Shopping centre dining has come a long way since the steaming bain maries replete with an assortment of reheated, fried, fast food. The latest Melbourne department store, The Emporium Melbourne boasts 225 stores over 7 levels, including some restaurant style dining options.
New Shanghai occupies a prime corner site on level 3. The 120 seat restaurant, evokes a sense of Shanghai backstreets, with it’s red shutters, cobbled floor, and 1920s Shanghai posters. The atmosphere is bustling and noisy, while the heady scent of black vinegar lingers in the air.
Service is brisk and friendly, and the dining experience begins with a recommended Lychee Blended Ice, which is a refreshing drink and infused with lychee flavour. A traditional Shanghai entree served cold is the Drunken Chicken; Poached boned chicken soaked in Chinese Wine and herbs and spices is tender, aromatic, full of flavour, if a bit on the salty side. The Shallot Pancake is one of the crispiest and best I’ve tasted in Melbourne. For dumpling connoisseurs you can’t go past the freshly made Xiao Long Bao ($7.80 for eight), soft pastry encased with rich meaty broth, served with slivers of fresh ginger. Another signature dish is the pan fried Mini Pork Buns ($10.50 for eight), golden on the bottom, plump, filled with savoury pork mince, sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
The Shepherds Purse Soup ($10.50) containing the herb Capsella Bursa- Pastoris, also known as Shepherd’s purse, tofu and usually pork wontons, but absent in this instance to cater for my Vegan companion, is gelatinous, comforting, salty and filling. Tender Pork Belly braised overnight in Sweet Soy Sauce (17.50) is hearty, the pork melt in your mouth and robust in flavour.
A standout main dish to try is the Crispy, Salted and Spiced Duck, served with streamed plain bread, cucumber, spring onion and home made sauce. Similar to Peking Duck, but instead of flat wrappers, the parcels are steamed and plump, butterfly shaped buns.Hefty meals, require a good digestive, and with the numerous teas on offer, a strong oolong served in quaint pink coloured tea pot and cups cuts through the rich meat dishes.
For affordable, upmarket, quality food, memorable dishes, generous portions and the atmosphere of a Hutong, look no further than New Shanghai and schedule in shopping before or after dining at The Emporium.
Address: Shop 323,
Level 3 Emporium
287 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone : +61 3 9994 9386
Sat to Wed 11am – 7pm
Thurs & Fri 11am – 9pm