Rating: 4 out of 5
275 Liverpool Road, Ashfield 2131
Ashfield is Sydney’s dumpling hub. If it’s Shanghai-style dumplings you’re after, whether you’re hungering for the steamed, soupy, flavour burst of xiao long bao, or golden, crisp-bottomed pan-fried dumplings, there are a string of outlets along Liverpool Road to satisfy all your cravings.
Shanghai Night has undergone a bit of a cosmetic freshen up in the last twelve months. It doesn’t look as dark and moody as the slick joint, New Shanghai, next door, but don’t let its nondescript looks fool you. This place is renowned for its dumplings, and you can even see them being made behind a glass panel at the back of the dining room. Deft hands mould and pinch delicate, white skins around the minced fillings to craft identically sized and shaped dumplings, ready for a steamer. Thankfully, for noodle fiends like myself, there is also a good selection of dishes on the menu that serve bouncy, hand made noodles, la mian.
Zha jian mian is a bit like spaghetti bolognese, Chinese style. Here, the white, hand-pulled noodle is topped with rich, pork mince and slices of cucumber.
Mix it all up and you get a wonderful concoction of meaty pork, soft yet toothsome noodle, offset by crunchy, refreshing cucumber. It’s like a party going on in your mouth. The sauce also has a delicious hint of chilli, making it difficult to stop until you’ve polished off the entire serving.