Wednesday, January 12, 2011
CLOSED! chinese: i strongly recommend SHANGHAI FANS
a/o 4/2011 CLOSED!
or SHANG FAN GUANG
No. 3, Xinyi Road, Sec. 3
MRT: DaAn or ZhongXiao/Xinsheng
hours: 11:30AM -2PM; 5PM-9PM
Kid friendliness: high chairs available
Visit reviewed: 6/5/2010
Shanghai Fans is a solid alternative to the nearby original location of the crazily popular Din Tai Fung, especially for those with large groups or families with three floors of seating and private rooms available upstairs. Like any good Chinese restaurant, it has a huge extensive menu barely covered by what was ordered in this dinner, but unfortunately, the menu is only in Chinese with few pictures, so you should bring a Chinese reader with you.
The restaurant has that old school feeling and the prices are very reasonable for the family style portions. My aunt usually does all the ordering, and many of these dishes are featured on their "Top 10" dishes menu. That's usually my problem in taking so long to blog about Chinese restaurants- they don't have an English menu, someone else is ordering and I'm too busy chowing down to figure out what is what since everything tastes good.
The Crab roe tofu pot has a creamy, sweet flavor along with the silky tofu. I love this over a bowl of rice.
Make yourself a little pork belly sandwich with the sesame buns and braised Dongpo Pork. You can see the fat glistening off the pork belly and also on your lips when you're done devouring it.
The pan fried spring onion pancakes here are fat and twisty, with the spring onions stuffed inside, which may turn off some who don't like the strong scallion texture and flavor.
At Shanghai Fans, the xiao long bao is more of a side dish than the main event, but still satisfies. Those more adventurous can also try the si gua xiao long bao or loofah and shrimp.
Huge pot of Corn and egg soup so everyone can have a bowl or two.
Other dishes I've had before that I recommend ordering are the Shanghainese Pork Ham and Pork soup which has a milky white broth that beats any ramen broth I've had before, the cabbage and peanut slaw, and red bean paste in sesame pastry dessert. Or you can have a bowl of the sweet green mung bean soup.
Chinese food is such ubiquitous thing in the US, but it's sort of stereotyped and simplified along the lines of dishes expected from a take-out menu- beef and broccoli, chow mein, egg rolls, kung pao chicken or even more Americanized, orange chicken (which I admit, I grew up on and like to eat sometimes). But in reality, Chinese food is so diverse and more than what's offered at Panda Express the same way that American food is more than what's sold at McD's. And there's so many great Chinese restaurants in Taipei that I've eaten at- it's been great having this blog to learn more about what is from where, and I'll try my best to keep figuring out the best way to capture and articulate and share my experiences here.