Shanghai River – Review 2

Tan Tan Noodles

Restaurant: Shanghai River
Cuisine: Shanghainese/Chinese/Asian/Dim Sum
Last visited: Multiple – October 17, 09
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: 7831 Westminster Hwy
Price Range: $20-30

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5
Service: 3
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Known as the best/Richmond’s most popular Shanghai restaurants
  • Higher end Shanghai/Chinese Restaurant in Vancouver/Richmond
  • Hit or miss items – but when it’s a hit it’s a big hit!
  • Busy/Crowded/Line-ups all the time
  • Reservations recommended
  • Menu in Chinese and English – some pictures
  • Shanghainese staff in front and in kitchen
  • Very popular to locals/Chinese/main stream/tourists
  • Should go with at least 8 ppl – how the menu/portions are designed
  • Visible “Xiao Long Bao” (famous steamed pork dumplings) making station
  • Dishes meant to be shared
  • Private dining room available
  • Shanghai River – Review 1
  • Shanghai River – Review 3

**Recommendation: Steamed mini pork dumplings “Xiao Long Bao“, braised eggplant with chili sauce, deep fried crab with chili & garlic, hot and sour soup

After talking to my friend from Shanghai I have learned that Shanghai River is not really authentic Shanghainese food. It’s still good, but just not authentic because it’s catered to Cantonese tastes. I can see where she’s coming from because I’ve been to Shanghai and when comparing the food I get it. They do need to cater to the tastes of the majority so being in Richmond – it’s no doubt that the food will have a Chinese/Cantonese flair.

For the record we ordered 16 steamed mini pork dumplings aka “xiao long bao” between 2 people. Don’t think we missed out! 😉 I just didn’t bother to write about it again because it’s already in my 1st review for the restaurant.

On the table:

Pan Fried Pea Tips6/6 (Just depends on if you like the veggie though)

  • These are stir-fried snow pea tips. I love this vegetable. It has the flavour of snow peas and the texture of a firmer and sturdier spinach. It kind of tastes like it too, but better.
  • They make it really well here and it’s a simple recipe, but who cares when it’s good. You get a lot of it too, a nice pile enough for 4-6 no problem.
  • It’s not oily even though it’s pan-fried and they saute it with a light soy sauce to give it some saltiness and flavour. Nice and healthy .
  • They style if more Chinese than Shanghainese.

Tan Tan Noodles4.5/6

  • “Tan Tan noodles” or “Dan Dan noodles”, it’s the same thing.
  • This is the most unique way I’ve seen tan tan noodles done. There’s definitely a professional chef in the kitchen and his take on it was solid – although I don’t know how “authentic” it was .
  • I have no idea how he made the soup base. It was served with this thick creamy and frothy layer – it looked like a latte! It was really flavourful and I think it could have been a mix of sesame and peanut butter sauce. There were some finely ground peanuts, but not enough of them. There was also lots of finely ground black pepper which is different because usually it’s just spicy from all the chili oil they use.
  • It wasn’t actually that spicy for me. It wasn’t that oily either, which means it wasn’t as “authentic” because Shanghai food, and especially this dish, is really really heavy with oil. This is traditionally supposed to be served with red chilies too, and those were nowhere to be found. Nonetheless I still though the soup tasted great.
  • The sliced cucumbers are great because it lightens up the dish and cuts through all the richness and spiciness.
  • The noodles are nice and fresh and made in house. They absorb really easily though and got soft quick.
  • The could have used more mince pork because there wasn’t that much at all. Actually everything was just a bit too minced and finely ground…it almost became powdery. The pork was so minced it blended in with the peanuts.

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