Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hong Kong - ye Shanghai 夜上海

From what little I know about Shanghainese cuisine, Ye Shanghai could in my book, be considered one of the pioneers in modernising the cuisine for today's more health-conscious palates - little less sweet and a little leess oily. It's not going to classify as health food, but it certainly is going to leave you a little less heavy after a typical Shanghai dinner.

The smoked egg is possibly one of the better ones around - with a very moist centre and a subtle smokiness. If you're not an egg lover, you'd think it's just another hard boiled egg but if you appreciate eggs, the methodology behind it is something unique to the Shanghainese and a source of pride in getting it just right.

For the summer, a more luxurious version of the standard cold noodles - Seafood cold noodles. The generous toppings of shrimp, scallops, and clams added to the freshness of the appetising noodles, which comes with 4 sauces for you to add to taste, depending on what you fancy - sweet hoisin sauce, sesame sauce, soya sauce and chilli oil. The taste options are limitless. And you can add as you go along too!

The Shanghainese cabbage, made tastier with salted pork and ultra smooth tofu in a tasty superior stock, was better than most and although I don't ueually make a huge fuss about vegetables, I thought this was worth more than a mention.

The minced chicken and pine nuts served with sesame pockets is a huge winner with most although after you have had the hairy crab version in the autumn, this becomes ordinary. But worth a try if you've never had it but remember to eat it as soon as it arrives at your table since the pockets go flacid pretty quickly.

The usual winner of stir fried river shrimps with Long Jing tea leaves was a tad oily last night and therefore disappointing.

The other dish of Jin Hua ham with a crispy bean curd sheet served between a steamed Chinese bun in an osthmantus honey did not taste as good as it looked. But if they had used better cut of the ham and bean curd sheets, this is usually a great sandwich to dig into also.

Desserts were very mediocre - so while the glutinous rice balls in fermented rice wine and osthmantus was decent, the red bean pancakes were not fried in the freshest of oil. Edible but not worth the calories to finish.

I still perfer the Pacific Place branch and have had better experiences there but if you're shoping in the Harbour City complex and crave Shanghainese in a comfortable setting, the HongKong hotel branch is still worth a visit.

6/F, The Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: +852-2376 3322

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