Oh, Chatswood… you’re like a nigh unrecognisable old friend, oh Chinatown of the North; so familiar but different… we’ve both moved on. You weren’t my first Chinatown; nay, Hurstville was first to claim my stomach. Then, I unfaithfully visited Chinatown in the city but the infidelity was mutual: City Chinatown was every man’s Chinatown. Then for a brief moment, you were my Chinatown. But as time passed, I dabbled in different things, tried different sub-cuisines. Ashfield’s Little Shanghai held my affection recently but it’s started to get weird… it’s like they lost touch of who they were, y’know? Trying to be too classy, y’know?
Well, a recent rainy night has brought us back to you, Chatswood. It don’t recognise anything at first, what with the new train stations and malls. But just as I’ve been enjoying a taste of Ashfield Shanghai, so have you, I see… A New Shanghai Restaurant has taken root in Chatswood Chase.
Could you be as comforting as the New Shanghai Restaurant in Ashfield that had seldom failed to let me pig out on a pittance?
As is customary when visiting a Shanghainese dumpling house, we kick it off with the Shanghai Mini Pork Buns. The pastry is slightly thicker (though not thick enough to need pinching) and the pork inside is more substantial than Din Tai Fung’s. Possibly some of the best xiao long bao we’ve had in a while.
The unseasonably cold Spring weather (or the typically unreliable Sydney weather) has got me craving some warm hearty goodness; I get an order of Hot and Sour Soup. It could be hotter and more sour but it still made for great comfort food.
Having had a large late lunch, we share an order of Caramelised Pork Belly, braised overnight. It’s a good cut of berkshire, good meat-to-fat ratio, and the sauce is not overly sweet or fatty. It was served on a bed of bok choy, which was an extra bonus.
Though pricier than Ashfield, it’s not unreasonably so. The fitout and decor is much more pleasant than Asho and the food is just as good. Alas, the poor service still remains (but you don’t come here for the service, do you?). If the Bondi Junction one is this good, it’ll be my local.
The word? We were not disappointed. Great meal at great prices. Excellent mini pork buns. A group of two is the perfect number to minimise waits.
Shop B-038, Chatswood Chase
Chatswood, NSW 2067
+61 2 9412 3358