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Monday, June 04, 2007

Great Shanghai


Great Shanghai 大上海

With 25 years of reputation in preparing Peking duck and Shanghainese Chinese cuisine, Great Shanghai not only earns the heart of local but also the Japanese expatriates. I was brought to this once brilliantly decorated restaurant almost 17 years ago when I asked for my favorite stir-fried Chinese eel with garlic.

Tonight the restaurant was crowded as usual, but some of their best selling dishes were missing due to lack of ingredients from Mainland China. With fewer service staff on duty therefore the Great Shanghai was in good position to promote the time consuming of slow eating. We waited for 10 minutes before a waitress was willing to pass us the menu and another 20 minutes when our order was (finally) being taken. Food didn’t take too long to arrive but some dishes arrived chilled, probably were dispatched from the kitchen long enough. This is a proof of inefficient management of the restaurant.

Waiting at the table for 30 minutes begging for service, acid started to overflow from our stomach. Without hesitation we asked the waitress (of whom at least gave us a glance) for the (1) Whole Roasted Peking Duck served with traditional condiments, a specialty of Great Shanghai. The Peking duck also came with the (2) Steamed Flour Wrappers and Condiments to go with the duck skin, the (3) Stir-fried Duck Meat, and the (4) Duck Soup with Chinese Preserved Vegetables. All for B850 (US$24). The size of the duck was medium. Waitress peeled the duck skin paper-thin into two big plates making it enough for a group of 8 persons, and sent the meat back to the kitchen for the stir-fried duck meat, then the bones for the duck soup. Frankly speaking, the Peking duck was not as good as many years ago when it was at B450 (US$13) both the quality and price; oh, service too!

The second must eat dish for us was the (5) Wok-fried Chinese Eel. The fresh river eel was cooked with overpower of garlic, seasoning and oil, an extremely oily dish. It was the best prepared wok-fried eel dish in Bangkok I have sampled, as well as in Asia outside Shanghai. Another specialty of the eatery was the (6) Stir-fried River Shrimp, river shrimp cooked with Chinese wine and green peas gave our taste buds a boost that night, it was palatable and with strong taste of the river shrimp unlike sea shrimp. The eel and shrimp dishes together became the real reward for us to wait for 30 minutes like a mummy.

When Shanghai cuisine was mentioned, it would be a sin not to try the (7) Xiao-Long-Bao, or the steamed little rice flour bun filled with minced pork. However, the Great Shanghai’s version was less than impressive. Another must order side dish that always goes well with the meal was the (8) Silver and Golden Bun, it was actually a roll of steamed plain rice flour bun and deep-fried plain rice flour bun. This was a good substitute for rice therefore we ordered many of them during our dinner.

Further we had the (9) Fish Head Stew Shanghai Style, a bowl of fish head stewed in an army of heavy Chinese herbs and spices, good for people that love fish head and useful to comfort headache and common cold; the (10) Braised Sea Cucumber in Thick Brown Sauce, a dish known to be friendly to our kidney; the (11) White Cabbage With Ham in Creamy Gravy, a very popular vegetable dish in Shanghai and it was doing well in Great Shanghai; and the (12) Pork Chop Noodle Soup. Pork chop was deep-fried to golden in color and crispy in texture, meat was tender and natural sweet taste of pork locked in the juicy piece of pork chop. Yummy!

Desserts were not our favorite as we tend to keep our devil body in shape. Drinks during the meal were hot Chinese tea, a ‘friend’ to clean the grease for such oily food, and beer. Wine was not popular there.

Our Ratings (1 to 5 the higher the better): Great Shanghai has [3.1]
(Ratings are based on Food, Service and Ambience, with Price taken into account in relation to Quality) Food =4, Service=2.5, Ambiance=2.5, Money Worth=3.5

Price range for two without drinks (incl. local water) in Thai Baht = BBBB
(B=below 200, BB=201-500, BBB=501-1,000, BBBB=1,001-2,000, BBBBB=over 2,000)

Details: Open daily Lunch: 11:30am - 02:30pm Dinner: 6 - 10pm
Great Shanghai , 648-652 Sukhumvit Road (corner of Sukhumvit Soi 24 next to the Emporium Mall), Bangkok; Tel: 02-; Opens daily from noon to 10pm

1 comment:

Ronald said...

This looks tempting.