Journey from a food-court into the dark, moody street-scape of a 1930s Shanghai movie set...
...with cobblestones, old poster ads, a cast iron and wood gate and a blood red glow from a tempting private dining room.
Watch live dumpling theatre where white-clad women in clinical masks pleat dumplings with precision.
The signature Pan Fried Pork Buns ($9.20/8 pieces) are fluffy with pan-crisped golden bottoms and moist, tender pork filling. Beware the explosive hot broth they contain; best tempered with a small squirt of vinegar then eaten with care.
Our efficient waitress looks askance when we order the Braised Beef with Cold Noodle ($9). Cold noodles are one way the Chinese conquer extreme temperatures. These come with a peanut butter and vinegar sauce that owner John Chen explains is “one of the all time favourite sauces in Shanghai”.
It springs up in a lot of dishes, with a sesame nut version on the popular Shepherd’s Purse and Pork Wontons ($9.80/10 pieces).
Stir Fried Spinach With Garlic ($9.80) provides a bit of welcome relief from a salty, filling plate of Deep Fried Prawns in Salted Egg Yolk ($22.80). The almost sandy texture makes a Tsing Tao Beer ($7) welcome.
It’s challenging food for the Western palate, but the brave are rewarded handsomely.
New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
Lower Ground, Chatswood Chase, 345 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Ph: (02) 9412 3358