Ever since the old Hugo HK Cafe closed down and Shanghai Village opened in its place, I had wanted to give it a try. However, I never went because I felt like it was a place where you had to go with a large group and whenever Jenkins and I eat large Chinese meals, it’s with our families in a location that someone else usually picks. We decided finally that this didn’t really matter and decided to go to Shanghai Village with just the two of us.
The main item that I wanted to eat that day was some Xiao Long Baos (surprise surprise!) and I was pleasantly surprised when our server told us that we would get a free order if we ordered over $20 worth of food. Since all the dishes cost around $10-15, this was not a difficult feat. The wrapper on these baos was actually not too thick and the porky soup inside was quite flavourful. For a complimentary dish, I would say this was a great deal.
I was intrigued by the spare ribs with with meat stuffed sticky rice balls. The pork ribs were fall off the bone tender and had an excellent five-spice flavour to it. It was quite strong tasting so the rice balls ended up tempering this nicely. Another alternative would be to eat this with some plain steamed rice, which I ended up doing with the leftovers for lunch the next day. The sticky rice balls were another pleasant surprise for me. There was a tiny filling of pork inside and in some ways, this was similar to a regular pork dumpling but with rice as its wrapper instead of the traditional wrapper. Jenkins and I both agreed that this was our favourite dish of the evening.
We also ordered a version of Shanghai Noodles but with rice patties instead of regular noodles. The patties were slightly chewy but I would have liked for them to have a little more bite. There was also a little too much sauce for my liking, which overwhelmed the pork and napa cabbage somewhat. I felt that this dish could have been better if it didn’t have so much sauce.
Jenkins and I were pleasantly surprised with our meal at Shanghai Village, especially since I had heard some mixed reviews from other people. This definitely would have been a good place to go with a larger group of people so Jenkins and I are going to convince our families to come with us to check this place out in the near future.
3250 Cambie Street, Vancouver