New Shanghai’s CBD restaurant on the lower ground of Westfield Sydney has only been open for less than a fortnight, and it’s already pumping out dumplings with a vengeance.
On a Thursday evening, we step into the bustling restaurant that’s been decked out with imported Chinese furnishings. Everything from the shutters and lanterns to the 19th Century door was brought over from China to theme the eatery authentically.
With chefs at the helm who formerly led Lotus Dumpling Bar and Lok Lok Dumpling Bar, the menu still follows the traditions and recipes passed down from generations of the New Shanghai family who own and operate the business to this day.
The handcrafted pork buns are New Shanghai’s specialty. Each bun is painstakingly folded more than 30 times – and you can event watch this in action through the live theatre.
The garlic cucumber ($5.50) is a fresh way to start. The cucumber is pickled and served as deseeded batons. I personally would have amped up on the garlic, but I love garlic a lot, so the subtlety might appeal to others.
The best dish at New Shanghai is definitely the pan fried pork buns ($11.80) with their perfectly crispy bottoms and fluffy pastry. These hot parcels have a tasty broth inside too (watch out – it’s scorching hot).
The xiao long bao (soupy pork dumplings $8.60) are flavoursome bundles of joy. The hot soup inside is spot on, but the pastry is on the thicker side. So if you like your XLB skins thin, order something else.
There’s something comforting and moreish about salt and pepper tofu ($16), and here they’re fantastic. The crispy tofu cubes have a silky centre, and are strewn with a healthy sprinkling of spring onion, garlic, chilli and fried shallots on top.
A generous plate of rice cakes with pork and XO sauce ($16) is next on the agenda. The slippery rice cakes have the perfect chew factor, and there’s a slight chilli kick from the XO sauce.
Last but not least is dessert. We share the shaved ice with an assortment of fruit ($14 serves 2-3, but realistically more like 3-4). The mountain of ice is loaded up with kiwi, strawberries and mango, and at the pinnacle a scoop of vanilla ice cream sits triumphantly.
Address: Westfield Sydney, Shop 1017-1020, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney