Rating: 2 out of 5
273 Liverpool Road, Ashfield 2131
One of the most mesmerising experiences one can have is to witness la mian being made. In Chinese, it means “pulled noodle”, and it’s a fascinating sight seeing the noodle puller repeatedly stretching and pulling a nondescript pile of dough into fresh, springy noodles.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the noodles being made tonight at New Shanghai, as it was a late 8pm weeknight dinner visit. Despite this, the restaurant was still full of chatty diners, overwhelmingly of Chinese background, which is always a good sign for a Chinese restaurant! We were seated quickly and served a hot pot of tea, with the waitress coming back within around 30 seconds to take our order. Eager to please, or get us in and out so that they could go home!
We ordered the stir fried la mian with pork and vegetables, since it was the first item on the noodle menu and presumably the safe choice, but also because the photo illustration at the bottom of the dish looked pretty damn good. When it arrived, we looked at each other with instant disappointment. The noodles only just covered the bottom of the white rectangular dish, with no whiff of volume or generous proportions. It certainly looked nothing like the picture on the menu.
The noodles themselves were deliciously springy and not too soft, stir fried in a tasty soy-based sauce with a hint of chilli. However, the noodles were the only salvation for this dish. The aforementioned pork was barely existent, with only a few scratchings of marinated meat which were even outnumbered by the small amount of choy sum vegetable.
Overall, the dish was disappointing considering our high hopes. A paltry serving with very little meat overshadowed the beautiful noodles. Not a good value proposition at all.