New Shanghai Various locations: Emporium Melbourne, Level Three, 287 Lonsdale Street, CBD, Melbourne + Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone, Melbourne Contact: 03 9994 9386 (CBD) / 03 9973 9483 (Chadstone) Disclaimer: Sponsored article Those who know me well will know that I am OBSESSED with dumplings. Whether it’s fried, steamed, savoury or sweet, you name it – I’ll (probably) like it. And when it is done well, boy does it make a whole world of a difference. Enter New Shanghai. Just like the heritage of one of our favourite dumpling joints, Din Tai Fung, at the heart of New Shanghai are ancient family recipes learned in Shanghai and passed down from generation to generation. These ancient recipes are the base of a sumptuous spread of Shanghai-style soup dumplings (called ‘xiao long bao’ after the bamboo steaming baskets they are traditionally prepared in), noodles, bubbling hot pots, and pan-fried buns. Each of these can all be enjoyed while viewing New Shanghai’s live dumpling-making theatre (thanks to an open kitchen). My favourite from the recent menu update is the truffle xiao long bao. This is easily the best truffled xiao long bao I have had to date – each bite and blend of delicious pork filling and earthy truffle is enough to send you to cloud 9. That being said, I am also very fond of the regular xiao long bao that New Shanghai is famous for. They seem to have perfected the skin-to-meat ratio, with the skin just thin enough to not get in the way of enjoying what is a spectacular recipe, without bursting and letting out all of the soupy juices while you’re transferring it over to your spoon. So very, very delicious! The garlic cucumber and special yuzu cocktail were also highlights. The cucumber added a little freshness to what was otherwise a heavy lunch for one (I think in total I devoured close to 2 baskets of xiao long bao…) and the yuzu was a refreshing way to start the Saturday morning. As mentioned, I’ve always been a fan of New Shanghai and this time was no exception. It’s one of those places that is predictably good – dumpling makers are strictly trained to get that perfect amount of folds, so it’s never a let down – yet is able to surprise with specials that are done very, very well. I’ll be back again soon.
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