Shanghai River Restaurant, Richmond
My obsession with the good eats in Richmond shows no sign of abating and my latest discovery is the Shanghai River Restaurant. Although many of the establishments I’ve visited in Richmond have – to put it mildly – lacked ambiance, I kept heading back for more because the food was just so darned tasty. But if you are in search of refined dishes, a more sophisticated room, and attentive service in addition to delicious dishes, Shanghai River will do the trick. I have now really come to love Xiao Long Bao (XLB’s for short) and almost always indulge at a new Chinese joint – here my party and I couldn’t resist as the kitchen staff are stuffing the dumplings in plain view, making each sachet by hand. The waitress offered us a crab and pork option which was a lovely, indulgent option – unexpected but delicious – and bursting with a savoury, hot soup barely contained by wrappers that were just the right thickness. We tried the Tan Tan Noodles and the subtle spiciness of the soup, which is laced with peanut sauce, was a rich and flavourful accompaniment to the rice noodles. Their addition of shredded cucumbers was a surprise but worked wonderfully well, adding a fresh brightness to the dish. We indulged in the Black Cod, which was laid over a bed of fried green beans which they managed to expertly prepare so they were not at all greasy. The fried black cod was wonderfully moist and crispy and topped with a spicy minced pork – the combination was divine. I was very pleasantly surprised by the Szechuan Chicken in Hot Pot in which the meat and red and green peppers were all amazingly tender, flavoured with the distinctive and classic black bean sauce. Along with their generous serving of hot and sour soup, between 4 of us and including a generous tip, the bill was just $25 a person. This is pricer than other options in Richmond but it’s definitely a more upscale experience so I still consider it an amazing meal for an amazing price.
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