Singapore – Every person I spoke to about my visit to The Grand Shanghai meets with a confused face, yes it is not the right smack in Orchard next to the MRT but rather nested along with a few underrated dining establishments (Beast & Butterflies, Dashi Master Marusaya) in the Robinson Quay area still, it is worth a visit to this tranquil part of Singapore.
上海小碟 Cold Dish Combination
We started with the light 桂花酿山药 Chinese Yam • Osmanthus • Fermented Chinese Rice Wine. The summer dish that embodies the sweetness of the yam and the fragrance of the osmanthus flower with a robust punch of Chinese wine, Interesting and delicate.
We suspect this would not take as much time needed to prepare as the 上海冻肴肉 Shanghainese Chilled Crystal Pork. The jelly encased pork reminded me of the food that my grandma grew up eating, it was nostalgic but was not our favourite item on the menu. The 花雕酒醉鸡 Drunken Chicken with Chinese Wine faired a lot better, with it’s tender and delicate texture. The 老上海燻鱼 Shanghainese Style Smoked Fish also tickled our fancy with its smoky aroma and firm texture.
珊瑚鳕鱼羹 Cod Fish Soup • Egg White • Carrot Purée, did it remind us of baby food? Yes, a little but we loved the refined and smooth texture of the soup that was light in flavour that made a really good build-up to the heavier dishes to follow.
The 大闸蟹粉炒西施 Scrambled Egg White • Hairy Crab Roe was pure umami in a cup! Each mouth of this heavenly concoction was packed with crab roe and to add a bit of contrast, the hints of caviar also sweeten the deal, seafood taste-wise.
四川酸菜笋壳鱼 Sichuan Style Poached Fish • Pickled Vegetable • Chili was a dish well-executed, thanks to the foodie gods(or maybe just the talented chefs). We’re glad that they did not decide to do some watered down “Singapore Sichuan” as it had full flavours of sourness and heat, making every bite authentic Sichuan.
The 烟燻樟茶鸭 Grand Shanghai Crispy Smoked Duck is a good sharing dish when dining with friends and family. The duck meat was fatty and the meat remained tender to the bite. Personally, I prefer the thinner crepe-like Peking duck but this was a good alternative.
Our flavour roller coaster lunch ended with 姜茶鸳鸯汤圆 Ginger Soup • Glutinous Dumplings and 芝麻豆沙煎锅饼 Stuffed Crispy Pancake • Red Bean Past, which are both decent Chinese deserts. But here is a pro tip, order the Souffle Egg White 高丽豆沙香蕉 instead, these are truly one of a kind (yes, I can’t find anything similar elsewhere in Singapore. If you do leave me a comment below)
As I left the restaurant, I struggled a little to say that it is a pure Shanghainese restaurant food wise but it is definitely a very interesting place to dine at with a 1930’s classy Shanghai backdrop. During the Pre-COVID times, it even had charming live entertainment singing Shanghainese Jazz with a live band in the evenings!
While we wait out COIVD, we would certainly recommend the authentic Chinese fare with dishes that is robust, delicious, and enduring. Meanwhile, enjoy the interior design, take some pictures and pretend like it’s 1930’s again.