EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at New Shanghai Courtesy of ID Collective
And its time for Yum Cha! On behalf of ID Collective, New Shanghai invited us to have a sample of their menu. It was buzzling on the day we came, and I was surprised that we were even invited because they had all the crowd in the world so why would they need us? On a side note I should shut it and just be grateful for the warmth welcome. After visiting New Shanghai for the first time this afternoon, I could totally understand the hype and swarming crowds. I mean, I am definitely coming back again and again even as an unemployed having to penny pinch on my tight student budget. I conclude spending money on New Shanghai is money well spent. But really, having yum cha here is rather affordable, it is only more pricey if you order mains to share, but that’s understandable right? We were pretty lucky to have been able to skip all that queue, but I reckon if you want to get a seat without waiting, always come in before lunch or dinner time.
Chefs hard at work folding dumplings. I love how the kitchen is open and transparent for diners to watch. I was extremely contented with the clean work environment. You know my OCD of having have to have everything neat, tidy and organised, so seeing this makes me feel relieved that my dumplings were in proper care and handled systematically.
Even though this place is massive, tables get filled up really quickly. After customers leave a table, comes in another batch of them, all rushed and no pause. We sat in the middle of the restaurant and could observe clearly about everything that was going on. We were extremely impressed that even though the crowd was huge and needy, the staffs seemed to handle them well.
White Tea 白茶, Cup: 4AUD/Pot: 6.50AUD
We had a pot of white tea to start. The teapot is refillable for as many times as you want at no extra charge.
Hot tea in this freezing weather, yes please.
New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Mini Pork Bun (8pcs) 小籠包, 8.60AUD
The XLBs was juicy with warm broth that explodes in the mouth. I like biting a small piece and suck the broth out before gobbling up the whole bun. Many do not know this but the key to having liquid inside the bun is that the soup was actually solid at room temperature and it melts as the dumplings are steamed. I love that the skin is of the perfect thinness, but still sturdy enough that it did not break when lifted up with a chopstick. The pork meats inside were also savoury and not under or overcooked.
Prawn Wonton Tossed With Peanut Butter, Red Chilli Oil & Spice (10pcs) 紅油抄手(蝦肉), 16.30AUD
We were also dazzled with the quality of the Prawn Wontons and who knew they would pair well with peanut butter sauce. The cucumber really adds on to the freshness and it tasted extremely well with that hint of chili spice in that sourish soy from the sauce. The prawns in each individual wonton was also huge and extremely succulent.
Deep Fried Calamari Coated With Salted Egg Yolk 鹹蛋黃魷魚, 22.50AUD
Calamari and salted egg yolk looks so incredibly flirtatious on the menu and that was the first thing we ordered before all else. There is also prawn coated with salted egg yolk, but the thought of having to perhaps peel prawn shells turned our heads away. These calamari heads were the diggity bomb! The richness of the yolk colour evens out nicely with the every squid meat, and there was a pool of salted egg yolk leftovers that we eventually obliterated. The salted yolk really elevated the traditional squid meat. Jan said he could almost feel the heart attack arising given the amount of salted egg yolk they used. Next time though, it’ll be more than the two of us so it will not be too sinful.
New Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Bun (8pcs) 生煎包, 11.80AUD
These buns are called ‘Sheng Jian Bao’ in Mandarin. These pork buns were pan fried to achieve that crispy fried bottom. Someone once told me that if you are not eating them fresh from the steamer, you might as well not have it at all. So don’t wait too long on the table, have it right away when it is served. These buns have lesser soup and also appear bigger than the XLBs. Our favourite part was the well turned out crispy bun. I love especially the part at the bottom when the skin slightly caramelised.
Shaved Ice With Sweet Green Beans & Ice Cream 雪糕绿豆冰, 7AUD
We wanted a simple dessert because we were pretty stuffed from the four big plates we wiped clean. We shared a cup of green beans on ice with vanilla ice cream on top. It looks ordinary and it does not appear outstanding in any way. I mistook it for the snow-iced ice that we wanted. Surprisingly, the taste grew on us with every bite and the combination of those three ingredients were sweet and decadent. This cup of shaved ice green beans on ice was a really good mouthwasher from all the heavy ginger and vinegar components that were present in most of the mains that we had.
Overall we really enjoyed every dish we picked. That being said, all that we ordered were the ones highlighted and recommended by the waiter serving us. Hence, if you are ever at New Shanghai, I highly recommend these ones, alongside other signature dishes as well.
The interior is beautiful as it was decorated in a traditional, casual yet modern way. I love the use of squared stone tiles and we can imagine ourselves eating casual yum cha alongside streets of Shanghai. The red window panes also scream China and this auspicious colour is bold and a statement piece to the restaurant. We also loved the casual wordings on the wall that says ‘我爱饺子’, which means ‘I love dumplings’. I know, I know… my mandarin is not failing me just yet.
Service wise, it was expeditious and prompt. Not just to us, but we observed how our surrounding customers seemed pleased with the quality of service. There is a reason why this restaurant is always hustling and bustling with crowd and huge energy. The chefs and waiters all seemed passionate about their food and you can clearly judge the quality of it on the plates. Shanghai is almost synonymous to yum cha and we love the fact that Emporium brings a peace of the mainland to the land down under.
287 Lonsdale Street
Shop 323 Level 3 Emporium Mall, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Tel: +(61) 03 9994 9386
Mon to Wed: 10am-7pm
Thu to Fri: 10am-9pm
Sat to Sun: 10am-7pm