There’s another new player on the Shanghainese dumpling market in Chatswood – the name is Shanghai Stories 1938 and it is probably the most lavishly decked out Shanghainese restaurant in Sydney that I’ve been to. Like Good Thai, it is located in Chatswood’s new ‘The Concourse’ and the interior is plush and comfortable, with little oriental touches in the décor. They have even thoughtfully included an extra set of black chopsticks for each person to use as their communal chopsticks to share the food.
Much to our surprise, their service was also very friendly and prompt, which put us in a great mood to enjoy the food. We’re dining at lunchtime today and the ordering system is for the diner to mark down the dishes they would like on a piece of paper, which is then handed to the waiter. Our food comes out quite quickly, starting with the signature Shanghainese pork dumplings with broth – ‘xiao long bao’. The skin is thin and delicate, just as it should be and the broth inside is piping hot. Big tick of approval for this dish; it’s done just as well as the original famous xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung, but for a much more reasonable price.
Xiao long bao, 4 for $3.80
We also have ordered the pan fried beef buns, a different alternative to the pan fried pork buns we usually get. They’re flatter than the pork buns, with some curry powder mixed in with the minced beef. It’s decent but I still prefer the crispiness of the pork buns, which also come with broth inside.
Pan fried beef buns, $5.80
The silky pork wontons in red chilli oil are a hit with our table; the light spiciness of the sauce goes well with the juicy steamed wontons to make a simple yet flavoursome dish.
Pork wontons with red chilli oil, $7.80
Last of our savoury dishes is the Shanghainese style stir fried noodles with shredded pork and vegies. Our first impression was that it looked like a darker shade of brown than usual, leading us to suspect that the chef had used too much soy sauce and upon taking our first bite, this suspicion was confirmed as the noodles were definitely on the salty side.
Shanghainese style stir fried noodles, $9.80
For the sweets, we opted for the deep fried pumpkin glutinous cakes which were made from sweet pumpkin mash, encased inside flaky pastry and sesame seeds on top, a nice fried little snack.
Deep fried pumpkin glutinous cake with sesame coating, $5.80
The adorable panda buns were our other dessert, which are soft pillows of red bean paste and they’re so cute that I almost don’t want to bite into it and ruin the panda face. Too bad there are only 2 of them per basket; we finished them in a flash.
Panda buns, $5.80
Even though Shanghai Stories is a spacious restaurant with swanky furnishings, they are surprisingly well priced and have decent food, much like our experience at Lynn Shanghai Cuisine. I really enjoyed our experience there and I have already been back for more since my first visit.
Shanghai Stories 1938
Shop 4 & 6, 409 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW 2067
Phone: (02) 9412 3880