Shanghai House Restaurant

Restaurant: Shanghai House Restaurant
Cuisine: Shanghai/Dim Sum/Chinese
Last visited: December 15, 2010
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: 6340 #3 Road
Price Range: $10-20, $20-30

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

Food: 5 (based on what I tried)
Service: 4
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 4.5
Additional comments:

  • Shanghainese chefs
  • Traditional Shanghainese cuisine
  • Authentic dishes
  • Homemade pastries
  • Wide variety
  • Clean & Comfortable
  • A bit fancy
  • Busy for dinner
  • Good for groups
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Chinese/English menu
  • Dim Sum/Lunch/Dinner
  • Shanghai House – Post 2

**Recommendations: Steamed Shanghai Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao/Juicy Pork Dumplings), Braised Bean Curd with Chinese Mushroom, Turnip Cake, Moon Cake stuffed with Pork Meat, Pan Fried Dumpling, Minced Beef Pastry Cake, Drunken Chicken

I’m sorry, but I need to brag. I am so lucky to have a nice group of multi-multicultural friends. On this occasion I had my Shanghainese friend take me to her favourite Shanghainese restaurant in Richmond. According to her, Shanghai House Restaurant is the most authentic Shanghainese food in Richmond. Maybe not everything on the menu is top notch, but the stuff they do well, they do very well. It’s actually a fancier restaurant, but I wouldn’t say fine dining or expensive, and the inside is much nicer than the outside.

I’ve actually been here for dinner a few times before I started blogging, but it has been a while. This time we went for dim sum, and Shanghainese dim sum is much different than your typical Chinese-Cantonese dim sum. In cases like these I have no problems letting the person of that culture do all the ordering. For me, it’s even better! It’s a great way to stray away from the typical items and get introduced to something I might not have otherwise ordered. You may notice that I recommended all the dishes that we ordered and that’s because my friend narrowed it down to the “must-try” dim sum dishes, which made things very easy for me.

There’s lots of Shanghainese restaurants in Richmond and I’ve been to Northern Delicacy, Shanghai River, Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen, Suhang Restaurant, Shanghai Wonderful, and Top Shanghai Cuisine. I don’t have a particular favourite one because they’re all a different style, but I do have favourite dishes at each. I’m probably most often at Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen (the hole in the wall/dive from the list) or Shanghai River (the formal fine dining one from the list, which is actually more Cantonese-Shanghainese though). What can I say… ? I’m a Gemini!

On the table:

**Braised Bean Curd with Chinese Mushroom – 5/6

  • $5.98
  • This is great for any vegetarian, or even meat eaters because the bean curd is quite meaty in texture and they execute it the same way they would with meat.
  • I loved this dish! It reminded me of Cantonese food, but it is authentically Shanghainese. I haven’t had it anywhere else.
  • The dish is a cold appetizer and I love mushrooms and tofu, so naturally I would enjoy this.
  • It was firm pieces of sponge-like tofu that was coarse in texture but braised in a delicious marinade. Every bite would be a super juicy burst of sweet, cold and syrupy mushroom gravy.
  • It was mixed with some shiitake (unfortunately only 1 though), and some Chinese black mushroom fungus which were thin, soft, jelly like sheets of slippery mushroom covered in sauce.
  • It was also topped with edamame beans and some peanuts. Sometimes they have Enoki mushrooms in it too.
  • Apparently this dish is even better at Northern Delicacy, but I think they call it “Vegetarian Duck” there – next time copy the Chinese letters on the menu for this item and then show Northern Delicacy so you can order it without problems and compare which is better… or is that only something I would do?
**Steamed Shanghai Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao/Juicy Pork Dumplings) – 5/6
  • 6 pcs $4.50
  • The must try item at any Shanghainese restaurant.
  • Apparently these can be a bit inconsistent here, but we had a wicked batch.
  • The soup was creamy and very flavourful with pork. The skin was thin, but still strong enough to hold the soup.
  • The meat was made with nicely ground pork which was tender and very soft and juicy in texture with a slight ginger taste.
  • My only issue is that they didn’t hold as much soup as the ones as Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen, which are my favourite – well, tied with Shanghai River, but Chen’s still have the most soup and they’re cheaper.

**Turnip Cake – 4.5/6

  • 3 pcs $4.98
  • These are only available during dim sum hours, so order them when you can. They warn you that it takes 20 min, which is a great sign because it means they’re made fresh and upon order. They have to knead the dough for these cakes.
  • I’ve had these before at a few other Shanghainese restaurants and I always enjoy them. They are very filling though and they’re completely different from the Chinese-Cantonese turnip/radish cakes.

  • This was almost like an Asian pizza pocket… not in flavour, just in theory.
  • The inside is generously stuffed with semi-crunchy shredded turnip, Chinese ham, cabbage and chives. It’s actually not that strong in flavour because there’s no heavy seasonings or sauces.
  • It has a lightly salted sauteed vegetable taste and the turnips basically taste like radishes so it has a very clean flavour. It’s a bit mild in flavour for me, but the salty bits of ham was a nice incorporation to a relatively simple mixture of veggies. I also think there’s a little dried shrimp in there because there’s a slight seafood flavour.
  • I loved the nuttiness of the sesame seeds on the pastry and the pastry itself was incredibly flaky and tender like a soft pie crust. It almost seemed like they were made with shortening because I don’t think there’s butter in any Asian cooking.
  • My friend also recommended the turnip cakes from Long’s Noodle House (Main Street, Vancouver).

**Moon Cake stuffed with Pork Meat – 5.5/6

  • 3 pcs $4.98
  • This was the most exciting for me because I would have never ever ordered it. For one, I really do not like moon cake, especially the traditional sweet ones. This one is totally different and nothing like those dense chalky sweet moon cakes – I have a whole post dedicated to the moon cake that I wrote for the Chinese Moon Festival this year – see here.
  • These are almost like the Asian version of meat pies! They’re completely savoury and so delicious, but also quite filling.

  • They’re very traditional in Shanghai and it’s even rare to find over there now. These are labour intensive and they take 20 minutes to come out as well since the dough is kneaded and made upon order again.
  • It’s a pan fried crispy pastry, but it’s much more dense and doughy than the turnip cake pastry. Again it taste like a pie crust, but it’s not flaky and more chewy.
  • The inside is a savoury, juicy and tender minced pork patty that resembles the same pork stuffing in the Shanghai steamed pork dumplings.
  • It’s my first time trying this and I have nothing to compare to, but I take it from my Shanghainese friend who says these are excellent and they’re also not available anywhere else she’s been to.

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