The One With Shanghai Lo – Surprising Restaurant Packing Quite A Punch

It wasn’t exactly love at first sight.

As we stepped into the restaurant, the somewhat gloomy interior and dark furnishing reminded me strongly (for some strange reasons) of a karaoke lounge. Granted, Shanghai Lo is probably very new, and the deco – contemporary Chinese with hard straight lines exuded a vibe of privacy and seclusion. The cubicle tables comfortably seats four though most were used by couples, and I saw some very promising private rooms perfect for a small group gatherings. It was buzzy without being too noisy.

The One With Shanghai Lo

But I wasn’t there to comment on its interior. The tasting menu ($368 per pax) looked very pretty good, so we went for those.

The One With Shanghai Lo

The platter of assorted delicacies were a mix of hits and misses. I particularly enjoyed the rich peanuty taste of sautéed bean sheets with shredded chicken, which was served cold with sliced jellyfish. The “drunken chicken” – huadiao wine marinated chicken – turned the whole plate of starters very Shanghainese. The tea leaf smoked egg had a very strong aftertaste yet the yolk was still runny. Misses: we didn’t quite liked the black fungus with aged vinegar, which could be a little more sour. The green bamboo shoots salad tasted too bland.

The One With Shanghai Lo

The steamed egg white with crab broth was surprisingly good. Though the egg white itself could be smoother, the crab broth was rich but not overly oily. It was a winning combination.

The One With Shanghai Lo

Stir-fried crab with onion and pepper was like under-the-bridge crab variety – minus the enjoyment. The crab was deep fried so much so that you thought you can eat the crispy shell too, but it was just too hard. The garlic, salt and pepper were dry to the point of irritating – I was nursing a slight cough and each bite started off a wheezing marathon. I like my crabs but this didn’t get my vote.

The One With Shanghai Lo

What stole the limelight of the night was the delightful combination of braised ham with honey-osamanthus sauce and shanghainese buns. The crispy beancurd with the velvety soft buns brought out a nice contrast in texture against each other, and the salty ham and sweet sauce were a whirlwind of flavour. Pity there wasn’t more of this – I devoured every bite as carefully and as devoutly as I could.

The One With Shanghai Lo

Yet another winner of the night was the stir-fried egg noodle in black truffle. The truffle taste was very strong but overly intense, balanced very well with slightly oiled egg noodle.

The One With Shanghai Lo

The steam pork dumpling (singular) was a work of perfection. We counted more than eighteen fold of the skin which was just thin enough to contain the meat and juice inside. Topped up with just a little sliced ginger and vinegar, it was best enjoyed in one single slurp.

The One With Shanghai Lo

The meal was round off with Shanghai Lo sweet temptations – egg white balls filled with custards and osamanthus jelly. I want to sing joy and praises for the fluffy light egg white balls with its deligtful salty yolk custard within, but I guess my photo shot (for once) did the food justice.

The One With Shanghai Lo

Verdict? Shanghai Lo packed a few surprises up its sleeves, and I learned not to judge a restaurant merely by its first impression.

Shanghai Lo
1/F, 5 Tonnochy Road
Wan Chai
Tel: +852 3125 3232
shanghailo.com.hk

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