Dumplings in Sydney’s “Little Shanghai”.
Ashfield is bustling with dumpling joints, most originate from Shanghai. Noodlies, Sydney food blog revisits one of the most popular.
New Shanghai, A Taste of Shanghai, Shanghai Night… the list of restaurants in Ashfield with Shanghai in their name goes on and it can be confusing. New Shanghai is one of the oldest in Ashfield, and these days, have spread to Brisbane and Victoria.
In Sydney you’ll find them in Ashfield (where it all started), Chatswood (two branches) and Bondi Junction. Head further north and you’ll can snack on their dumplings in Charlestown.
It’s had a glam make over since my last visit. Exposed brick, wooden tables, Chinese screens and subdued lighting contribute to a warm, comfortable feel. It’s a small space, with another smaller area in the back. The tables are stacked tightly but still comfortable enough for most. Judging by the hard surfaces, it probably gets noisy when at capacity.
On the menu it’s chopped cucumber tossed with fresh garlic, but mercifully they’ve stuck with tradition and roughly smashed the green vegetable. The irregular shapes make for a much interesting texture. The soy based sauce is sweet and vinegar sour, it’s brilliant. As is the crushed fresh garlic lurking all through. It’s a great starter, but probably best avoided when on a first date.
Zha jian mian (above) looks sensational – stir fried pork mince with shredded cucumber and thick noodles. There are three distinct sections on the plate, ready to be mixed at the table. See the noodlies, Sydney food blog video to see how the dish changes when mixed.
Visually, the noodle dish promises much, but sadly, is plainer than I’d like. There’s no punch, no thrill.
The pan fried pork dumplings are a steal; eight thick pieces for $8.80. For me, that shell is a bit too dense today making the dumplings too doughy. There’s a little wait for them to arrive and we’d already polished off the other two dishes. It’s curious given dumplings are their specialty and the place isn’t yet packed, so you’d expect pronto delivery.
Oh, New Shanghai, your new glam decor is spot on, but the dishes today are hit and miss.
273 Liverpool Rd, Ashfield, NSW
(02) 9797 7284