Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Shanghai

There is a very famous and popular Cantonese restaurant right next to the Emporium shopping mall. This restaurant has been around for so long, it is considered an establishment now. I have friends who remember going to the restaurant when they were very young with their families. And if you knew our age, this means the restaurant has been around for some time now. It is also very popular with the Japanese and Korean communities in Bangkok. Every day & night the restaurant is full with people, and that is a huge feat considering the restaurant is enormous.

The decor of the restaurant looks like it has been around for a while, not meaning that its decaying, it means that you can tell the restaurant has its timely charm. It has dark wood all over the wall and ceiling. Even the tables and chairs are made of thick & heavy wood. You can imagine that you are sitting in China in this atmosphere.

Great Shanghai is well known for the first dish was had. Their dumplings. The dumplings arrived like in Shanghai, in a large bamboo steam basket. The quantity of dumplings were fantastic and the quality were amazing. Thin skinned, the stuffing and the liquid broth inside the dumplings were so flavourful. We could have had another basket. But, we needed to hold back because we still had another Great Shanghai specialty coming out.

What everyone comes to Great Shanghai for is the wonderful 'Peking Duck'. I really love this dish. Its got to be one of the deadliest dishes for your health. But, when its this good, who cares! The crispy & shiny brown skin of the duck arrived perfectly skinned from the duck. Not much fat attached to the skin. The staff are very experienced and professionals at skinning the duck. You can witness the 'duck specialist' doing her magic. The duck comes comes out of the kitchen into the dinning room and put on the duck cart. The 'duck specialist' puts on her gloves, receives the duck knife and she carefully skins the duck. Laying gently each golden brown skin onto the dish.

All the condiments arrive as well so that we could make the Peking duck roll. We took a flour pancake, spread some hoisin sauce onto the pancake, placed a duck skin on the center of the pancake, placed one slice of cucumber and one slice spring green onion.

The result would be something like the photo below. To eat it, we took the pancake from one side and started rolling it into a roll like a cigar. Of course everyone has their own way of creating their duck roll. Some do not like the spring onion, some do not like cucumber, some prefer just skin in the roll. However, you like your duck roll, it always turn out amazingly delicious.

The next dish is what happens to the rest of the duck after being skinned. You have several two choices; either you have the duck meat deep fried or you have it minced and fried with chopped green beans. The minced version is so much better than the deep fried version. We always have the meat minced. When the dish is placed on the table, a plate of ice berg lettuce is also placed on the table. We took an ice berg lettuce and placed it onto the palm of our hand, then we took a big spoon full of the minced duck meat and placed it onto the middle of the ice berg, we added a big drop of hoisin sauce and rolled the ice berg lettuce like a taco. The result is a flavourful dish. The duck meat is moist & tender, the ice berg adds texture and freshness to the dish. Very nice! (I forgot to take the photo, but the rest of the duck carcass is made into a soup. A wonderful duck soup with bitter melon.)

We still had one bottle of wine left, so we decided to end the meal with a meat dish instead of the normal fried rice or noodles. The dish was tender beef in spicy sichuan sauce. The meat was very tender and the sauce was spicy but not to the point of over whelming the wine. I actually enjoyed ending the meal with this dish than a noodle dish.

We have been going to Great Shanghai for years. The food is wonderful; especially for the 'Peking Duck'. There are many Peking duck restaurants in town, but we always return to this one. The staff can be a bit slow and 'out of it' in the beginning. But once the food starts arriving, they start getting into their groove.

A recommendation. If you are like us and hate it when Chinese restaurants bring out all the food at the same time, which Great Shanghai is an expert at doing. Do what we do; order a couple dishes at a time. Then you can pace yourselves, instead of trying to eat everything at once before the food gets cold.

648-652 Soi Sukhumvit 24 Sukhumvit Road (next to Emporium Shopping Mall)
t: 662 2587042

No comments: