Ark Restaurant & Lounge Bar is situated on top of the Shanghai Grand Theatre, and serves a unique range of Chinese dishes. It opens on to an outdoor terrace with views of the Shanghai skyline.
Shanghai-style appetisers can be generally categorised into three main types: 1/ 糟货 Marinated in wine or wine lees; 2/ 凉拌菜 cold dishes; 3/ 重酱 heavy sauce.
醉毛蟹 drunken mitten crab
It is the season for hairy crabs. And the Shanghainese really knows how to make this delicacy – 醉毛蟹 drunken mitten crab. It is now served cooked because there were many cases of food poisoning as a result of sub-standard hygiene elsewhere that the Shanghai Municipal gov decided to ban it all together. Their crabs were really small, packed with roe and very well marinated with Huadiao wine.
糟毛豆 edamame in wine marinade
Another appetiser soaked in wine – edamame, one cannot trace who made this simple item an appetiser first, the Japanese or Shanghainese. Nevertheless, only the Shanghainese marinate them in wine.
家乡咸鸡 salted chicken
Shanghainese appetisers are either very sweet or very salty. The poached chicken is cooked in a heavy brine. The salt gave the cold chicken a very satisfying taste and keep the skin tight and chewy. Excellent choice.
蛋黄鸭卷 duck roll with salted egg yolk
Now, this is not exactly Shanghainese but Huaiyang cuisine. But still one of my favourite Chinese cold dish.
Those not familiar with Shanghainese cuisine will be surprised how sweetness can be mixed with savoury in the same dish. That’s is why Shanghainese cuisine is a favourite among my Caucasian friends.
生菜包羊排 lamb ribs wrapped with cabbage
One of their signature dish, it has a strong Xinjiang influence with the use of spices.
响油鳝丝 river eel in sweet sauce
A classic Shanghainese dish, the eels used are smaller than usual and it has been expertly deboned and cooked with a sweet and savoury soy sauce. The shine was the final ladle of boiling oil poured on the minced garlic.
麻辣小龙虾 crayfish in mala sauce
Beijing and Shanghai will argue for hours who eat more of the crayfish. But one thing both will agree, the crayfish cooked this way was heavenly.
老酒蒸鲥鱼 carp fish steamed in yellow wine
A classic Shanghainese dish, a carp cooked with its scale still on. After the fish is steamed and yellow wine poured over, the layer of scale can be easily removed, leaving behind a very smooth and tender fish.
镜箱豆腐 braised tofu filled with minced meat
A bit like yong tau foo, but stuffed with minced meat and mushroom, and then smothered with a sweet and savoury sauce not unlike the one used for the eel..
油焖笋 bamboo shoot cooked in heavy sauce
And then for the seasonal vegetable, we have bamboo shoot and the really familiar sauce once again.
Service here is so so, food is great, but the view from the balcony overlooking People’s Square is excellent.
Ark Restaurant and Lounge Bar 雅科本帮江浙菜 (大光明店)
3F, Shanghai Grand Theatre, 248 Nanjing Xi Lu, by Huangpi Nan Lu
Tel : 021-6327-7177
Date Visited : Jun 2017