Nothing beats a free lunch, and even better, a free lunch right below the office in a restaurant that we have not tried before. Rose Garden was one of the few we have yet to try, and when our business associates wanted to buy lunch, we promptly recommended it.
The whole place was decorated in Tiffany blue. The food is Shanghainese mainly, with a bit of Jiangzhe and Huaiyang thrown in. No restaurant these days can just excel in one style because tastes are so varied.
We started with six appetisers, nothing which stood out exactly. I liked the scallion oil poached chicken, simple because I love poached chicken and they have done it well. Here were the rest of the lunch in the serving order
Sautéed River Shrimp with Sweet Peas 手剥河虾仁小豌豆
Classic Shanghai dish, the addition of the sweet peas was redundant. The shrimp was peeled perfectly, perfectly deveined and sautéed expertly to retain the taste and crunch.
Stewed Carp Fish Head Casserole 黄焖鱼头汤
The fish meat has been used to make the bouncy fish balls in the casserole. The soup has a great sweetness from boiling the entire carp fish head (and bones) until it was all white and creamy. A great value for such a big casserole.
Sautéed Crab Meat with Mung Bean Noodles 蟹粉炒粉皮
The crab meat provided all the umami to the bland mung bean noodles. There wasn’t much crab meat but a lot of sauce. I guessed it was made from processed crab meat that you can buy from supermarkets these days.
Beef Cubes with Mushrooms and Black Garlic 黑蒜珍菌牛柳粒
Finally something other than black pepper beef cubes in a Chinese restaurant. This time, beef cubes were sautéed with mushroom, black garlic and oyster sauce. Delicious.
Grandma’s Braised Pork Belly with Preserved Vegetables 外婆梅菜红烧肉
By the time this was served, we were almost full. So you can imagine the eyeballs went wide open when we saw how fatty the chunks of pork belly were. I left it alone remembering that it was only lunch.
River Eels in Heavy Sauce 响油鳝糊
This is my favourite Shanghai dish, and even if I was full, I would still try it. The eels were filleted and deboned. They were then cooked in Chinese wine and heavy soy sauce. And just before serving, a ladle of boiling oil was poured onto minced garlic placed on top of the sautéed eel. The sizzling sound made when hot oil met with the garlic gave the dish the name “the noisy oil on eel”.
Pea Shoots Sautéed with Grain Liqueur 五粮液豆苗
It is common in Shanghai to use wine to sautéed their vegetables. But use of a heavy grain liqueur was uncommon and overwhelming. My host went on and on about how many bottles of Maotai he has to go through every month for his business. Such is the infatuation of the Chinese with their grain liqueurs. Of course he did not sense the sarcasm when I said I don’t drink with unimportant people for business.
Signature Huaiyang Fried Rice 玫瑰厅淮扬炒饭
This is an updated version of the Yangzhou Fried Rice with added chopped cured meats. It made the fried rice more luxe but also more heavy. Reminded me of the fried rice I get in Singapore though, which we used chopped charsiu instead of cured meat.
Sautéed Seasonal Vegetables 玫瑰厅时蔬荟萃
By the time this came, we can eat no more. The whole plate was almost left on its own.
This was a lunch I would love to avoid and forget. The food was good but the company wasn’t. It is important that you have good company with good food to have a good time. I will give this place another try when I am in a better mood.
Rose Garden Shanghai Restaurant 玫瑰厅上海菜(长宁来福士广场店)
Tel : 021-62990227
Date Visited : Dec 2020