Monday, September 16, 2013

Shanghai Morning Restaurant 小南國上海小吃

Yay! My second last Shanghai cuisine restaurant to try other than one in White Rock (no rush), Downtown (no rush either), West Vancouver (meh, friend has been there, definitely not in a rush), West Broadway (no rush) and some random food court ones. However, my last Shanghainese restaurant for now will be Shanghai House in Richmond. Anyways, with my excitement of having the opportunity to try many Shanghai cuisine restaurants out of the way… 

Shanghai Morning in Richmond has comfortable seating arrangements and the atmosphere is very cozy as well as relaxing. Also on a Saturday evening, the restaurant was not very busy.


The broth tastes light as well as clear, and has a hint of salted pork. As for the ingredients, there are pieces of pork as well as salted pork, and the meat tastes chewy (which happens unless it is homemade and slow cooked). Asides from the pork, there are bamboo shoots as well as bean curd knots. I love bean curd knots because they soak up every bit of soup or sauce, and has a somewhat stiff texture. As for the bamboo shoots, they taste dry as well as pickled and rubbery, which resembles dry packaged ones. Personally, I prefer bamboo shoots to taste light with a soft crunch and fresh, the way it should be.

The xiao long bao tastes juicy and has a thin layer of skin, but does not taste very flavourful. The pork tastes gritty and neither smooth or tender; I have had a lot tastier XLBs with tender tasting meat as well. If the filling had a bit more fatty pork, the meat could have tasted more tender. In my opinion, the best XLBs in Richmond is at Chen's Shanghai Kitchen.

The chicken thigh as well as the leg is served and the meat tastes tender. However, the chicken only has a subtle wine flavour on the exterior but not in the meat. Meaning, the chicken has not been marinated long enough. But hey, no dry tasting chicken (which should not happen anyway with the thigh and leg)!

The dish includes green pepper, fungus, sliced bean curd, pork belly and a lot of cabbage. Where is the pork? There is a very stingy amount of sliced pork and the ratio is pretty much 4:1 bean curd. As for the taste, the vegetables have a slight crunch and the pork belly tastes tender with a nice snap. However, despite the menu stating the dish is spicy, the sauce tastes very sweet with only a hint of spiciness.

BEEF ROLL ($4.95).
I asked the owner if the beef roll was a green onion pancake and she confirmed with a yes, twice. Wahhh… but it is not and I even asked in mandarin, sigh. 

The wrap tastes rubbery as well as stretchy, which was not fun to eat and the skimpy amount of beef did not help. If the wrap was smaller, the roll may have tasted better and less doughy. Furthermore, the slices of beef are smoked and is something different compared to the usual Taiwanese beef wrap that more people are familiar with. I guess this is a Shanghai style wrap? But... usually Shanghai style wraps include other ingredients such as sliced cucumber or green onion, not just smoked beef. In addition, some restaurants slice the beef very thin into three to four pieces which makes the roll taste better compared to one thicker slice of meat… like here :(.

The buns are pan fried upside down so the juice does not squirt out after the first bite. The skin tastes a bit tough and adds to some unnecessary chewing; however, the buns do not taste greasy at all. The buns taste juicy and a lot tastier than the XLBs because of the pan fried skin.

- Relaxing and homey atmosphere
- Staff refills tea cups without needing to ask

- Use of dry packaged bamboo shoots
- There are better Shanghai cuisine restaurants

- No pictures of dishes on the menu
- Smoked chicken was sold out, it might taste good
- XLBs and pan fried buns are juicy, but the meats are mediocre 
- I visited Chen's Shanghai the night before and Shanghai Morning did not even have a chance (sorry!)

Food: 2/5
Service: 2.5/5

Shanghai Morning Restaurant 小南國上海小吃 on Urbanspoon

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