Chen’s Shanghai Restaurant has been around for quite some time now. My last visit was back in 2013 with a few foodie friends to chow down on their XLBs. This time, I’ve returned with the ChineseBites crew to try out a lot more items off their menu.
The restaurant decor isn’t fancy, but people just come here for the Shanghainese food. There are lots of large round tables for large groups.
We started off with the Deluxe Appetizer Platter, which was Jelly Pork, Smoked Pomfret in Sweet Brown Sauce, Mixed Malantou with Sliced Dried Bean Curd, Jellyfish with Green Onion Oil, and the Shanghai Style Marinated Bran Dough.
All typical items that appear in these grand platters. The Mixed Malantou with Sliced Dried Bean Curd needed a bit more salt or sesame oil to bring out more flavour.
Their famous Xiao Long Bao (XLB) are steam pork buns. They were large, had a nice thin skin, but could have used a bit more soup inside.
Shanghai Style Spring Rolls, Radish Pastry and Baked Pastry with Beef all came on one platter. All of the items were nice and crisp. Of the 3, my favourite was the radish pastry.
Sticky Rice Roll with Pork Floss and Pan Fried Pork Dumplings also came together on one plate, but I’m sure normally it’s not.
The pan-fried pork dumpling has a thick skin, so it takes away from the enjoyment of the dumpling.
The Sticky Rice Roll with Pork Floss was very one dimensional. it would be better if there was something else to go with this.
House Special Wonton and Chicken Hotpot was really good and you can see the whole chicken right in the pot. I thought it was well balanced and delicious.
Crab with Edamame and Rice Cake in House Special Sauce had a delicious sauce covering all those rice cakes. The rice cakes were gobbled up very quickly, but getting at those crab legs were difficult since the sauce makes holding on to the legs slippery.
House Special Spicy Lobster was easier to get at the meat inside. I liked the amount of spice and it worked very well.
Pork Spareribs with Brown Vinegar Sauce was very tough. I had a hard time biting off the meat around the bones. The sauce was also very sticky and sweet.
Tea Smoked Chicken was good. Lots of smoky flavour seeped into the skin and meat. I liked it.
Deep Fried Breaded Fish with Grounded Seaweed was ok, I have found that other restaurant prepare this dish a bit better. It seemed limp and soggy. The batter could have used a bit more salt too.
Tiger Prawns and Eggplant in Hot Garlic Sauce Hot Pot was a good dish, but I think we needed some rice on the side to go with it as it had a good amount of sauce. If you do order this dish, grab some rice.
House Special Spicy Beef had a good amount of kick to this dish. The beef was tender, but a bit oily.
Beijing Style Pork Slices with Wraps was a fun dish to have. You put a little bit of everything in the wrap and eat it. The pork had a nice flavour and balanced with the cucumber slice.
House Special Crispy Noodle was very crispy. They really weren’t kidding. There wasn’t enough sauce to soften up the noodles. It was like eating a stir fry with a brick of ramen underneath.
Egg White Puff Stuffed with Red Bean Paste was ok, but I didn’t really take a liking to it. I just don’t really like sweet and savoury things mixing together like this.
Overall, some dishes were hits and some were misses. You definitely need to know what their specialties are before coming to dine here. The XLBs, Beijing Style Pork Slices with Wraps, Salty Soy Milk, and Deep Fried Man Tou.
We Rate Chen’s Shanghai Restaurant:
8095 Park Rd