Clouds of Happiness & Wontons @ Shanghai River 滬江海派料理

Shanghai River is probably the most popular Shanghainese restaurant in Richmond, ever since it first opened many years ago.  A lot of the Shanghainese restaurants you see today are actually owned and operated by former employees of Shanghai River, but it still remains to be the most popular one.  This is one restaurant that you have to make a reservation for regardless of time of day and day of week.  We made a reservation earlier that Saturday morning for dim sum, which was already too late.  We ended up waiting for thirty minutes or so.

We ended up sitting in the small room, which consistently reminded me of China.  There's something about those cold hard stone walls that screams China.  All the servers were quite busy and it was a bit hard to get their attention, especially sitting in such a closed space.

First thing that we always order are the steamed minced pork dumplings / xiao long bao (小籠包, $7.50 for eight).  I always liked the XLB here, but I thought this times was a bit below standards.  The pork inside was kind of mushy and when I bit into it, it kind of fell apart.

I quite liked the chicken noodles (雞燴麵, $7.50), since the noodles were nice and soft.  If you're not a fan of really soft noodles, stay away! I usually eat this just for the noodles, not the chicken because there are hardly any pieces of chicken in there.  They're usually a bit tough too since they're overcooked.  The soup was good, but I wish they had more because the soup to noodle ratio was a bit too low for me.

The you tiao (油條, $3.95) which is similar to a Chinese doughnut but savoury instead of sweet, was alright.  I still think Mongolian Little Sheep Hot Pot has the best.

One of my favourite dishes here are the vegetable and pork wontons (菜肉餛飩) in soup.  This time, we wanted to be adventurous and order the pan-fried version.  It came all stuck together and kind of looked like a 3D pan-fried onion pancake.  Despite the fact that I was pretty excited to see them all stuck together and separate all the wontons, I was totally unimpressed with this dish.  The soup version is a lot better.  Panfrying it resulted in a harder skin that was no longer nice and smooth, and the meat inside was kind of mushy too.  I didn't like it.

The other must-get dish at Shanghai River is actually their dessert -- "doughnut" filled with red bean paste 高麗豆 ($6.50 for six pieces).  It's not really a doughnut per say, but more like a deep fried meringue that is extremely fluffy.  The ones here are so fluffy (while having a nice subtly spongy texture to them), it's seriously what I imagine biting into a cloud of happiness would feel like.  I'm not even a fan of red bean and I love it, especially with the cute pink sugar on top.

Shanghai River 滬江海派料理
7831 Westminster Hwy
Richmond, BC
(604) 233-8885
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O my gosh, yes the fried egg whites with red bean paste are soooo fluffy! Nom nom~~

@krispy: i could seriously just eat a plate of those for any meal

Haha, that is a hilarious title to your post! It got my attention and I have to try it!

Omgosh I love how you call them clouds of happiness :) Great post! Must try it when I go to Shanghai River now!

@Peter and Kirby: Awesome! That's actually how I talk in real life so... thank you?! :D

I want to meet you and hear you talk in real life =)

does anyone know the names of any of the waitresses there? they look like they are in their low twenties, probably still students studying at universities. anyone know?

@Peter: hahaha I only talk like that with a few of my close friends!

@noobury: no, I do know that they all speak Shanghainese though.

@Janice: isn't shanghainese the same thing as mandarin?

@noobury: No, it's not. It's a dialect that is primarily used in Shanghai. Mandarin is a broader and common language that is used in China and is the official language. Basically everyone in Shanghai knows Mandarin, though typically only those born and raised in Shanghai know Shanghainese. ie// People from other cities/villages who go to work in Shanghai probably won't know it.
I'm a bit curious as to why you're interested in their names?

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