RongYue Mansion is one of those private dining that has become popular in recent years. These are restaurants that do not open their doors to walk-in, and they only serve limited number of tables per evening service. No wonder they would not get a Michelin, yet they served great food with great service, sometimes.
1/ 老上海精美冷菜六碟 Old Shanghai Exquisite Appetisers
Upon entering the dining room, six cold appetisers were already on the table waiting for us. They were mainly classic Shanghainese like the savoury ones 油爆河虾 Crispy river shrimp, 醉鸡 Drunken chicken, 凉拌马兰头 Indian aster salad and the sweet ones 四喜烤麸 Four happiness baked bran and 香熏鲳鱼 Smoked pomfret. And then there’s one that is not Shanghainese, just simple potato and vegetable salad that tasted like the KFC vegetable salad that we used to have in the good old days.
I really liked Indian aster, the taste of the herb was very unique.
热菜 Main Course
2/ 野生黄鱼鸭血汤 Croaker fish with duck blood pudding soup
The first course was a soup. The blood pudding was firm yet soft like tofu. And it was tasty and went perfect with the yellow croaker fish in the soup. Finished the whole thing.
3/ 双叶河虾 River shrimps in two style
One style was the classic 清炒虾仁 stir-fry river shrimp. The difficulty of this dish was to make sure the shrimps remained snowy white. It required thorough cleaning of each shrimp and a quick stir-fry to prevent the shrimp from turning too pink. Eaten with the sweet vinegar.
The other was the 美极鲜虾 shrimp in Maggi sauce. I was surprised to see this style again. The last time I had this was in a Huaiyang restaurant in Cloud 9 Mall. Eaten with a sweet tomato sauce.
4/ 鸡油芦柑蒸白鲳 Steamed white pomfret with chicken oil and mandarin orange
The mandarin orange provide that tangy taste that complimented with the chicken oil and soy sauce. I could have mistaken this as a Teochew-style steamed pomfret because of the introduction orange that gave it the same effect as the preserved plum that we use.
The fish was perfectly steamed, although I expected that a bigger pomfret to be used.
5/ 土公鸡锅贴 Dumpling skin wrapped free-range chicken in casserole
This is another classic Huaiyang cuisine. A whole chicken is chopped up, marinated and encrusted in dumpling skin, and then the whole casserole is baked. The result is a really tasty chicken that can be wrapped with the dumpling skin and eaten like a taco.
6/ 韩式河豚鱼 Fugu in Korean style
I have never been so “poisoned”, 4 fugu meals in one month. The fugu here was cooked with kimchi and that added punch was really the needed touch for the delicate fugu.
7/ 淮阳软兜 Huaiyang river eel
淮阳软兜 Huaiyang river eel is a famous traditional dish of Huaiyang cuisine. It originated from Huai’an and is made from back of yellow eels that are about the thickness of a Chinese writing brush. The back flesh is skilfully removed from the eel, blanched in stock, and then cooked with garlic cloves, lard and flavoured with cooking wine, soy sauce, vinegar and other spices. Finally cornstarch is added to thicken the sauce, sprinkle with white pepper, and scoop in a final ladle of hot lard for that shine and temperature.
Huaiyang cuisine emphasis on knife work and quick cooking is brilliantly demonstrated in this course. The eel was al dente, just enough bite and yet tender and succulent. The lard kept the eel warm, and therefore remained fresh and tasty. Eel can turned muddy taste when cold. I love eel, and this was one of the best specimen I have tasted so far.
8/ 虾胶酿藕 Shrimp paste in lotus root
Shrimp paste was spread between two wafers of lotus root and then fried. The wafers were then stir-fried with snow peas, black wood fungus, and pepper for another classic Huaiyang cuisine.
9/ 浓汤豆瓣 Broad bean in stock
In any dinner, there’s always a least favourite, this must be it.
10/ 青葱马兰头 Stir-Fry Indian aster and spring onions
A very simple dish that combined two aromatic greens in a simple stir-fry with soy sauce. A bit like stir-fry chives.
The sweet dessert was 酒酿丸子 Glutinous rice ball in wine and 上海春卷 Classic Shanghainese spring roll. And for the main, we were served 葱油拌面 Shanghai noodles in scallion oil. Simple everyday stuff, but these were usually the most difficult to do well.
The restaurant is found in an old mansion, and only served banquets with preset menu. Reservations are required as they do not take walk-ins. You cannot even walk-in because the security guard would not let anyone to enter without an invitation or a reservation.
The owner of this restaurant is an avid art collector. The paintings were all really old and fancy stuff, like this one hanging outside our dining room was a Qing dynasty painting by a well-known scholar.
Service was really good, and the pacing of the meal was sufficient for us to conduct a proper business discussion after all the small talks were over.
RongYue Mansion Private Dining 融月府私房宴
Date Visited : Mar 2019
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