We had a delicious New Year's Day luinch at Tang Pavilion today. They have a menu of specialties for the occasion, which is well worth your attention.
Our lunch consisted of perfect, greaseless spring rolls (regular menu) (no photo, they vanished as soon as they hit the table), nian gao -- rice cake with Chinese bacon and sausage, dou miao with winter bamboo shoot (the dou miao was excellent, not the horse fodder often served elsewhere), both from the specials menu, lion's head with Shanghai cabbage, and a whole fish (xihu cuyu, "steamed fish with sweet and sour sauce", from the regular menu. The sauce on the fish was a bit oversweet and it was a tilapia -- the dish is supposed to be made with a freshwater fish) -- but we asked for some extra black vinegar and that perked matters up.
Honeydew melon and orange slices followed. This and the xiao cai served before the meal, cucumbers in a vinegar and sugar marinade, mao dou (edamame) with xue cai (Chinese "red-in-snow" pickled veg), and pungent pickled turnips, were on the house.
This is a restaurant that we are very fond of but that gets little love on the board. If you stick with the Shanghainese specialties, which are clearly marked as such on the menus, you will have a very good meal. We've spent considerable time in the region and know the cuisine. Jiangzhe food is meant to be subtly-flavored and a little on the sweet side.
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