Rita Rizk is a Sydney-based journalist. She’s curious about the world, the biggest foodie alive, enjoys the outdoors, and loves music. She’s forever exploring the world. Find her on Instagram at @sydneytastebudz
Published November 25th 2019
There's nothing more Asian than a dumpling feast and we all know someone obsessed with those little pockets of goodness.
They might seem easy to make, but they actually take skill.
And not many places around Sydney have that ability to perfect a delicious Chinese dumpling. Thankfully, New Shanghai does.
Everything from noodles to dumplings, pork belly to vegetarian dishes, New Shangai has grown exponentially. What started out as a single outlet in Sydney's Chinatown, has now grown to nine restaurants across the country.
There's almost 100 delicious items to choose from, but we decided to order mainly signature dishes to see what they were all about.
And of course, there are dumplings – lots and lots of dumplings. The manager Ozzie recommended we try the sautéed snow pea shoots, slow-braised pork belly with sweet soy sauce, prawn dumplings and pork potstickers.
Although they specialize in all food, dumplings are their babies, over 10 different varieties to choose from. Our favourite was the pork pot sticker dumplings – they absolutely set the bar. They are crisp and fried to perfection with a deep gold, and steamed to give it a puff. This is a must try. Before you try, poke it with your fork or chopsticks to let out the broth and eat with the dumpling.
The shepherd's purse wontons with prawn was the winner for me. I love prawns and I love chili so this was the perfect combination. The chili oil was hot enough for my palate and the sesame paste gave it that extra smooth creamy texture. Next, the main dish - a slow-braised pork belly with sweetened soy sauce served up in a striking clay lidded pot. The pork melts in your mouth and the sauce is all handmade – extremely unique to New Shanghai restaurant. Bok Choy is also served up at the bottom, soaked in the sweet sauce.
Lastly, we tried the sauteed snowpea shoots. The fresh, vibrant green dish was an absolute hit lightly touched with sugar, salt and rice wine. Not only does it make a great instaworthy photo, but it's delicious and light. In fact, all their dishes are light and make you want to come back for more.
We went to the New Shanghai in Ashfield around 7pm on a Friday night. It was so busy, we had to wait at least 15 minutes so my advice is get in early, places are tight.
The best thing about it is the BYO policy so bring your wine if you decide to dine.
Dishes range anywhere from $5 up to $30; you'd be hard pushed to find a more affordable but still relatively fancy dining spot anywhere.
The newest restaurant to open is the New Shanghai in Westfield Sydney which can seat 130 diners. The stand out is the interior design, bustling with vintage posters, hanging lanterns and bamboo chairs which give off a feel of being in Shanghai laneways. And to keep it interesting, they're now selling the Bunnings dumpling; sausage mince mixed with caramelised onion and mustard thrown in on request. It's been a hit with diners.