Jiangzhe cuisine is one of the most popular export in Chinese cooking, after the Cantonese and Sichuan. And you get a lot of these good restaurants in Shanghai for its proximity to Jiangzhe area, just like dimsum in Hong Kong.
70s Shaoxing 70後。紹興家 is one of these chains that have sprung up with the economic growth of Shanghai. You can almost find one in every shopping mall these days. In Cloud Nine shopping centre, there are 4 restaurants that specialise in Jiangzhe cuisine, so it would take a strong contender to survive the competition.
We came as a small group of 4 and ordered just a couple of dishes because it as already really late in the evening.
A classic Huaiyang and Shanghainese starter dish, 绍氏酥鱼 Signature crispy fish was made with the belly part of a pomfret, cut into strips and deep-fried, and then coated with a layer of sweet and savoury sauce. The trick was how not lose the crispiness of the fish when you applied the sauce onto the fish. Here, it was done quite well because they used too little sauce 😉 which I liked because you truly were able to enjoy the crispy and flavourful fish. I always find the Shanghainese one too sweet.
菜梗猪肝 Pig liver with stalky vegetables was a variation of the classic Huaiyang Stir-fried pig liver 爆炒猪肝. Just the right amount of tang and savoury. Instead of chives and scallions, bakchoy was used to provide the crunch. The pig liver was stir-fried just to right doneness, but when the dish gets cold, it hardened and the murky liver taste was so present.
The origin of 花雕竹林鸡 Bamboo chicken in Chinese wine was made with free-range chicken running around the bamboo forests. This was not made of those organic free-range chicken because the chicken was tender and fatty, which was perfect to be marinated in Chinese wine (Huadiao). Not to be confused with the starter dish in Shanghai cuisine, 醉鸡 drunken chicken as it was served warm.
They used the Thai river prawn for their 䜴油皇虾 Prawn in superior soy sauce. The prawns were deep-fried without any coating and then stir-fried into the superior soy sauce. Because Thai river prawns were used, the prawns had none of the umami that you get from seafood. Also as they were farmed, the heads were not full of roe or cream.
But it was the season for mitten crabs. 花雕醉蟹 Drunken hairy crab was simple treatment of the mitten crabs or hairy crabs but marinating the cooked crabs in Chinese wine. It was different the traditional way of “cooking” drunken hairy crab, which was dunking live crabs in Chinese wine, soy sauce and aromatics like ginger, garlic. Because of contamination and a spate of food poisoning cases, most restaurants do a variation but dunking cooked crab into the Chinese wine. Only the best of the best would still do the traditional raw version.
Because it was the season, the crab was still filled with roe. We had the male crabs, so it was filled with something else ;-). Sticky and full of umami, it was just as nice without the fear of getting food poisoning from partaking dodgy raw seafood.
Technically this is not a gnocchi. Instead of potato, they used minced fish meat as the ingredient with the flour to make the gnocchi. For 东家咸菜鱼疙瘩 Fish gnocchi in salted cabbage soup, the essence was in the soup. A very savoury (I would almost say its salty) soup that was made with boiling salted pork with bamboo shoots, this was almost like the classic 腌笃鲜 Salted ham and fresh bamboo soup from Shanghai. The portion was quite generous and filling.
Decor in the place was really extravagant, recreating the feel of a tavern along the banks of Qinhuai river in Nanjing.
They were not the first or the best in doing such decor, but their food was definitely better than the likes of Nanjing Impressions or In love. Service was a bit tardy but I liked to be left alone once the food was served. But it took a while for replenishing the drinks or getting napkins.
All it all, still value for money.
Tel : 021 52908228
Date Visited : Dec 2018