Revisiting Old Shanghai

Set in a nostalgic ambiance of the long-lost era of old Shanghai, Shanghai Moon Restaurant on the ground floor of Jin Jiang Hotel serves an array of classical Shanghainese food.

Mizhi hei fenghuang ("Black phoenix" or preserved black-bone chicken) was the chef's recommendation on that day. It was honey-coated and smooth and tender in taste, although the colour was not so appealing.

Qiaofu doufu bao (tofu claypot) was another special food at the restaurant. What was unique in this course, except for the green vegetables and mushrooms, were the dumplings in tofu wrapper filled with chopped pork and carrot.

The heavy sauce was well cooked into the dumplings, making them highly palatable.

Then came the golden xingzhou youtiao (Fried dough.) The dough was stuffed with diced fish. The creamy salad sauce and the crisp and spongy dough made the bland fish rich and flavourful.

One abject failure was the songren jipai (Chicken fillet wrapped with pine nuts). It was dry and dull in taste.

The average cost is about 100 yuan.

( Shanghai Star August 12, 2002)