Restaurant: Suhang Restaurant
Cuisine: Shanghainese/Dim Sum/Chinese
Last visited: December 2, 2010
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: #100-8291 Ackroyd Rd
Price Range: $10-20 (dim sum) $20-30+ (dinner)
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 3 (based on what I tried)
- Shanghainese chefs
- Quite hidden
- Familiar to some locals
- Dim Sim/Lunch/Dinner
- Complimentary dessert
- Serve alcohol
- Free parking
- Suhang Restaurant – Review/Visit 2
**Recommendations: Marinated Bean Curd with Special Vegetables, Steamed Soup Buns with Pork Filling, Drunken Chicken, Shredded Beef with Chili & Brown Sauce
Suhang has been on my radar for the last month since I was given recommendations to pay it a visit for a while now. It’s quite hidden, but well known to the Chinese locals in Richmond. Actually I can’t even say it’s that “well known” because it’s been here for a few years now and I’ve never even paid attention to it. My parents knew of its existence, but it was never on my hit list until recently. The inside is actually quite spacious and it’s clean and comfortable which you can’t tell from the outside.
The juicy gossip behind these juicy pork dumplings is that the owners, and I think some of the cooks, are ex employees from Shanghai River, which is Richmond’s most popular and famous Shanghainese restaurants. Shanghai River is a fine dining Shanghainese restaurant and it’s been named “Best Shanghainese” by various media. The restaurants are not associated by any means, but knowing this fact makes Suhang so much more appealing since it’s also slightly cheaper and more casual. It’s only given that one would assume that they were serving the same product for a cheaper price… right?
I came here fore Shanghainese dim sum/lunch and the place was decently busy without having to wait for seats. I had high hopes for it, but perhaps I ordered the wrong things. The menu is big enough that I would come back and try other things that I missed, but I wasn’t impressed with the items I had. It is quite cheap and affordable though considering the ambiance, so I would go back to make a bigger dent and the loss isn’t really that much. It was decent and pretty good value, but I find there’s better Shanghainese elsewhere, or at least for dim sum.
On the table:
**Marinated Bean Curd with Special Vegetables – 6/6
- This is a very typical and traditional appetizer that’s almost like a salad in Shanghai.
- I love it! One of my favourite dishes and it’s made excellent here.
- The first time I tried it in Vancouver was at Chen’s Shanghai Kitchen and I fell in love with it there. I actually think the dish is better at Suhang, although they’re both excellent. I ordered it at Shanghai River too and I didn’t like it there – see here.
- It’s served cold and it’s a very finely minced salad made with a vegetable that tastes like Chinese Celery (strong flavoured celery with watercress qualities), firm tofu, dried bean curd skins and preserved salty Chinese radish (the brown specs you see – I love them!).
- The texture is very crumbly, but not dry and it’s soft from the tofu and bean curd yet crunchy from all the fresh vegetables. It comes across as ground up scrambled eggs with veggies.
- The flavour tastes like watercress with a bit of celery taste and it’s also mixed with a splash of vinegar so it’s slightly tangy as well.
- It’s nice and light and I could eat the whole dish alone. It’s eaten with vinegar as the dressing which actually makes it taste sweeter, but I prefer it plain.
Steamed Soup Buns with Pork Filling – 4.5/6
- 6 pcs $4.95 (See here for most recent visit for these)
- Also known as xiao long bao or some white folk call them “juicy pork buns/dumplings”.
- This is the staple item to order at any Shanghainese restaurant.
- They were very good, but I didn’t find them the best in Richmond, although I haven’t tried them all. I liked the ones from Chen’s Shanghai and Shanghai Wonderful better. Although my favourite are probably the ones from Shanghai River still. Although recycled staff, they still taste different.
- The broth was creamy and hot and almost thick. It had great flavour and richness, but I didn’t find the buns actually held much soup relative to other places.
- The meat was tender, but almost coarsely ground pork so they tasted very meaty and almost quite fatty with the pork they used. It is normally made with fatty pork, but this one wasn’t as delicately executed and a bit chewy, but it did carry a subtle taste of ginger which was nice.
- A thin skin that is still strong enough to hold the soup is key to a xiao long bao – the one here was pretty thin and good, but not as chewy as I would like.
Chinese Ham & Shrimp with Sticky Rice – 1.5/6
- 3 pcs $4.50
- This is a dish to order during dim sum. It’s the Shanghainese version of the Cantonese Chinese style steamed pork and shrimp dumplings popularly known as shao mai.
- It was overcooked so the sticky rice had dried out a bit and the shrimp was severely overcooked and tough as well.
- The rice alone had a smoky flavour with a bit of mushroom and Chinese “ham” or sausage which was so little that I could barely taste it.
- Overall it has a rather mushy texture and filling and not much flavour.
- You have to eat it with their homemade fermented soy bean chili paste, which is given upon request and complimentary.
- The soy bean chili paste is a very potent and pungent sauce that is very salty, tangy followed by a spiciness that is also sweet. I love it, but it needs to be used sparingly (more so because it’s salty than spicy) and it does taste very good with the sticky rice.
Fried Sesame Cake with Pork Sung – 1.5/6
- This was pretty disappointing and too bad too because it looked exciting. What I actually meant to order was a flatter sesame pancake stuffed with saucy minced pork meat. Oops, that was on the next page.
- I still love “pork sung” which is dried pork fluff. It’s pretty much a pulled pork jerky that tastes like fluffy savoury cotton balls and Asian kids grow up with it – especially as a filling in their sandwiches.
- Anyways the dish is bread, not a cake. It’s an overwhelming amount of bread too.
- The bread was dense and over fried to the point of being incredibly dry and actually hard. I had crows feet by the time I finished chewing it and there was hardly any flavour to compensate for it too.
- I couldn’t taste the green onion filling stuffed in it either because it had dried out as well.
- Overall it was dry bread with dry pork fluff, so there was a desperate cry of water.
- The best part was the nutty sesame crust which I ripped off and ate alone. I also ate the pork fluff alone, but it wasn’t the best brand so even that wasn’t as tasty.
House Specials Noodle Soup – 2/6
- I’m sure they mean house special not “specials” noodle soup. $6.50
- It’s a big portion and the noodles are filling and expand. It’s a good deal, but taste wise it was okay.
- My biggest problem here is that the noodles aren’t hand pulled! Boo!
- The noodles were soft and not chewy, but they should be if they were hand pulled. They probably could do it, but just don’t have the volume to invest in the labour.
- The “house specials” is pretty much 8 treasures, which is a common Shanghainese mixture served on noodles or rice. It actually wasn’t that special.
- The toppings included red and green bell peppers, frozen shrimps, peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, mini cubes of firm tofu & mini cubes of stewed pork butt.
- The pork butt pieces were fatty, but tender and not very chewy which is good. The flavours of the toppings aren’t incorporated into the flavour of the soup, but just served on top. That’s how it’s meant to be though.
- The flavour of the soup was a bit bland with a little bit of chili oil to add some spice and maybe a hint of water chestnut taste. It’s not really that spicy at all though. I couldn’t taste any pork flavour in the broth either.
- I didn’t really care for this, although it’s well worth it for the price if you’re looking to get full of a mediocre noodle and soup bowl.
Fried Dumpling with Red Bean Paste – n/a
- 6 pcs $6.50
- I didn’t order this, but I saw it being brought out and I had to stop them and get a photo.
- They looked like donuts and I was excited about them until I found out the filling was red bean paste. Gross. Sorry I’m biased, I’ve never been a fan of it.
- Who doesn’t like free dessert, that actually tastes good too? This one was great and they give it at the end of every meal.
- It was a home made layered coconut jello and the top layer was creamy and almost like foamy coconut cream bubbles. I loved the soft texture with the gelatin like layers underneath.
- It could have been more sweet though, it was really light and barely sweet at all which is ideal for most Asian taste buds – just not mine, although I still enjoyed this.
Yes, finally a review of the Suhang. I really like some of their dishes: braised pork belly appetizer, I really like the xiao long bao, and I think their extensive menu( I see some dishes there which aren’t on other Shanghai menus) is sometimes a hit and miss; the beef wrap is good; some of their hot pot dishes are good…tsk, tsk, never order a take on Cantonese food in a Shanghai restaurant.
@Bow – Yes! I was hoping you’ve been, so that you could give me some recommendations. You really got me on that one… except I didn’t order the shiu mai 😉 So am I still in your good books? Ok beef wrap and pork belly… I can do that on my own I think… hot pot I’ll have to get a bigger group. Thanks so much Bow! You’re awesome!
The Chinese Ham & Shrimp with Sticky Rice dish is actually quite bang on. The true Shanghaiese style of Shaomai has thick wrap skin. The filling has a lot of flavors that is very typical for Shanghaiese taste. 😉 so I would give a 5/6. We’ll have to go back there for some dinner dishes. There’s quite a good selection i spotted.
@miss Jane – see I found the Chinese Ham & Shrimp with Sticky Rice incredibly dry. Is it usually that dry in Shanghai? I really think they over steamed it becuase the prawn was overcooked for sure. Was yours dry? I also didn’t find them that flavourful… but yes! I agree, we should explore more dinner dishes.