As most Sydneysiders know, Ashfield is known as Little Shanghai with good reason – its main street is lined with various Shanghainese restaurants, all spruiking their xiaolongbao steamed pork dumplings which are often their signature dish. If you’re not a local, it may be hard to differentiate between all these restaurants but luckily tonight I’m with my best friend who has lived around the area for a long time.
Shanghai Memory is one of the newer restaurants on the block and although the queues aren’t as long here as they are for some of the other Shanghainese restaurants across Sydney such as Din Tai Fung, we still have to wait for 5 minutes before a table is cleared for us. It’s a bit squishy as there’s not much room between tables but we manage to squeeze in and settle down to order.
It’s not long before our xiaolongbao are brought out to us from the open kitchen where the chefs can be seen by the customers to be hard at work crafting these juicy dumplings, courtesy of the clear glass windows. The pastry skin on these xiaolongbao are not as thin and delicate as some other restaurants around, but are still quite decent and the soup released from each dumpling is appropriately tasty.
Steamed pork dumplings (xiaolongbao), $6.80 for 8
The efficient service continues with our plate of shallot pancake being brought out to us not long after. It is quite big and cut into many pieces for us to share. Although quite oily, the pastry is flaky and heavy, making the shallot taste not as strong as it could have been.
Shallot pancake, $4.80
We finished off with a big bowl of combination seafood noodle soup to share. It wasn’t bad but did not taste particularly Shanghainese – just like regular soup noodles with vegies, some cuttlefish and prawns. The noodles weren’t the usual white handpulled noodles which you generally see in Shanghainese restaurants, but rather the conventional yellow thick egg noodles.
Combination seafood noodle soup, $10.80
The total bill for a filling and tasty meal was under $25 for 2 people, which represents great value for current Sydney dining standards. Shanghai Memory is more modern than some of its competitors on the Ashfield main strip with some tasteful photographs of classic Shanghainese landmarks hanging on their walls, but in terms of taste there’s not much to differentiate them from the rest.
267B Liverpool Rd
Ashfield NSW 2131
Phone: (02) 9716 6985