Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Morning Shanghai, Huangpu Road, Shanghai

Morning Shanghai, Huangpu Road, Shanghai
Tuesday 16 May, 2006

Morning Shanghai is located on the corner of Astor House. This hotel is well known for its unique style of classic Victorian and Baroque architecture and long history. The building itself dates back to 1846 and widely acknowledged as the first western hotel in the Far East.

The exterior of the restaurant and hotel are beautifully lit at night and the interior looks like it had a grand history however is looking a little tired today. The staff were very eager to please and provided us with a western menu offering French food as we were seated.

I ordered a Gin & tonic and it was served in the largest glass I have ever seen - think of a tall glass and double it by width and height. My travel buddy ordered a margarita - well, this was a challenge but it was served in the smallest margarita glass I have ever seen.

The restaurant also serves traditional Chinese cuisine, so we asked for the Chinese menu - this surprised the staff and caused much discussion (none of which we could understand). The Chinese menu offers some fascinating dishes - Shanghai style shredded yellow eel; Pigs intestines with clover; Braised jumbo fish heads; Fish lips with crab meat and roe; and Deep fried pigeon. No thanks!

Whilst I'll try most things we opted for Sauteed prawns with minced pork and chilli sauce; Spicy sauteed shredded pork with pancakes; Deep fried chicken with chilli pepper; Stir fried seasonal vegetables; Hot spicy eggplants in clay pots; and Shanghai fried rice. Our waiter, who could speak some English politely informed us that some of these dishes were very hot - was that OK? Absolutely - bring it on! This caused even more discussion amongst the floor staff and made us wonder if any westerners had tried their Chinese menu before.

Well, the food was sensational...the sauteed prawns was a highlight as was the hot spicy eggplant (it had a sweet and sour flavour). The food was hot and spicy but not as hot as I imagined. There were moments when your mouth was on fire but not enough to prevent us from enjoying this fantastic meal. The interesting thing about eating Chinese food in China is that the rice is served last. So, they bring all your dishes out and wait till you finish eating them before bringing the rice. You only need to ask for the rice earlier and they will bring it (if they understand you).

We weren't expecting to enjoy this meal as much as we did. I also love how they bring you complimentary fresh fruit at the end of your meal - this is great substitute for dessert.

Morning Shanghai - 1 Huangpu Road, Shanghai - 86 21 6309 1846


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