Shanghai food has always been a crowd pleaser in Hong Kong, and there’s no shortage of good restaurants all over the island. However, if you’re looking for something less a la Crystal Jade and more unique in flavours and quality ingredients, then Shanghai Lo should definitely be on your radar.
This contemporary Shanghainese restaurant is conveniently located on the ground floor of the Tonno building in Wan Chai. It shares its home with a bar, Japanese restaurant, karaoke lounge and club — talk about your one-stop entertainment shop! Fortunately, the restaurant is slightly tucked away from the rest of the building and feels very private, which is perfect for a date night. The hubby and I got the chance to sample the Tasting Menu that evening which consists of 10 dishes altogether!
Before I go into this review, a small disclaimer: There are a few dishes here that may cross into the adventurous zone for those who aren’t familiar with ingredients like fungus or osamanthus or even bean curd sheets. I will use the same tactic that my mother used while I was growing up to convince me to try everything on the table: appeal to your vanity. Everything is good for your complexion and skin! So I say this to you, Sassy Mama readers, do it for your own good!
The first dish was the Assorted Delicacies that is essentially your appetiser sampler of sorts. This included Black Fungus with Aged Vinegar, Huadiao Wine Marinated Chicken, Tea Leaf Smoked Egg, Sautéed Bean Sheets with Shredded Chicken and Green Bamboo Shoots Salad. Whew! It’s quite the line up up amazing flavours and variety all on one plate. The fungus was refreshingly sweet and sour with a nice crunch while the wine infused chicken was perfectly poached with a tiny wolf berry on top for garnish. The chicken and bean sheet noodles are a personal fav and definitely comparable to the likes of Crystal Jade. The soft boiled tea leaf egg was also incredible with a deliciously salty and smoky flavour. The only hiccup was the bamboo shoot salad, which I found a bit plain and flavourless in comparison.
Next up was a Steamed Egg White with Crab Broth. Once our waiter lifted the lid off the bowl, we were welcomed with the most aromatic flavours of steamed egg and crab. The egg was silky smooth and the crab broth was both rich and delicious. The only unfortunate part to this amazing dish was that I had a few bites of crab shell. However, this did not hinder me from scraping the bowl clean!
The Stir-fried Crab with Onion & Pepper came in manageable individual portions for the tasting menu. If you’re a fan of anything garlicky and peppery, then you’ll want to try this dish! It may not be a first date dish, but as hubby pointed out, we were well past that point already! For this dish, you’ll need to get your hands dirty to work out all that sweet crab meat, but trust me, it’s well worth it.
I’m a huge fan of Peking duck wrapped in Chinese pancake, so I loved Shanghai Lo’s similarly constructed Braised Ham with Honey-Osamanhus Sauce & Shanghainese Buns. The trick here is getting all the flavours — crispy bean curd sheet, honey drenched ham and sliced cucumbers — in one bite, but assembling the dish is half the fun!
The Braised Eel that followed was equally delicious. We were served the cross section of the eel which provided us with good chunks of meat. The thick gravy, garlic cloves, bamboo shoots and mushrooms were a perfect complement to the fresh eel.
By now, I was glad to have a little palate cleanser, which came in the form of Braised Tianjin Cabbage with Ham. It’s a simple dish that resonates with a lot of flavour as the cabbage is poached in chicken broth and topped with the contrasting salty ham.
I was anticipating this next dish with the most excitement because of the black truffle in the title and I was not disappointed. The Stir-fried Egg Noodle in Black Truffle was incredibly fragrant with the noodles evenly coated in a truffle and oil mixture. A few bean sprouts and spring onions worked to break up the otherwise carb-heavy dish.
With the never-ending slew of dishes, we were starting to feel like we were at a Chinese wedding banquet! Next up was the token rice dish which usually signifies that the meal is coming to an end. We were full by this point, but the Fried Rice with Crabmeat Paste smelled and looked too good to pass up. Fortunately, it wasn’t too heavy!
Finally, the last savoury dish of the evening was the Steamed Pork Dumplings, thankfully, only one serving each! The dumpling came in individual bamboo steamers and was the perfect way to end the string of savoury dishes. Thin dough encasing hot, flavourful soup with a delicious pork filling —what more can I say!
Last but not least, dessert! The Shanghai Lo Sweet Temptation comes with a trio of sweet treats: strawberry jelly, wolf berry jelly and my personal favourite, the egg white ball with sweet preserved egg yolk custard. Delicious!
All in all, there are a lot of incredible dishes offered on this set menu with high quality ingredients, great flavours and a reasonable price of just $368 per person. As if that wasn’t good enough, Shanghai Lo is offering an exclusive offer to all our Sassy Mama readers for a complimentary glass of wine. So bring your stretchy pants and get ready to indulge in some solid Shanghainese fare without burning a hole in your pocket!
Sassy Mama Discount: Present the image below for a complimentary glass of wine with your dinner!
Opening Hours: Lunch from 11:30am-3pm, dinner from 6-11:30pm
Shanghai Lo, 1/F, 5 Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; www.shanghailo.com.hk