Review: Shanghai River

by gigi on December 3, 2007

My grandparents took all the cousins out for dinner at Shanghai River one day. I had not been here since they remodeled the space a while back so I was eager to see if the food was still as good as before too. :) It is located at 7831 Westminster Hwy in Richmond and there is also free parking in the adjacent parkade.

Rather than order a set course menu, we all chose dishes that we wanted to try. Because there were nine of us, this worked out pretty well. We started with the cold chicken salad with noodles, cucumber, and peanut/sesame sauce. The cucumbers added a nice crunch and the peanut sauce was not too overwhelming for the noodles and chicken.

shanghai river

When you come to a Shanghainese restaurant, you have to try the steamed soup pork dumplings. They are the benchmark for any Shanghainese restaurant. :) Shanghai River is well-known for their soup dumplings so we ordered two steamers full. The soup inside is quite hot so it is best to wait a bit for the dumplings to cool. This is harder to do than it sounds because the dumplings always look so tasty. :)

shanghai river

Next came a clear soup with dumplings and veggies. The dumplings weren’t formed very well so the meat inside slipped out while it was still in the soup but the taste itself was great.

shanghai river

Next, we had some “woa bah”. It is basically some soupy mix with veggies, meat, mushrooms or some other mix of items…

shanghai river

…and some crunchy fried rice crackers. When you pour the soupy mixture over the crackers, you get a nice crackly sound.

shanghai river

This dish is a great mixture of crunchy and a savoury, soupy mix. It’s as entertaining to look at as it is to eat. :)

shanghai river

The hand-pulled noodles were also very tasty. It was made with bean sprouts, mushrooms, and some chives. Pretty simple ingredients but it’s one of my favourite way to make noodles. :) The noodles are freshly made in the kitchen at the back of the restaurant. There is even a window so you can go over and watch them make noodles and dumplings.

shanghai river

The fried rice was pretty generic with BBQ pork, peas, eggs, and shrimp. The rice was a bit clumpy and this was more of a filler dish for us than anything else.

shanghai river

The braised pork belly was one of the best dishes of the evening. It came on a bed on spinach, which soaked up all the yummy juices and gravy from the pork. Although the pork belly looked quite fatty, it was not greasy or too heavy. I guess it must have been because the pork was braised for so long that all the fat was skimmed off!

shanghai river

We also ordered some buns (one fried and one steamed) to go with the braised pork. It was very tasty when used to soak up the gravy on our plates. :)

shanghai river

For dessert, we ordered a couple of items. First was a fried doughy patty with red bean paste inside. The crunchy outside was slightly savoury and was a nice contrast with the gooey sweet inside.

shanghai river

We also had some Chinese mochi…also known as glutinous rice balls…with black sesame inside. The balls came in a sweet soup with eggs and rice wine. I wasn’t too crazy about the soup but the mochi were really delicious.

shanghai river

Although the food here was quite tasty, I felt like it was much better the last time I was here, before the renovation. The service left a bit to be desired though as our server was a bit short and grumpy with us. With several good Shanghainese restaurants popping up all over the Lower Mainland in the last year or so, Shanghai River will have to step up its food and service to stay at the top. :)

Details:
110-7831 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
Tel: 604-233-8885

Summary:
Food: [rating:3]
Service: [rating:2]
Price: $$$

Shanghai River on Urbanspoon

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