Shanghai Night Restaurant – Dinner – Ashfield

Wandering about outside of my city comfort zone, I find myself in Ashfield which seems to be an Asian dominated area.

I was telling my sister about an awesome dumpling house in Melbourne (called Shanghai Dumplings) which was just as renowned for their bad service (so bad, it’s good – comical even) as for their cheap & tasty food. She recommended I try this place.

Shanghai Night Restaurant – Ashfield

This place was packed, it was the most elbow-to-elbow I’ve ever been – now I really know how a sardine feels.

When we’re seated, they’re still clearing the dirty plates from the person before us :S

There is a partially cordoned off corner where staff are busy hand-making dumplings – when I see that, I know I’m in for something good.

Out come the menus and they are antiques – tattered edges, worn & ripped pages – I suppose if it ain’t totally broken, don’t fix it.

The inside was even more tattered

I was forewarned that these meals were rather large and filling so we ordered 3 plates and were going to order more as we went.

Pork with mushrooms dumpling (small) – $5.50

I can already see the value for money, 12 dumplings for a small size – you don’t get that in the city (well not most places anyway).

Shanghai Shao-Mai (Sticky rice and pork steamed dumplings) – $6.50

These were interesting, I’ve never had sticky rice inside a dumpling before – I quite liked it.

Close up of Shanghai Shao Mai

Special on the wall – Fried lamb & onion dumpling – Small – $6.80

There were 3 of us, and we were actually starting to feel a little full at this point but I would not leave until I ordered xiao long bao (so long as I could figure out which one it was…)

I actually went for a “smoko” break outside without smoking so I could read what was on the window to see how they named their xiao long bao – bingo. Xiao long bao = mini dumplings (it made so much sense now). There were two different kinds, so we ordered both.

Steamed Shanghai style pork mini buns – $6.50

These definitely looked better than mine but the taste was actually a disappointing – the soup inside was not as good as my one – the wrapper was much better though – much thinner & prettier.

Steamed Shanghai style pork mini buns – $8.50

These were much better. I am so glad we received this xiao long bao after the pork otherwise that’d be a disappointing way to finish off the meal. I don’t want to talk myself up, but I did spend 9 hours slaving over a pork broth so I still think mine was better. There was a fair bit of crab meat in these dumplings – Yum

Next up dessert 😀

Deep fried ice cream

These were good 😀

I’m pretty sure they make this from Neapolitan ice cream, as mine was half strawberry & vanilla, 1 dining companion had vanilla with a sliver of chocolate & the other dining companion had a vanilla one.

Crispy outside & icecream gooey-ness on the inside. Mmm…tasty.

Service:

Well I gotta say, the ambience sucked, if you were not-so-mobile (or fat), I’m unsure how you would weave around the other diners to get to your table. The service was…okay.

It took a while for us to get any service or even a menu – I think flailing your arms wildly whilst standing on your chair would work. The waitress then couldn’t get away quickly enough once we gave her order so I had to quickly ask about the drinks – she then pointed to a few stacked cans on the counter at the front of the shop – we were in the back.

Later on, after our first 3 dishes, when we were ready to order more, it was actually quicker for me to get up and fetch the menu again.

Would I go back? Yeah, if I were in the neighbourhood I would, it’s really cheap & quite good food for the money.

Good – pork & crab xiao long bao & fried icecream

Mediocre – service wasn’t bad, it was mediocre I think, not bad enough to turn me away

Bad – Nothing that was unbearable – the service wasn’t rude, just too efficient to involve human interaction…

Details:

Shanghai Night Restaurant

275 Liverpool Road

Ashfield NSW 2131

Phone: (02) 9798 8437

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