Update – Restaurant seems closed 😦 (November 2010)
Whew – The City Temple of Shanghai Restaurant is one long name to type!
Sherman organized this food bloggers’ dinner with Kim and Degan (and their respective friends) also present. While the main attraction was going to be dumplings, Sherman got some signals crossed while making the reservation and ordered us a Peking Duck.
Now, maybe I’m being picky, but I was skeptical of a Shanghai restaurant doing Beijing duck! The skin was crispy, but overly so; there wasn’t much flavour to the skin, and sadly, no meat at all on the back which made for a fairly bland wrap.
Oh, and the pancakes were presented folded on a plate, which made them cool down quickly. They certainly did have steamer baskets, because we got two with the Xiao Long Bao:
I was pretty impressed with these – they were very juicy, and perfectly shaped, the inside filling and soup was very hot and delicious. Sure, they cheated a little with the small slices of carrot to prevent them from sticking to the basket, but honestly, we ordered a total of 12 dumplings, and not a single one had a tear, leak, or any weird stuff on them at all – that’s something!
Okay – back to the duck; as is common with Peking duck, you’ll get at least 2 dishes from it; the skin on pancake, usually some kind of stir fry, and/or a soup. We were happy that only two dishes were being made, and to my delight, we got Duck stir fry with lettuce cups – I love lettuce wraps!
The duck was still quite moist even after stir frying, and the sauce that was added was good and quite subtle. The veggies were not perfect; the celery was over cooked, and the carrot was still crunchy, but overall still very tasty (the leftovers I got to take home were also excellent as lunch the next day)!
Alright, back to Shanghainese cuisine! Next thing Sherman ordered was Tan Tan Noodles, which I’ve enjoyed a lot in the past.
The noodles were nice and chewy, and the sauce very peanuty and rich (almost creamy), but not spicy, and definitely no ground pork…
MORE NOODLES – oh how I enjoy a many-carb dinner:
The waitress, who was a sweet older lady, suggested we order this dish – I think it is called Shanghai-style fried noodles, though that sounds a bit too generic… In any case, the noodles had great texture again, and the bits of bok choy and greens added some crunch. The sauce was primarily soy flavoured (maybe dark soy) but the uncomplicated nature of this dish is what I enjoyed.
Next up – more dumplings! We got two plates of these pan fried dumplings, and again, they were well made, juicy, and not a single one had a tear. They were very big, which made them a little hard to eat – but worth the struggle!
More food??? I don’t think Sherman realized we were only 6 people at dinner (and none of us had played hockey or softball or anything prior to eating)… I don’t think we needed this dish at all. The rice cake was thick and not fully cooked (needed a bit more time in the boiling water) and the fried pork chop, which had good flavour, got soft quickly in the brown sauce. Not my favourite.
Did I mention how sweet the waitress was? She dotted on us throughout the meal, bringing pitcher after bright-green pitcher of ice water, new plates, and tons of napkins (which, being a klutz, I needed!) – she also brought us this complimentary desert, and because we ordered so much food, a return customer card where one of us would get a free order of Xiao Long Bao – I got to be the lucky owner of this card (thanks guys!)
This huge meal rang in at about $90 with tax and tip. For 6 people, that worked out to $15 per person, pretty decent! One last thing I’ll note about this restaurant; their specials featured on the walls are written in English! That is so rare, I’m glad I don’t feel like I’m missing out on special deals!
Cash only – closed Tuesdays.