New Shanghai – Comforting Chinese Cuisine

New Shanghai is a Chinese restaurant which originally opened in my home country, Australia. Although I’m embarrassed to say I’d never even heard of it despite there being 3 in Sydney alone with a total of 8 in Australia and 1 in Shanghai itself.

It’s first branch in the UAE opened recently on the Lower Ground floor of Dubai Mall opposite to Texas Roadhouse.

It’s a spacious restaurant, with a mixture of booths and tables, some with the traditional lazy Susan, perfect for sharing food with families and friends.

The hand painted art works hang all over of Chinese ladies, one reminding me of my Mum when she was in her 20’s.

The menu is varied, from appetizers to different categories for meat, seafood, dumplings, noodles and rice.

The recommended dishes are highlighted in red. Our waitress for the evening, Brenda was helpful and full of smiles.

As it’s not a licensed venue the options for mocktails, juices, tea etc. is decent. I opt for the black tea kombo which contains kombucha. A fuzzier version of an iced tea.

We start our dining experience with their chicken wonton soup. They’ve mastered the broth as it tastes exactly the same as my Chinese grandma makes and I shriek in excitement as I know I’m in for a treat.

Next out is the Xiao Long Bao closely followed by the beef short ribs and pan fried chicken buns.

Ok now most people are familiar with Xiao Long Bao made famous by Din Tai Fung which specialize in these soup dumplings (and have 2 branches here in Dubai) and the first thing everyone asked me is “Are they as good as DTF?”. To be completely honest, how do you compare with a restaurant that holds one Michelin Star in HK. I don’t think you can, however New Shanghai version isn’t bad at all. However, they do something DTF don’t do and it’s a chicken pan fried dumpling. Complete with a crispy base and fluffy bun filled again with chicken mince and broth with sesame seeds. These delicious little buns made me forget all about Xiao Long Baos and now I have new dumpling to dream about every night.

The beef short rib is a restaurant favorite for a very good reason. It’s well marinated in a stick sauce and is tender and juicy and highly addictive. I could of easily kept this place to myself but thought I’d better share.

Speaking of sharing, the whole concept at New Shanghai is made for sharing. This is not only custom but evident in the portion sizes of their dishes! Take the rainbow beef for instant which could feed a small army. Well not really, but it’s still a really large serving which is hard to finish in one sitting unless there’s a few of you and depending on how many appetizers you’ve already eaten.

The salt and pepper prawns and light and crispy, seasoned just right and served with red chilies. Another favorite from the table.

The one noodle dish we tried I thought was a little on the bland side even though it’s mixed with loved cucumbers and a fragrant sauce. Although we got creative and decided to mix it with the marinated seaweed and it was epic! It really lifted the dish to new levels due to the spicy vinegar and crunchiness of the seaweed.

The crispy duck could of been crispier. If I ordered this again I would definitely request that. It comes with mini bao buns, cucumbers, shallots, mixed salt and a hoisin sauce so you can make up your individual buns to your own taste preference.

It’s such great value for money too, with most main dishes ranging from 60-80 dirhams, whilst a plate of dumplings costing you around 40 dirhams for 10 pieces.

I’m genuinely excited for this new addition to Dubai Mall and I’m looking forward to my next visit, but next time I’ll be bringing a whole crew with me.

Location: LG, The Dubai Mall

Number: 04 224 6819

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