Category Archives: Shanghainese

My Jesse 吉士 obsession – Shanghai

Seriously, the only reason why I fly to Shanghai yearly is for Jesse 吉士.  The food is amazing.. …as evidenced by the outpouring of my devotion in my previous posts:  200920102012 and 2012.

This time, we went to Jesse’s for dinner all 3 nights we were in Shanghai! But what made this time extra special was that I persuaded my BFF to make a 10 hour stop in Shanghai before taking the connecting flight to Zhengzhou… Why? so we could dine at my favourite restaurant together!

A compilation of what we ate all 3 nights:

kao fu..

jelly fish head in vinegar..

ma lan tou….

salted chicken…

sauteed river shimp..

braised pork with squid 

braised amaranth with ginger..

braised fish head with scallions…

dates stuffed with glutinous rice…

glutinous rice dumplings in sweet rice wine..  The only time I tried this was the last night of my last visit.. and I only ordered 1 small bowl.  I’ve been dreaming of this for the past year.. so this time, I ordered the XXXXL version with 10+ bowls!

the new items we tried this time:

pan-fried crab… loved the presentation.. so colourful!

sauteed crab meat and roe with river shimp…. I don’t like this combo because the crab roe overpowers the sweetness of the shrimp..

Ji Shi fried rice.. perfect texture and flavour! but slightly oily…

fish (carp) soup… this was so creamy, sweet and flavourful!  I like this more than their chicken soup. My VVIP foodie uncle said that he calls a day early to request this soup to be made with other seafood… I need to try that combo next time!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Jesse 吉士

No. 41, Tianping Road, Shanghai

Tel: +86-21-6282-9260

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Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 – Seattle

I haven’t been down to Bellevue since Din Tai Fung opened a few years ago.  As a die-hard DTF fan,  this is totally unacceptable so I finally made the 3 hr trip down to Bellevue!

I encountered a bit of a culture-shock at this American outlet.  Instead of the minimalist decor of the Asian branches, this branch has a bar, with ESPN showing on the plasma tvs.  The servers wore black outfits (mini skirts too!) instead of the traditional Chinese outfits in white.  Not being racist but just observant, the majority of the servers and chefs (who wrap the xiaolongbao) are Hispanic.  When I was ordering, I started saying xiaolongbao.. but then realized that my waiter didn’t understand Mandarin and had to think for a split second what xiaolongbao is in English!

IMG_7690we ordered the normal xiaolongbao and the crab roe one

Compared to the xiaolongbao in Asia, the ones here had the same thin dumpling skin, same amount of soup but the meat didn’t taste as good.  Also, for some reason, my chopsticks kept on sticking to the dumpling skin.

IMG_7695as you can see.. the crab roe xiao long bao was extremely dry and only a dash of roe…

IMG_7694The pork chop noodles were disappointing… the pork chop wasn’t  fried to golden perfection and it wasn’t served separately…

IMG_7699the fried rice tasted like in Asia!

IMG_7698the dan dan noodles tasted like in Asia!

IMG_7702I’ve never seen sesame dumplings on the menu at DTF, only sesame bun.  There was a lot of sesame filling, but unfortunately, this was tooooooooo sweet and the dumpling skin was dried up.

The quality of this DTF branch isn’t up to par to the Asian branches but when compared to other Shanghainese restaurants I’ve tried in America, DTF Bellevue is probably the best.  Pricewise, it’s the same as in Asia.

FAIM? oui oui??

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

700 Bellevue Way Northeast  Bellevue, WA 98004, United States
+1 425-698-1095

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐 – Shanghai

As usual, Mom had to have her Din Tai Fung fix in Shanghai.  We waited for a 5 person table for over half an hour….. I brought it up and they were nice enough to give us a 10 person table in a private room (provided that we finish eating in an hour)!

drunken chicken.. the best marinated drunken chicken.. so rich and flavourful!

malantou

smoked fish… very flavourful and sweet..but not too dry!

crab roe xiaolongbao… not as good as Jia Jia’s pure crab meat & roe dumpling!  We also ordered the regular meat xiaolongbao..

plain egg fried rice….

pork and vegetable bun

mini sesame buns

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Din Tai Fung 鼎泰豐

2F, Unit 11A, South Block, Xintiandi Mall

Lan Xin 兰心餐厅 – Shanghai

This time, I found another famous hole-in-the-wall authentic Shanghainese restaurant, Lan Xin 兰心餐厅.  Apparently, it’s a favourite of Faye Wong, the uber famous Chinese songstress.  It’s located down the road from Hai Jin Zi 海金滋….Jinxian Lu is becoming a hipster/foodie street in Shanghai!

It’s pretty interesting to see all the expensive European cars drive up to Lan Xin, roll down the windows, and request to be on the waiting list.

There’s only 6 tiny tables inside on the ground floor but when it gets too busy, they open up their home on the 2nd floor!

steamed clams… slightly overcooked

hongshao rou… this was so good we had to order another dish!  The pork was so tender and the sauce was so flavourful.  This version has green peppers, which gave the sauce a bit of a sweet peppery kick.

jiang ya (braised duck leg)……the duck wasn’t fatty so it was kind of tough.  I thought this dish was served cold intentionally but then I realized that they cooked it a while back…….

you bao xia (pan fried river shimps)…this was cold too…. such a disappointment…

ganshao chang yu (fried pomfret in spicy sauce)…. pretty delicious!

yendu xian (soup with bamboo shoots, knots of pressed tofu, salted ham, and fresh pork)……

alfalfa..

The restaurant only gets a so-so on my list… even though the food tasted really good and was flavourful, some dishes were served cold 😦

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Lan Xin 兰心餐厅

130 Jinxian Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu 进贤路130号,近茂名南路

+86 21 6253 3554

Yang’s Fry Dumplings 小楊生煎館 – Shanghai

Even though I was already full from the decadent pure crab meat & roe soup dumplings, I could not ignore Yang’s Dumpling, which was directly across the street from Jia Jia.

Yang has completely redone it’s branding…

it’s so upscale.. when compared to its street-food origins…

yumm! my favourite shenjianbao!  crispy skin and lots of soup! I don’t know if I’m getting more health conscious but it seems to me the meat is a lot fattier than before….

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Yang’s Fry Dumplings 小楊生煎館

97 Huanghe Road

Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包 – Shanghai

I purposely withheld myself from eating crazy at Canton so that I could feast on the pure crab meat and roe soup dumpling at Jia Jia Tang Bao.  The last and only time we tried Jia Jia, we didn’t order the pure crab soup dumpling as it costed 88 RMB, a far cry from the 19.5 RMB crab roe xiaolongbao. We weren’t gonna splurge that kind of money on street food.. but boy were we wrong! Apparently, foodies come to Jia Jia mostly for their pure crab soup dumpling.  This time, I made sure to try it… I’ve been regretting it for the past 2 years!

no line up!!! last time we lined up for half an hour!

so famous! CNNGO and tripadvisor winner!

seaweed and tofu strips soup

xiaolongbao… the skin is thin (but not as thin as Din Tai Fung), has a lot of soup but the meat has a “not-too-fresh” taste…

pure crab meat and roe soup dumplings… should have ate it 2 years ago.. now it costs 99RMB!   We saw them wrap this.. they scooped a lot of  crab meat and roe!  It’s larger that the xiaolongbaos so  they steam it in 2 bamboo steamers.

This is pure heaven!!!!! only crab meat and roe in the dumpling… and it tasted very fresh!   soooo sooooooo sooooo good!!!!!!! OMG!

On the last day, my dad surprised me with my special breakfast.. the crab meat/roe dumplings!

look at the gigantic piece of roe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apparently, you can call a day earlier and they’ll freeze the dumplings for you to bring back to your home country.  We didn’t know or else I would have asked them to freeze a few dozens for me!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包

90 Huanghe road., Shanghai

Tel: 63276878

Wang Bao He Restaurant 王宝和 – Shanghai

In 2010, mom and I were in Shanghai at the start of crab season.  We went to Xin Guang restaurant (新光), a famous restaurant for hairy crab.  We didn’t like it because there’s a minimum charge of 400RMB per person, there were only us and 2 other Japanese tourists, and the 200 RMB crab didn’t have a lot of roe.

This time, we were in Shanghai in the middle of hairy crab season!  I decided to eat at another restaurant famous for hairy crab..Wang Bao He.  It started as a rice wine shop way back in 1744 but it’s now famous for everything related to crab.  The restaurant was all packed when we dined there! Unlike Xin Guang, which caters to expats and tourists, the diners at Wang Bao He were mainly all locals.

baohe chicken in yellow wine... I read that its chicken was famous before it was famous for crabs… it’s ok…

preserved yellow croaker in liquor

hairy crab! For the 5 of us, we ordered 3 males crabs and 2 female crabs, which meant I got 1 male AND 1 female crab!  The male crab had more meat and the crab roe was the harder type (like salty egg yolk) while the female crab was smaller and the crab roe was the runny-egg type.  I would have imagined/liked to have more crab roe.. since I’m eating at the best-of-the-best hairy crab specialty restaurant and paying almost 200 RMB per crab!

tofu with crab roe… very watery and very little crab roe… Jesse does a better job…

braised baby bak choy with crab roe… there is no crab roe!

fried noodles with shrimps and crab roe

not too impressed… I should have listened to my foodie uncle’s suggestion to eat hairy crab at Jesse!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Wang Bao He Restaurant 王宝和

603 Fuzhou Lu, near Zhejiang Zhong Lu 福州路603号, 近浙江中路

+86 21 6322 3673