New Shanghai, Emporium

New Shanghai is one of the new Chinese restaurants that has opened up in the Emporium, in the upstairs food court close to Rice Workshop and Bing Boy. I decided to visit after some of my friends had heard some pretty positive reviews about the place and the authenticity of its food, and was happy with my experience.

As it is quite a popular restaurant, you'll need to be prepared to wait about 20-30 minutes for a table. We went around 12:45pm on a Sunday, and were given a number which would be called out when a table was ready. We ended up waiting for about 25 minutes for a table; luckily they have lots of menus so you can start deciding what you want to get and order as soon as you sit down. I was surprised at how extensive the menu was, and the prices weren't too expensive given that it was in the Emporium.

New Shanghai has a typical setting of an Asian restaurant - very busy and quite noisy with all the customers. The decorations they had up on the walls were really cool - red shutters and simple lights that gave off a rustic feel like you would have at such dumpling houses in Asia. Service was pretty good, the staff walk around quite often so you don't have to wait too long to order, and the food came really quickly as well.

The dishes we ordered were the Xiao Long Bao (8 pieces for $7.80), the pan fried pork buns (8 pieces for $11), the mini prawn and pork wonton soup (15 pieces for $11.50) and a Shanghai stir fried noodle with shredded pork and vegetables ($9.90) to share between three people. We also ordered a drink each - the special blended passionfruit green tea, fresh made milk tea (both $4.80) and a fresh orange juice ($4.50). The drinks came almost as soon as we had ordered, and were refreshing to have before our meal. I was surprised that they had quite a big range of western style drinks here, and not just soft drinks like you have at most asian restaurants.

The xiao long bao which are essentially mini steamed pork buns, also came almost straight after we ordered. The outer layer skin wasn't too thick and there was a bit of hot broth in it that gave it a soupy, dumpling feel. The xiao long bao does taste good by itself, but usually you'd dip it in vinegar (or soy sauce), to enhance the flavours of the pork.

The pan fried pork buns were probably our favourite dish overall, as it had a really good crunchy base from being pan fried that contrasted well with the rest of the bun that was still soft, and the pork filling on the inside that also had broth in it. These were a bit more filling than the xiao long baos as the bun is a lot more dense and has more filling in it. Even after we had left the buns for awhile, the base was still crunchy and crispy and hadn't gotten soft or soggy.

The prawn and pork wonton soup was also really enjoyable, with a really light broth that helped balance out the heavier flavours from all the other dishes we ordered. The wontons only had a little bit of filling and was mostly just the skin, but surprisingly it didn't feel like the ratio of filling to skin was too little. There was also lots of seaweed in the dish that gave it extra flavour and texture, and acted as the 'vegetable' in the soup.

The Shanghai noodles was probably our least favourite dish of the meal, as there was hardly any pork or vegetables in it at all to mix with all the noodles. The noodles themselves did have good flavour but wasn't too salty, but the whole dish did become cold very quickly when we left it to eat the other dishes we ordered. Given the lack of ingredients in this dish, I felt that it was quite overpriced.

I will definitely be visiting New Shanghai again to try some of their other dishes as there's just so much to choose from! Worth a try if you want to try some authentic Chinese style food. Most of the dishes are designed to be shared between people so it would be good to visit with at least two or three other people to get a good range of dishes.

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