Since opening a few years ago, New Shanghai has won over legions of fans with their tasty dumplings and legendary pan fried pork buns. Myself included. They continue their dumpling reign over Melbourne with the somewhat recent opening of a second branch in Chadstone.
Having visited the original Emporium location on several occasions (see the posts for previous visits one and two), I was no stranger to the dumpling delights of New Shanghai but was interested to see how the relatively newer Chadstone location stacked up.
Ahhhh we meet again, old friend. Much like previous encounters, the pan fried pork buns were spot on in their doughy texture paired with a soft fried char, and filled with a flavoursome, slightly soupy pork filling. Having now eaten these on several occasions, it's safe to say they're one of Melbourne's best.
The XLBs are another popular dish at New Shanghai. Again, it's a dish that I have encountered before, and the silkiness of the skin and great soup-to-filling-to-dumpling-skin ratio have been consistently well executed.
When it comes to crispy tofu, I'm sold. But throw in some salted yolk and the dish becomes elevated by several fold. The yolk imparted a sensational flavour and richness that was highly moreish. Along with those pan fried pork buns, it's another dish that I could quite easily and happily polish off on my own.
If you're a fan of sweet and sour pork, meet its tastier and crispier cousin, New Shanghai's rainbow beef. More to my liking, the individual strips of beef had less of a meaty bite compared to typical sweet and sour pork dish but oh so much more crunch.
Paired with shredded cucumber, spring onion and a sweet hoisin sauce, the dish had some of the makings of one of my favourite dishes, Peking duck pancakes. Switch out the Peking duck for some duck with a super crispy skin and the pancakes for some airy light steamed buns. The serving of duck was quite generous, and there was enough to either overload the buns with duck or eat them sans bun. Either way, the results were delicious.
Some other dishes we tried:
Pork and chive dumplings - definitely a must-order for the chive fans out there. Just like their other dumplings, the skin had the perfect balance of silkiness to chewiness. There's quite a nice hit of chive that teamed beautifully with the natural sweetness of the pork.
Stir fried luffa with soy beans - similar to a winter melon stir fry dish cooked at home, the luffa was silky soft and the overall flavour palette quite sweet. There's a good selection of Asian greens on the menu if you're after some veggies for balance but I personally prefer something with more of a bite.
Stir fried rice cake with pork and XO sauce - the rice cakes had a pleasant chewy bite and was paired with quite an intensely flavoured XO sauce that seemed to overcompensate for the blandness of the rice cakes.
Much like the Emporium location, Chadstone's New Shanghai is also exceptionally busy and attracts quite a number of patrons who will queue up; a testament to the tastiness of the spread at New Shanghai. No one enjoys queuing up but those pan fried pork buns and crispy salted egg yolk tofu dishes more than make up for the wait.
New Shanghai Chadstone
Chadstone Shopping Centre,
1341 Dandenong Rd,
Chadstone, Victoria, 3148.
(03) 9973 9483
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of New Shanghai. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.