It was the day that Boo_licious had blogged about xiu loong bao (shanghai dumplings).
There's a problem with reading other people's blogs before lunch. You get cravings.
I had an insatiable craving for xiu loong bao.
Never underestimate the power of a food blog.
And so, in the midst of discussing compliance with financial reporting standards, we brainstormed to identify the nearest place we could get xiu loong bao. Incidentally, women are great at multi-tasking.
Several phonecalls later, we ended up at Shanghai 10 in Bangsar. Bangsar's always a convenient location. It's not too far from the city, and if you're willing to pay, parking is abundant.
The restaurant looked promising. Nice decor...dark woodgrained furniture in a modern setting with gorgeous paintings. It was packed, so I figured we had made the right decision in coming here. That's almost always the golden rule of the thumb, isn't it? If the restaurant is empty, avoid it like the plague. If it's half empty, it's a big maybe. Maybe it's a hot day and nobody wants to go out. Maybe it's raining and nobody wants to go out. Maybe...hmmm....what if.....oh well, maybe I'll eat somewhere else just to be safe. But if the restaurant is packed, there's no way in hell that the food can be bad. I'd bet the next crab meal in King Crab on this theory!
The xiu loong bao (shanghai double boiled soup dumpling) looked adorable. The minced pork filling was tasty and I found the soup inside the dumpling flavourful albeit a little salty. The skin was sufficiently thick to hold the meat and the soup inside without tearing, but not too thick as to be too chewy.
The stir-fried yam cake was nice. It was prepared in the usual manner - fried with eggs and bean sprouts with a sprinkling of chopped spring onions. Nothing outstanding in its presentation, but as far as taste goes, it was one of the best dishes that afternoon.
We ordered deep fried rolls with prawn squid and cheese. The name and description certainly seemed quite tempting. Unfortunately, the only similarity between that name and the food that we ordered was the deep fried rolls. Because it was already late and we were hungry, we each grabbed a roll, put the roll in our mouths and wondered out aloud...Where's the cheese? Where's the prawn? Did they say squid? Why do I taste tuna? Does cheese taste like tuna? There seems to be a crabstick in my roll. Why is the roll a slice of bread that had been deep fried? After several blonde minutes, we realised that it couldn't possibly have been the dish we had ordered. True enough, upon seeing our bill, I realised that they had served us tuna toast. Now which part of deep fried rolls with prawn squid and cheese sounded like tuna toast? Sigh.
The egg tartlets with special milk came piping hot. A lovely aroma of butter wafted. I found the colour of the egg filling a little too yellow. Eggs can't be this yellow. Tasting it, I enjoyed the buttery flavour of the crust, but the filling wasn't sweet enough. Sugar must have been scarce that day.
And talking about sugar, we each ordered tong sui (dessert): peanut cream, black sesame cream and seaweed red bean cream. I almost spit out my first mouthful. I usually have a certain expectation when I consume something, and I was expecting the tong sui to be sweet (duh!). Unfortunately, my bowl of seaweed red bean cream was hardly sweet and I thought maybe they had screwed up my order. I tried the other two and realised that mine was the "sweetest"!
Having read Robyn's review on Shanghai 10, I had expected all the dishes to be loaded with sugar. I can only conclude that either I have a higher tolerance for sugar, or that the restaurant had taken note of Robyn's comments and reduced the sugar in their food. I say, go ahead and reduce it, but don't completely eliminate it, people. Sigh.
I came back and promptly consumed a tablespoon of sugar to meet my minimum sugar intake.
No. 36, Jalan Telawi Dua
Bangsar Baru, 59100 KL
Tel: 03-2287 7366