I do not complain about parking in Richmond because I never experienced frustration until Chen's Shanghai Kitchen. This plaza has the smallest parking lot in Richmond! Well, it might not be true but I tried coming here a few days ago around 7:00pm and the parking lot was full. I waited 15-20 minutes and gave up thinking I am too hungry and cannot wait. Then two days ago, I tried coming here as well and luckily the parking lot was empty at 9:30pm, but the restaurant closes at 10:00pm and I did not want to feel rushed (that's why I ended up at Kyung Bok Palace last night). This time, I deliberately came around 8:30pm and parking was not an issue. BTW, if you do come at 9:30pm you should not feel rushed since we left around 10:00pm and everyone was pretty friendly in the restaurant.
The restaurant could get a bit small during busy hours if they are full and I would not be surprised if I see a line up.
SHEPHERD'S PURSE HERB WITH PORK AND TOFU SOUP, CHICKEN IN WINE SAUCE, SMOKED DUCK WITH CHINESE TEA, GREEN ONION PANCAKE, XIAO LONG BAOS, DEEP FRIED BUNS, CRAB AND STIR FRIED PORK WITH GARLIC PEPPER AND CABBAGE.
SHEPHERD'S PURSE HERB WITH PORK AND TOFU SOUP ($7.75). The soup has a home cooked style and tastes light, simple, kind of bland and lacks flavour. I am all for bland and healthier soup options, but this is a bit too simple. The tofu has a nice firmness and is not too mushy.
CHICKEN IN WINE SAUCE ($6.50). The chicken has a medium strong wine taste, has been marinated long enough and is tender. For the price you pay, the pieces you get are pretty good compared to other restaurants that give boney pieces (Shanghai Lu).
GREEN ONION PANCAKE ($3.75). The green onion pancake is properly made with layers and has a good amount of green onions. The only issue is that the pancake is deep fried :(. But I will say, this is the best deep fried green onion pancake I have had. The outside is not too crunchy or dry, surprisingly they make it work.
SHANGHAI STYLE SOUP DUMPLINGS ($4.95). The XLBs are very juicy as well as tasty! The skin is thin and the meat is very tender. I lost 3 of these because they got stuck together and even though the juice came out, the meat itself is very juicy. I consider the XLBs to be one of the best, it is not just juicy and tasty, but it is really tasty. This is one of my two favourite places for XLBs, the other is Xu's Wonton House.
PAN FRIED DUMPLINGS ($4.95). The buns are pan fried with the twirl on the bottom so the juice does not squirt out, I like that. I also like that the green onions are stuck on the buns and cooked, rather than sprinkled and fall off.
The buns are very juicy with tasty meat, just like the XLBs. The skin is a tiny bit too thick, but it is fine. I have come across a few pan fried buns that are indeed tasty and juicy, but these are one of the juiciest and tastiest ones I have had.
2 1/2lb SICHUAN STYLE CRAB ($28.00). I asked what kind of crab they make best (since I did not want to set myself up for disappoint with a bland cream and butter sauce) and the waitress mentioned a type of sauce I did not understand in mandarin or cantonese, but she did know rice cakes and edamame are involved. The sauce is used for rice cakes (I forgot what it is called) and is flavourful without being salty or sweet. I guess the only way I can explain it is by saying that it is more flavourful than the green onion and ginger sauce, but lighter than black bean sauce (actually that is a pretty bad explanation). Anyways, when BF saw the crab he said, "haha this time we got our moneys worth after being ripped off so many times," since the waitress thought the crab was only 2lb but it looks 2.5lb and they charge by each crab so it comes out pretty cheap. I actually really liked the sauec.
SMOKED DUCK WITH CHINESE TEA ($13.95). The skin has a light crisp and the meat is very tender, but not juicy. The duck is lightly smoked and not too salty. To compare, the duck is lightly smoked which I prefer, but Jin Jiang Shanghai's smoked duck is a lot juicier, like extreme juiciness but is too salty for me.
STIR FRIED PORK WITH GARLIC PEPPER AND CABBAGE ($9.99). The pork is sliced very thin, has a mild spiciness and tastes tender with a nice snap. There is a good amount of fungus, cabbage and bean curd which are all tasty. If anything, the dish could have been spicier.
Blogging is much more fun when you have a good experience! Everything we ordered is enjoyable, including the deep fried green onion pancake which I usually roll my eyes to and hate once I take the first bite. I definitely recommend Chen's Shanghai as I just noticed I only have a few more Shanghai cuisine restaurant to try, and this is the only one in Richmond I would come back to.
- Dishes are pretty good
- Delicious XLBs
- Friendly and helpful waitress
- Every dish is carefuly made
- Parking lot
- XLBs stick together causing them to rip (but meat is still very juicy)
- I would come back (eeek could be a regular if the next 2 visits are just as good)
Food: 3.5/5 (if the smoked duck was juicier, it would have been a 4/5 which I rarely rate!)