Typhoon landed in Shanghai. Strong wind and heavy rain outside the hotel room. Food delivery was almost impossible. Such a cold day, we craved for something hot. This was the best time for hotpot.
Located at Hongqiao West Suburb, a very high class and private residential district in Shanghai, Southpark Seafood Hotpot operates out of a private villa replicated from an era gone by.
The hotpot restaurant is located right next to the teppanyaki restaurant operated by the same owners. Also, there’s a private banquet concept by the same folks right at the back of the compound. So make sure you go ended up in the right place.
The interior mimicked the pattern and details of Shanghai’s old foreign villas. The Paris-esque stained glass ceiling shone on the 19th century Fijian-style decorative tiles.
The space on the three floors, including 10 private rooms, that can meet the dining needs of 4-12 people. The theme of each private room is also different, which is suitable for business banquets or family gatherings.
Not only that, but even the dining table is specially customized! In order to create a table that can take both hot pot and Chinese food at the same time, the restaurant owner personally drew drawings, which took half a year to develop it with the factory.
The induction stove is hidden in the woodwork. Whether it is the big pot in the middle or the small pot scattered around, the hotpot seemed to be magically heated by the wooden table. And the temperature control is also built in such that you can control it by touching the lighted LED under the varnish.
Every detail is not spare, the dining experience is extended to the full set of chinaware from Narumi.
The set meal for two included seven courses that included wagyu, kurobuta pork, Australian lobster, blue abalone, and dessert for only ¥788.
精美三小碟 Three Hor d’Ouvres
Hor d’ourves to start the meal – Brazilian nuts, kimchi and wasabi octopus.
I especially enjoyed the wasabi octopus. The octopus was tenderised and mixed with sufficient wasabi to give it a kick.
松露台山花菜梗 Cauliflower with Truffle
The appetiser was a nicely pickled cauliflower stem flavoured with truffle oil and spicy dressing. This pickle was surprisingly good. Now I know what to do with my extra cauliflower stems.
椒鹽天雞腿 Salt and Pepper Frog Legs
They were out of their signature deep fried crispy duckling, so we had to opt for this salt and pepper frog legs instead.
響螺花胶翅汤底 Fish Maw Shark’s Fin Soup Base
There were over 10 types of soup base to choose from. But their bestseller is the fish maw shark’s fin soup base. The general single person pot was placed in front of me and was heated up in no time. A bowl was scooped out to be enjoyed immediately. The soup was rich and sticky with collagen. Once that step was done, additional stock was added to start cooking the rest of the ingredients.
The set came with two types of sliced meat – collar meat of kurobuta pork, and Australian M7+ wagyu short rib.
And the set also include live seafood from the tanks that supplied their three restaurants. A whole Australian lobster, and two blue abalone. We ordered an ala carte order of clams.
Referred locally as the Beauty’s Tongue for the extending muscle that looked a tongue sticking out of the shell, Coelomactra Antiquata was the mollusc that caused the mass poisoning in China. These days it was farmed and safe to consume. Often mistaken as the surf clam (akagai), they have a crunchy texture similar to akagai and but cannot be eaten as sashimi.
Blue abalone used to be quite rare when harvested from the wild. But these days, they are farmed and can be harvested as a sustainable seafood. The spices we had was from New Zealand but they were now cultivated in China. I suspected the Australian lobster came from local seafood farms too.
時蔬拼盤 Vegetable Platter
The red coral lettuce was uncommon as a hotpot vegetable because it could be bitter when blanched.
But the Shanghai greens were perfect with the right crunch and mustardy taste.
鬼馬油條蝦膠 Special Dough Fritters stuffed with Prawn Paste
黑雞樅菌 Termite Mushrooms
雞樅菌 Termite Mushrooms are wildly popular in Asia and Africa, where they are known for their nutritious value, medicinal properties and delicious taste. One thing that makes these mushrooms unique is that, as their name suggests, they are cultivated by termites by means of a complex natural process that takes place underground. Since they are only gatherable in the wild during the rainy season, demand far exceeds supply, which makes farming them extremely lucrative. So you trust that the Chinese will do it first.
The important thing in cooking the mushrooms is to let their delicate flavour and texture come through fully. They shouldn’t be used to make complicated recipes. The texture is meaty and tasted floral and woody.
龍蝦頭尾泡飯 Lobster Boiled Rice
The shell of the lobster was used to make the bisque that was in turn used to cook this boiled rice porridge. The sweetness and umami from the lobster was a perfect end to a really satisfying lunch.
百香果布丁 Passionfruit Pudding
A nice custard pudding with passionfruit – sweet and tangy at the same time. Most Chinese restaurants have poor dessert offering. South Park has quite good dessert.
And to round up a really satisfying meal, a simple plate of cut fruits. Every piece was sweet and specially selected.
The food was good and value for money, but the service was top notch. A waitress was assigned to our room to help us with the cooking. The manager took a huge umbrella to send us to our car after the meal despite the pouring rain due to the typhoon. Highly recommended and reservation suggested.
South Park Seafood Hotpot 南苑海鮮火鍋
Tel : 021-62112779
Date Visited : Jul 2021
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