I love shopping so it’s very exciting when the Emporium opened up in Melbourne last year. It is a new shopping centre which has taken over the old Myer building connected to Melbourne Central. They have a great variety of stores but more importantly they have a very impressive food court with – Jimmy Grants, I Love Pho Express, Rice Work Shop and many more. But more importantly they have New Shanghai a new restaurant serving traditional Shanghainese dishes.
My dad’s family is from Shanghai so I have grown up eating these dishes. I have visited New Shanghai a couple of times and they were very kind to invite me back again for a meal :) So Mr Bao and I had a little date where we visited the Dog Lovers Show first to get some goodies for Cupcake before heading over to New Shanghai.
We arrived at a slightly odd time 4pm a little too late for lunch and too early for dinner, but that doesn’t matter because it meant the restaurant wasn’t as busy and we could take our time enjoying our meal. Don’t be too alarmed at the speed the food comes out here at New Shanghai, it feels like you have only just ordered and within a minute the food appears in front of you. I actually find it quite impressive as the dumplings are always piping hot when it arrives. We started with these Xiao Long Bao (AKA Soupy Dumplings) with a crab and pork meat filling.
I actually had a lot of fun shooting these little dumplings, they’re very cute! They also taste fantastic with a very soupy filling so I suggest eating with a soup so you don’t lose all that liquid goodness. Everyone has different preference, but I like my Xiao Long Bao with a very thin skin and more soup inside. And dipped in a little bit of vinegar and ginger perfect way to eat them!
Ok I promise this is the last XLB picture :P I’ve tried both the plain pork XLB before and I think I prefer them more than the one with crab meat. As I found the flavour of the crab a little overpowering and there is slightly less soup. While Mr Bao preferred the ones with crab meat so I guess each to their own ~
So the XLB were good, but the pork wontons blew me away! These wontons had the silkiest and soften skin (wrappers) served with peanut butter sauce, red chilli oil and some spice. It had so much flavour and just enough chilli to give it a little kick, however, not overpower the rest of the ingredients. Two thumbs up from us and highly recommend it!
Apart from dumplings we also shared some dishes, this is the sweet and sour pork in dark vinegar sauce. So think sweet, sticky and tender pork but it’s not the Hong Kong style roast pork, it is more braised in a thick sauce. Great snack to have on its own or with some rice.
There’s a lot of pork in Shanghainese dishes ~ We also ordered the highly recommended pork belly braised overnight in sweet soy sauce. It was similar to the previous sweet and sour pork, while this was more salty and the meat was very tender. Mr Bao also liked the fatty bits on the pork belly as it wasn’t too oily. Another great dish to share amongst a couple of friends.
Thought it was a good idea to order something with carbs to keep Mr Bao stomach full and even happier. We chose the deep fried crispy skin chicken with noodles and special garlic and chilli sauce. The chicken was close to being boneless which is a bonus for us because we are so lazy haha the chicken skin was so thin and crispy. The sauce also complimented the chicken and noodles very well.
I could feel my jeans tightening up but I simply couldn’t leave before I got some dessert. As a matter of fact, it’s very nice to see so many dessert options at a Chinese restaurant and some more unique dishes and not just mango jelly. This is the steamed pumpkin stick rice cake with a red bean paste filling, because the dumpling is made from rice dumpling and steamed, it had a very sticky and glutinous texture. I think it’s one you either like or not :P I love this texture, but I think it would’ve been even better if it was a taro paste filling as I like that more than red bean paste.
Last but not least was this baked pastry with a red bean paste filing, the pastry was very flakey. Again I’m not the largest fan of red bean paste so even though it was nice and sweet, I would’ve preferred maybe a custard or pumping filling instead.
We are being regulars at New Shanghai, as we love going shopping and then stopping by for a quick bite. Service is always quick but not rushed. Most importantly the soupy dumplings (XLB) and pork wontons are made so well! It is also very reasonably priced, Mr Bao and I properly spend on average $20 to $25 each and we are stuffed :) So if you haven’t visited New Shanghai, I recommend you going after doing some retail therapy!
Level Three (Food Court)
287 Lonsdale Street
PH: 9994 9386
Daisy@Nevertoosweet and Mr Bao visited as guests of New Shanghai and ID Collective