Limster organized a dinner at New Shanghai to give the new chef a whirl. As the newbie and one of the last arrivals, I've been tasked with describing the food. Here is my recollection; comments from dinner companions welcome:
Overall impression was that the food was good-to-very-good. The Big Test was the squirrel fish, which Limster ordered ahead. The fish is deboned and cut, breaded and fried in such a way that it puffs out like a squirrel's tail. The keen tasters at the table identified ketchup as a key ingredient in the sauce. I liked the crunchy texture of the fish. The verdict was that it was not the best rendition; you're better off going to New Taste of Asia in Coolidge Corner, remembering of course to order it ahead.
One note: New Shanghai does not yet have a liquor license. A glass of savignon blanc would've been perfect with most of the dishes.
- Cotton chicken; the "cotton" was egg whites. It also had black mushrooms, and the whole thing was in a flavorful light sauce. Paulette described it as comfort food and said it was something she'd like to have for breakfast. I agree.
- Tofu skins in brown sauce (cold): definitely recommend.
- Shredded tofu topped with small shrimp; surrounded by a moat of broth: delicious.
- Pan fried dumplings; very juicy and probably my fave
- Peanuts dusted with seaweed; Ninelives noted these would be great with beer.
- Braised pigs hoof in brown gravy, very tender and lots of flavor; surrounded by bok choy.
Actually I upgrade my rating to very good, remembering again how much I enjoyed all these.
- Steamed buns (nests?) in lieu of rice. Everyone liked these, although Paulette and I found them a little sweet.
- Sliced dry/smoked fish. Sorry don't have more info on this. I liked this, but I like fishy flavored things.
- Soup, forget the name of it. It had a discernable smokiness from the ham.
For dessert they recommended a flat corn cake that was indeed delicious, crispy yet leaving a residue of oil on the plate, with a carmelized sugary glaze on top.