My second day back home, and I was back at it again. I spent the afternoon with relatives, feasting on sushi and curry chicken. At six o’clock, I was meeting AY’s family for dinner. So much food meant only one thing. My Spanx was coming off. Something has to give, and it was my waistline.
The next dining destination was Shanghai River. In my past two visits, the male servers were so rude to my mother that I vowed I’d never go again. However, as AY’s family picked the venue, I went along without a fuss.
Lucky for me, the service provided by the female staff was great. AY’s family was running late, so they told her to order the set menu for 4 ($169.99), and the two-course order of Peking duck. Her family arrived just as the first dish arrived at our table, shark fin soup.
I stopped consuming shark fin soup a while back, so I declined the first course. I believe there is a time and a place to discuss why I choose to not consume shark fin. However, announcing the reasons immediately after it was ordered by the host would just be in poor taste.
An appetizer of two dishes arrived soon after the soup. I’m not sure what one dish was – it tasted like marinated root vegetable and it had the texture of tofu. The second item was cold chicken with wine sauce. I didn’t taste the wine in the sauce, but perhaps that’s because I removed the layer of skin.
Next up was my favourite dish of night – Peking duck in a pancake wrap. The skin of the duck was a glossy brown. The meat was still warm, covered with a thin layer of fat and crispy skin. Summing all my self-control, I stopped at one serving.
The duck meat with lettuce wrap was also very good. The lettuce was fresh and a manageable size. My pet peeve are restaurants that give you huge heads of lettuce still wet from the rinse. I end up having to shake the extra moisture off, as it waters down the taste the duck. Not the case at Shanghai River. The filling was flavourful, a mix of crunchy water chestnuts, crunchy fried rice noodles, lean pieces of duck, and green onions.
I loved the deep fried crab with garlic and chili. The meat inside the shell was fluffy, while the exterior was crispy and spicy. AY’s father prompted me to try the crab ‘brains’, which reminded me a lot of deep fried oysters.
AY loved the fried rice. Each grain was separate, the rice was fluffy, mixed with bits of egg white and peas. It was tasty enough to eat on its own, or along with the last two dishes, fish with green onions and steamed fish. However, as we were late for another venue, so we had to leave before consuming the last two dishes. Overall, the dishes were delicious and the service better than anticipated.