Sunday, August 17, 2008

Penang Day 2: Shanghai Ding

(Note (3/10/08): I have received feedback that Shanghai Ding's new branch at Queensbay Mall is very good. I have also been informed that steps have been taken to improve the Shanghai Ding at New world Park.)

The pictures of the 'porky mouse' baos I saw on another website so captured my heart that I kept one meal specially for Shanghai Ding at New World Park, Bayan Indah (near Lorong Selamat). Besides, I felt sorry for my mom who is quite sensitive to hawkers' food, so it would be nice to eat in a restaurant for a change. Hub had instructed me to take Mom somewhere nice for a meal. Ming had wondered to me by now if good food and dirty environment are directly proportional.

Shanghai Ding was still not opened when we got there at 11:30 am, so we went to the New World Park Food Court and had these snacks:

Chinese radish dumplings (back) and taro cake (front).

The taro cake was surprisingly good even though it looked white instead of purplish, and it was pudding-soft enough to be eaten with a spoon.

Cheong fun.

Texture was good but the sauces were so-so. I felt queasy as the guy had used his bare hands to hold the cheong fun before I could even stop him. I should've insisted on a fresh plate. If customers don't complain, the vendors will continue their unhygenic practices.

Baby oysters omelette.

The oysters were fresh and plump but the eggs were overcooked and as is always with this dish, there was too much oil.

Shanghai Ding turned out to be a small, comfortable restaurant, not one of those fancy chain xiao long baos places.

Xiao long baos RM6.80/US$2.10.

The tips of the baos were hard and dried. How is that possible when we were the second group of customers at 11:35 am, and they had just opened?? Could it be--dare I suggest--that these were re-steamed baos?? Whatever, they didn't impress me. On the way out, I saw the chefs wrapping the baos and the pork filling was more white than pink, meaning there were loads of pork fat. So be warned about xiao long baos anywhere--the meat filling is mostly pork fat to give it that smooth texture and flavor.

'Porky Mice' baos RM3.80/US$1.20.

At last I get to eat the 'porky mouse' baos which look like baby albino porcupines.


What a disappointment! The bright orange-colored custard tasted commercial and the bao texture was dry and rather dense. I couldn't believe it. I've wanted to eat this for so long!

Prawn scallop dumpling RM5/US$1.50.

Very ordinary. By now, I was on guard about Shanghai Ding.

Spring onions pancake, RM3/US$0.93.

Driest spring onion pancake I've ever eaten.


And that's the way the pancake crumbled. Never eaten a spring onion pancake of this texture before. It was crumbly to the point of powdery.

Pork and veg wonton soup, RM7.20/US$2.30.

The soup was pure msg and water. I was quite upset by now.

Braised pork (tung po rou) with baos.

The prices are very reasonable. The bill was only RM42.70/US$13.30, including tea and tax. Aiyayaya. Does anyone have any comment about this place?


jgirlpg said...

I've never tried this place because my friend tried it and reminded us not to. Haha! But, I have to say I'm glad you only tried a few of the "snack" foods at the foodcourt, and did not have a full meal there ... because most of the food there are only passable at best. Since the setting up of the New World Park, a lot of the original hawker stalls have moved on, and what we get here now are replacements. E.g. the lorbak items are yucks, the laksa is bad, and the oyster omelette at the opposite coffee shop tastes better. I go there only because it has lots of space for my daughter to run around and parking is easy. Also, it's very near a nice bakery.

Lin said...

take a look at cute porcupines buns here

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

jpgirlpg: hi, bee told me about u :)

good tt ur friend also didn't like the place. awful food. i give them a yr b4 they fold...

lin: i couldn't get to tt site but i'll search joe's site, thanx :)!

shal said...

wow. im surprised your visit there din't turn out well. i tried it back the last time i went to penang. despite being non chinese and having people stare at me while i was eating, i did enjoy my meal. but thank god i read your entry. planning to go penang again and am definitely gonna avoid the place this time around.

btw i love the oysters-egg fried dish. but i'm so afraid to try them. sometimes the oysters look so dirty grey and taste mushy. how do you tell if oysters are fresh so you don't end up ordering the dish and wasting your money?

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

shal: maybe u shd give them a chance n tell me about it *winks*

fresh oysters shd be full n plump (not flat), wet & shiny and shd smell briny instead of fishy...hey, i hope u get to eat red prawn durians. tell me how ur trip went n if u found any good food places :)

Hungry Hamster said...

Hi Terri! I also wanted to try this shop the last time I visited Penang about 6 months ago for Chinese New Year, after reading about it from Rasa Malaysia. Her pictures were so pretty! Haha, but after I've got my DSLR, I learned that pictures can be deceiving :p

I didn't get to try it though after my relatives have warned me against it. They said the xiao long bao were very dry, and you've confirmed it for me! The custard in the porcupines buns looked so horrible!!

Taipei's Ding Tai Fung is still the best for me :)

Anonymous said...

I have tried both the main branch near Queensbay and the also the one at New World Park. The Queensbay main branch is the one to go, food there is actually very decent considering the price. I also noticed that you ordered some of the less popular items. Their fried radish cake is very good and the pockey mouse buns are always pillowy and soft.

terri@adailyobsession said...

anon: could it be bc queensbay is very new? i read rasa malaysia's good review about shanghai ding at new world park & was very impressed with the pics but i think since then they have deteriorated.much.

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