I once went to Shanghai River many years ago but I can’t even recall whether I liked the food or not. It was back during a time when I was too young to really appreciate food, as all I cared about was whether my tummy was full! The only thing I remember is that it was my first time trying xiao long baos and I had burned my tongue since I wasn’t expecting the dumplings to have soup inside! Since then, I haven’t really eaten a lot of Shanghainese food (no, it was not because that incident scarred me for life…) because it was just never something that I really craved. But since I was in the area to do some shopping, I decided to revisit Shanghai River to see how their food actually was!
Salted Soya Bean ($2.95):
Now this isn’t something that I see a lot. To me, it tastes like a milder soy milk that has a savoury taste due to the green onions and Chinese donut. It has a very interesting flavour, but I actually enjoyed it! It was very smooth and light-tasting, but had a bit of a spicy kick from the chili oil. Definitely a good start to the meal :)
Homemade Sesame Cake Stuffed w/ Beef ($7.95):
I felt that this was really similar to the Taiwanese dish of five spice beef in pancake. The sesame cake was very crispy and flaky with a nice nuttiness from the sesame seeds. There was a large portion of beef inside but I felt that there could have been a bit more seasoning or sauce to them as it was on the blander side.
Shanghai Dumplings w/ Minced Pork ($7.50):
The xiao long bao’s were delicious and yes, I made sure not to burn my tongue again! I find that the skin is relatively thin and held up without breaking upon the slightest contact. The pork filling was seasoned well and I enjoyed the savoury soup inside.
Fried Shanghai Style Rice Cake ($13.80):
As evident in the picture, this dish was quite oily. However, it was very extremely delicious with a heavy soy flavour. The rice cakes were soft and had a nice chewiness with every bite. I really would eat the whole dish if I could, but the portion was big and it was meant for sharing.
I enjoyed my visit to Shanghai River and it was nice to stray away from the usual sushi and noodles that I go for! The dishes are meant to be shared so it doesn’t work out well when you dine by yourself (yes I do eat alone most of the time, I’m not ashamed of it!). The food was flavourful and I liked how there are a variety of different dishes and flavours to satisfy everyone’s taste.