New Shanghai | Queens Plaza, BRISBANE CBD QLD 4000

Its name might be New Shanghai, but nostalgia fills every corner of this restaurant - a vintage bike is parked at the sparkly clean glass frontage where you can watch chefs in uniform folding dumplings, old posters of 1930s Shanghai girls plastered at the shopfront as well as the bar and underneath your feet, a cobblestone paved floor that transports you to the alleyways in Shanghai’s old residential areas… New Shanghai does the theme well. 

Despite it being a Monday night, often considered a quite night for a lot of restaurants, New Shanghai was pumping with only a couple of tables vacant at six o’clock. We were lead to a private room set at the back of the restaurant that’s big enough to fit a table of ten;  an intimate space that’s covered by gold wallpaper splashed with red bamboo trees. In the middle, a red baroque style chandelier was hanging from the ceiling. 

We started off with a pot of earthy Pu’er tea, it was perfectly soothing for a winter night. The menu (doubled as a placemat) has a strong focus on Shanghainese cuisine (obviously). It includes traditional staples like steamed ‘lion’s head’ - crab meat and Chinese chestnut meatballs, as well as slow braised pork belly with sweetened soy sauce, but New Shanghai is really famous for its freshly made dumplings and they are a must. We started with some ‘xiao long bao' - steamed little round pouches filled with pork mince and fragrant hot broth. I always like mine with a dash of vinegar. My absolute favourite from New Shanghai are these perfectly crispy, twisted top pan-fried crab meat & pork buns, and I order them ALL the time. There’s something about the fluffy snow white bun with a golden, crispy bottom that just makes me go back for more. If you’re after something that’s not steamed, then try the prawn wontons with chilli oil, peanut and sesame sauce. On the night, we also shared some crispy duck served with steamed buns as well as sautéed string beans with dried shrimp and soy sauce. They were so damn tasty.

Desserts include some wonderfully traditional options such as pumpkin rice cakes with sweet red bean paste. Presented in a bamboo basket, these rice cakes were made to look like mini pumpkins, almost too cute to be eaten. I thought it was a nice alternative dessert option. The sweet green bean with ice cream was a delicious choice too. 

I really feel like a meal at New Shanghai can be quite versatile - you can play it low-key and be completely satisfied with a few rounds of well-made dumplings, or you can pig out and have a feast on loads of Shanghainese cuisine options available here at New Shanghai. One thing though, arrive early at this super popular restaurant on an empty stomach and be prepared to eat till your heart’s content. 

Disclaimer: with thanks to New Shanghai for welcoming DolceBunnie to the property as an invited guest, please note that my opinion is as always, my own.

New Shanghai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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