to eat this.  Maybe one day...

Mustard greens with abalone (芥菜鮑魚) - the mustard green wasn't too bitter, and you could definitely taste the full flavors of the abalone...

Stir-fried rice cake with crabs (螃蟹炒年糕) - not exactly the hairy crabs but this was still pretty delish.  Especially the rice cake that has soaked up all the sweet, brown sauce.

Braised Dong Po pork and sea cucumber (東坡肉配海參) - the fatty pork wasn't bad, although the sea cucumber wasn't so hot.  The texture was OK but it wasn't so tasty.

Steamed dumpling with pork and vegetables (菜肉蒸餃) - actually not so tasty.  A little bit dry inside and could use a bit more pork juice.

Chicken soup with wontons (雞湯餛飩) - classic finish to a Shanghainese meal.  No need for shark's fin today.  Soup was very tasty but the wontons were a bit small and lame...and a little too hard and dry inside.

Stuffed again.  I'm hoping that the next big family gathering will see us at a different venue...

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