Monday, May 16, 2011

Shanghai Fusion 滬之星


I haven't had dim sum for quite a while, so I was looking forward to lunch at Shanghai Fusion, a new Chinese restaurant on No. 3 Road. We started with a smoked fish noodle soup (燻魚麵) ($5.95) because the fish looked good in online reviews. I liked the noodles because the broth was clear and light without the taste of MSG. The smoked fish was tasty, but the bones were relatively hard. Usually I'm able to eat the bones as well, but not this time.


Next was the wonton in hot sauce (紅油抄手) ($5.50), a well-known Szechuan style wonton dish that is served with soy paste and hot sauce. I forgot to ask for the sauce on the side, so I was a bit worried that it would be too spicy. Luckily it wasn't as bad as I thought, and I actually enjoyed the rich savoury soy paste with the sharp spiciness of the chili sauce.


The shrimp and sticky rice shaomai (鳳尾糯米燒賣) ($3.99) was another dim sum we decided to try after seeing pictures in online reviews. The shrimp was fresher than I had expected and the sticky rice was well-flavoured, but the shaomai as a whole was not particularly impressive.


The stuffed salty sticky rice (榨菜肉鬆粢飯) ($3.50) was probably the most disappointing dish of the day. In terms of presentation, it was cut into 3 sections that were all different sizes. The rice was not very soft or sticky and fell apart readily as I tried to pick it up with my chopsticks. The Chinese doughnut inside was very thin and crispy, but I prefer the type that's crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.


For dessert we had the red bean spring roll (豆沙春捲) ($3.95). The crispy wrapper was very thin, so there was a lot of red bean filling. The red bean paste was smooth and not overly sweet, so I liked it quite a bit. The only problem was that the wrapper was slightly too oily for me.


Overall the food was decent and the prices were reasonable, but I have to comment on the service. Usually I already have very low standards for the service in Chinese restaurants, but sometimes the servers go too far. As I was eating with my chopsticks still in hand holding the last bite of my shaomai, a server came by and demanded I pass her the finished bowl of noodles on the table which she could not reach. I was taken aback, wondering whether she expected me to put down my chopsticks and obey her command. Not offering good service is one thing, but demanding customers to do their job for them??

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