I was first introduced to Shanghai cuisine when I was living in Hong Kong. This type of cuisine is derived from the surrounding Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces and is known for dishes flavoured by lots of soy sauce and sugar; meat cooked in alcohol and; exotic seafood dishes (as Shanghai is a coastal city).
My favourite Shanghainese dish is Xiao long bao dumplings which are thick dough parcels of flavored meat and soup, either deep fried or steamed. On a trip to Shanghai, I was taught that it’s not best practice to stuff the entire dumpling – soup and all – into your mouth in one go. The best way is to pick up the dumpling with your chopstick, dip it in vinegar and soy sauce, place it on your spoon and bite a little piece from the top. Drink the hot soup first then pop the remaining deep fried dough and flavoured meat into your mouth. This way you have two hits of flavour from just one dumpling! It’s very efficient.
So I jumped at the chance to join Mrs JY at Lynn Shanghai Cuisine for lunch on a wintery Friday last year. The restaurant is located on the first floor of the Castlereagh Club (99 Castlereagh Street) and is very spacious although does get busy very quickly.
Mrs JY ordered her favourite dishes plus my request for pan fried xiao long bao for us to share.
We ate Deep Fried Shell Crab with chilli and shallots ($19.80), green sprouts with mushrooms($16.80), steamed fish in spicy sauce ($32.10), and ….
We warmed our cold winter selves with plenty of hot soy bean milk.
The food was delivered to our table very quickly and the portions were so large that the two of us couldn’t finish our meal. The greens and fish were fresh and slightly sweet and made me feel better about eating at least half a plate of deep fried shell crabs with chili and shallots. The Xiao long bao were larger than I expected and delicious. They were also almost – almost – better than the dumplings I ate at Nan Xiang in Shanghai, which is the birthplace of Xiao long bao.
I recommend Lynn’s Shanghainese Cuisine for lunch or dinner for a delicious, reasonably priced Shanghainese meal. Mrs JY and I didn’t book and were seated immediately for lunch at 12.30. However it became very busy over the next hour so I think it’s best to make a booking for a large group on +612 9267 7780.