"All I want is crab."
There is only one dish in Suze's mind when we head to New Shanghai in Ashfield for a spur-of-the-moment dinner. It's the crab cooked in salted egg yolk. "Mmmm..... salty....." she whispers in anticipation when we place our order.
Famous New Shanghai steamed mini pork bun $6.80
But first, we must have xiao long bao. It's not a proper visit to a Shanghainese restaurant without a steamer of these delicate soup dumplings.
The glass windows into the dumpling making station give a preview of the dumplings that are about to arrive. The dumpling makers, women dressed in cute red-and-white checked aprons with matching hats, fold the delicate pleats with eye-watering speed and military precision.
Biting into the freshly steamed xiao long bao requires an element of care. The skins are thinner and more delicate than Shanghai Night next door, and the puddle of broth inside is sweet and flavoursome.
Green bean starch sheet $7.80
Anticipating the richness of crab, I also order the green bean starch sheet, a clear noodle that is usually served at room temperature and dressed with soy sauce, vinegar and garlic. It's a cool and refreshing dish, especially with the shards of cucumber, but I don't expect the accompanying peanut sauce, which unfortunately seems to overwhelm everything in its path.
Mini pork wonton soup $4.80
Simon orders the mini pork wonton soup, a simple dish of pork and prawn parcels in a clear soup.
Deep-fried crab with yolk of salt egg $38.80
The main event is the crab. Simon is feeling under the weather so the two crabs are left for exclusive demolishment by Suze and I.
The deep-fried crab with yolk of salt egg is a dish that must be savoured slowly. First you must lick and scrape every surface of the crab shell, delighting in the salty grains of egg yolk that are so addictively good.
Once the shell is clean, we prise open the body, using teeth and fingers to extract the crab meat. It's a slow process, but an enjoyable one.
Beneath the crab is a bed of deep-fried vermicelli but it's the debris of egg yolk smithereens that we both want most. Luckily with only two people sharing, there's plenty to go around.
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New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
273 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9797 7284
Open 7 days 10am-10pm
Chatswood Chase - 345 Victoria Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9412 3358
Chatswood Lemon Grove - 427 Victoria Road, Tel: +61 (02) 9415 3536
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Ashfield - Ashfield Hotel
Ashfield - Crocodile Farm Hotel
Ashfield - Polish Club
Ashfield - Shanghai Night (Jul 08) and (Mar 06)
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2/25/2010 06:26:00 a.m.