It’s not often that you get to sit down to a proper restaurant in a shopping mall food court, but at New Shanghai that’s exactly what you do.
Admittedly, Chatswood Chase is not your regular run-of-the-mill mall; it’s super posh. So having a restaurant in their food court doesn’t really seem out of place at all.
We went for lunch on a Saturday and as it was a review, we had a table booked, much to the dismay of the long line of punters queuing as there are no bookings on the weekends!
We felt even more special when we were shown to the private dining space that is in a raised area at the back of the restaurant. It was the perfect spot for us as there was lots of room for our pram and very convenient as Poppy decided she wanted to be fed just as we were seated. Babies are so wonderfully unpredictable sometimes!
We ordered up and the food started arriving almost immediately. My favourite dish is pictured above: Shepherd’s purse & pork wonton tossed with sesame butter, red chilli oil and spice ($9.80). A very reasonable price for 10 dumplings.
The sesame butter was a smooth sauce that tasted like a cross between satay and tahini and I absolutely loved it. The dumpling skins were beautifully silky and the hint of red chilli oil really brought all the flavours together.
Stir fried Chinese rice cake with blue swimmer crab ($18.80)
Whenever I see crab on a menu I always want to order it and the ‘stir fried rice cake’ part of this dish intrigued me. I wasn’t sure what to expect but when it arrived I was pleasantly surprised that the ‘rice cakes’ were more like thick rolls of rice noodles sliced into rounds. The texture was really good – chewy and slippery and glutinous.
New Shanghai Pan Fried crab meat and pork bun, 8pcs ($12.80)
These are a specialty of the house; doughy buns are deep fried and steamed so that the bottoms are crunchy and the tops soft and spongey. There is also soup inside like a xiao long bao dumpling (they are coming up further on in this review). They were so filling that I only managed one and a half of these, but luckily Dillon was keen on them so he got stuck in.
Shanghai noodle stir fried with shredded pork and vegetable ($9.00)
Being Chinese New Year I had to order a long noodle dish to symbolise longevity and good luck for the coming year. This dish was both sweet and savoury, although more sweet. The thick egg noodles were nice and chewy and the greens fresh and still a little crispy. I would have liked to taste a bit more pork.
New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, 8pcs ($7.00)
Ah yes, Xiao Long Bao, the famous soup dumpling. Have you ever wondered how they get the soup in there? Me too, so I was glad to see my friend Lorraine’s post with a step by step guide on how to make them. Click here to read it.
I’m not sure if it was because it was a busy Saturday, but I didn’t think these were really on point. The dumpling skins were a little thick and dry and the filling was not quite as gingery as I prefer. I’m sorry to say I like the ones at Din Tai Fung better.
Steamed vegetarian dumpling, 8pcs ($7.80)
Like the Xiao Long Bao, the dumpling skins were a bit thick and dry, however the vegetable filling was very nice. They would have been perfect if the skins were silky and soft.
It’s a really buzzy atmosphere at New Shanghai Chatswood and a great option to have a restaurant experience in a food court. It’s definitely worth the trip over the bridge for more innovative dishes like the sliced stir fried rice cake noodles and interesting ingredients like sesame butter.
Although the dumplings on this occasion didn’t blow our socks off, I’m willing to go back and give them another go, you know – just to be sure – any excuse to eat dumplings!
Fig & Cherry dined as guests of New Shanghai and Wasamedia. A massive thank you to the lovely George for setting up the lunch.