It's been many many years since I last ate at Lake Spring, I used to think it was fabulous. But last night (upon realizing that waiting an hour for a table at DTF just to eat some dumplings that are frankly not worth waiting more than fifteen minutes for was ridiculous) I decided to revisit Lake Spring and really wished I hadn't. I might have taken the hint when the place was empty (except for a table full of not Chinese people) but we were hungry and I didn't feel like driving anywhere else, and besides, I remembered it back in the early part of the decade as being pretty great.
Cautiously we ordered the Pork Pump Noisette (how could go wrong with braised pork, right?), Fish Slices in sauce, and some green beans. When the pork came and she broke it open it looked sort of right, but the flavors just didn't make it and the meat in the center was not super tender and melty the way I expect to be in a Shanghaiese restaurant, the sauce didn't taste anything like as fantastic as it should have; it was actually very bland and quickly became (horror of horrors) kind of gross. The fish was bland with an unpleasant consistency, and the beans were edible, more or less. All in all I was upset.
Was this an off night? Did this place see its day long ago?
I'm looking to do some serious Shanghai eating again, so where do I get those delicious braised pork dishes, like dongpo pork and pork pump? Who's got the good xiao long bao, batter fried fish and seawead, drunken chicken, wuxi spareribs, lionshead meatballs, etc.?
Mei Long Village, Green Village, Chang's Garden, someplace else?
Is this Green Village the same owners as the old one from years ago? I haven't been able to determine that from anything I've read, but it does sound good and I'm thinking about going there but I don't want another bad meal, so any suggestions would be appreciated.