Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Old Shanghai (老上海) @ Chime Heritage, Georgetown, Penang.

Opened for business at least for a year, Old Shanghai is proven to be one of the favorites for Shanghainese food devotees. The place is often thronged with people during the weekends, regular patrons appreciate the authentic-ness of the delicacies, the warm hospitality from the servers, the comfortable air-conditioned dining area and a wide variety of snacks and delicacies. Prices are wallet-friendly but certain dishes were too greasy to our liking. Nevertheless, the large menu offering many sweet and savory dishes ensures diners in any age group find something that suits their taste buds. Old Shanghai is right next to Happy Fish Noodles, opposite to the newly opened Perut Rumah Nyonya Restaurant, at Chime Heritage.

Shanghainese Dumpings/ Xiao Long Bao/ 上海小笼包 (Rm 15) 

Drunken Chicken/ 醉鸡 (Rm 12) 

Shanghai Tiger Skin Wrap/ 上海虎皮卷 (Rm 8) 

Old Shanghai is known for serving Shanghainese delicacies as well; as light as Dim Sum or as heavy as a meal on its own. Indisputably crowned as one of the best sellers, Shanghainese Xiao Long Bao struck us with its unabashed meaty-juicy broth. It was served to us piping hot, best to go with their Chinese Black Vinegar and julienned Ginger slices but it was not without any shortcoming- the dumpling skin was a little too thick as far as texture is concerned. Drunken Chicken, on the other hand, was served cold. We caught in a whiff of boozy scent when the dish was served to us. The cooked Chicken was submerged in a pool of Chinese Rice Wine to allow full absorption of flavors; we were glad that the dish turned out well. If I had to nitpick, we would prefer a smoother and less-gritty texture. Shanghai Tiger Skin Wrap is not a common dish here in Penang, it was my virgin experience as well. Sauteed Bean Sprouts and julienned Black Fungus were carefully wrapped in Bean-curd Skin and seared with a crispy texture. It was meant to serve with Chinese Black Vinegar; inexorably greasy, the acidity of Black Vinegar counter balanced the greasiness of the dish and provided a refreshing touch to the crunchy vegetables and crispy Bean-curd skin. Exceptional but not something that I would want to eat regularly. 

"Chinese Sauerkraut" Noodle/ 酸菜鱼面 (Rm 7.90)

Noodles with Pork Ribs/ 大排面 (Rm 12) 

Noodles with Scallion Oil/ 葱油面 (Rm 6)

Old Shanghai has a wide variety of tummy-filler; we were inclined to try their home-made Ramen-like noodles. The Chinese Sauerkraut Noodle stood out as compared to the other two noodle-dishes we had. It comes in a hearty portion with a generous amount of chopped "Chinese Sauerkraut" and Chilies topped. Fish was nothing out of the ordinary but the overall flavors worked. It was well-balanced with a medley of sour, spicy and savory notes; though we would prefer a spicier and more sourish version. Noodles with Scallion Oil is probably one of their signature dishes, al-dentely cooked noodles evenly-tossed in Soy Sauce and heaps of Scallion Oils. The conglomeration produces an irresistible aroma and worked extremely well with their home-made Chili paste; but it was a tad greasy to our liking, same goes for the Pork Ribs. 

Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No

Additional Information:
Address: 15, Chime Heritage, Jalan Bawasah, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 9: 30 am to 3 pm; 6 pm to 10 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 226 0315

Map of Jalan Bawasah, George Town, 10050 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia