A group nine of us met up at Bund Shanghai Restaurant for lunch today. The cost came out to $22 a person (no alcohol, 20% tip).
Xiao Long Bao
Rice Cake w/ Shepherd’s Purse & Pork
Rice Cake w/ Spinach & Bacon
Wine Sauce Fish Fillet
Soy Sauce Braised Pork with Twisted Bean Curd Skin
Braised Pork Upper Leg in Soy Sauce
Bok Choy Sprouts
Boiled Bacon & Pork Soup
Since there were regional food experts there, I’ll let them chime in about the “authenticity” of the dishes.
The XLB was very good – plenty of soup and nice, soft interior (as opposed to a hard meatball). Most people found dough on the pan-fried bun a little too sweet – it also had a lower meat-to-dough ratio.
The rice cake with shepherd’s purse & pork was good but not outstanding while the rice cake with spinach & bacon was absolutely wonderful. What’s the difference you ask? 1) The shepherd’s purse was chopped very fine (imagine finely chopped parsley) and disappeared more into the dish than the spinach which was left more whole and 2) The bacon was also mostly left in bigger chunks and had more tooth than the sautéed pork.
The cucumber salad was a refreshing respite from the heavier pork dishes. It was just simple cucumber sticks with a rice vinegar-sesame dressing.
The wine sauce fish fillet was another dish that I found to be a little too sweet and saucy for my tastes but others seemed to enjoy it.
The soy sauce braised pork and the pork leg dishes were similar, both good but I preferred the leg. I just love the crispy crust & tender juicy interior that is intrinsic to its form factor.
The bok choy sprouts with tofu skin strips was another favorite dish for me – light & tasty – I will definitely order it in the future although it wasn’t on the menu so I don’t know how often it’s available.
Last, the boiled bacon & pork soup with bok choy was nice and a good version of such a soup but I was pretty porked out and found it to be one of the least interesting pork dishes of the day.
Bottom Line: The food was very good. I will definitely be back. I will definitely order the XLB, Rice Cake with Spinach & Bacon, Braised Pork Leg and Bok Choy Sprouts in the future. But then, as we were leaving, I saw a lot of great looking food on other tables.
For dessert, Derek provided egg custard tarts from Golden Gate and I was happy to find they've gone "uphill". When the new baker started I did not like them at all but the ones today were much closer to the original GG egg custards (although the crust is not there yet) that I'm willing to put them back on my recommended list.
PS: Derek, you left your umbrella. I have it.
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