Good Eats

Shunfeng Shunshui 顺风顺水 @ Shanghai

If only life was just like the name of this restaurant, but it wasn’t. Right after the shop was opened in 2019, the pandemic hit. And for it to survive the tough times, Shunfeng Shunshui must have something up their sleeves.

In March 2017, the first Shunfeng Shunshui was opened by three Shanghai entrepreneurs who had spent over 20 years in Shunde building their careers in manufacturing. But they were so inspired by the variety of food and techniques Shunde cuisine they decided to bring it back to Shanghai.

Shunfeng Shunshui is a popular phrase in Cantonese to wish someone to avoid the headwinds and sail with the currents. I am pretty sure that was what the founders were thinking when they set up the first shop.

Shunde cuisine is the root of Cantonese cuisine. It is famous for its rich and diverse use of ingredients, the culinary skills, and characterised by freshness, refreshing, tenderness and smoothness of the end results. Shunde is known to many as the culinary training ground for many top Cantonese chefs.

招牌顺德烧鹅 Signature Shunde Roast Goose

When one mentions roast goose, one would think Hong Kong and the reverent Chan Kee in Sham Tseng, or famous Yung Kee or the Michelin-starred Kam’s or Yat Lok. But all of them would have to trace their roots to Shunde Roast Goose. So what’s so special about the Shunde Roast Goose

招牌顺德烧鹅 Signature Shunde Roast Goose

Leliu is a small town in the Shunde region known for its award-winning roast goose. Each bird is carefully selected and bred to an ideal weight of about 2.5 kg before slaughter. The marinade used is specific to each chef and is jealously guarded, but the basic ingredients appear to be Sichuan pepper, five-spice powder, aged tangerine peel, galangal and soy sauce.

The Leliu roast goose is not crisp-skinned like its counterpart in Hong Kong. Instead the skin is loose and wrinkled, and that apparently accounts for its fuller flavour. While it’s usual practice to “rest” the goose in the open after it is removed from the oven, in Leliu the resting is done in an enclosed space away from the wind. This triggers a sort of “braising” process that causes the skin to wrinkle while drawing the juices from the flesh, so that when chewed, the skin releases the intense flavours it has absorbed, as well as the flavours of the marinade.

顺风顺水鸡煲翅 Signature Shark’s Fin and Chicken Casserole

顺风顺水鸡煲翅 Signature Shark’s Fin and Chicken Casserole

鸡煲翅 Shark’s Fin and Chicken Casserole is a luxe Cantonese dish that has been a tradition at Chinese festive celebrations and wedding banquets. But growing demand of shark fin soup is pushing some shark species to extinction and disrupting the balance of our oceans. So I am not a fan. However these days, there are “sustainable” shark fins available in the market that use other types of fish or non-endangered species of sharks. Hopefully this was one of those sources.

Shark fin is a cartilage and has no taste. So all the tastes are coming from the soup that is used to cook the fins. So you can replace fins with fish maw or sea cucumber or other crunchy and tasteless seafood, and you would still have the same experience as shark fins soup.

上汤广东丝瓜 Canton Loofah in Broth

上汤广东丝瓜 Canton Loofah in Broth

Loofah is an interesting plant. When young, they are sweet and soft, taste like all gourds. But when they are left on the vines and aged, they become hard and fibrous and can only be harvested for use as a scrub sponge. Loofah used in cuisines are the young ones, and one of my favourite method of cooking it is with a nice meat broth for the loofah to soak up all the juices.

蒜蓉蒸生蚝 Steamed Oysters with Garlic and Ginger

蒜蓉蒸生蚝 Steamed Oysters with Garlic and Ginger

Local oysters are not recommended to be eaten raw. However chefs have found many ways to make oyster dishes, like this 蒜蓉蒸生蚝 Steamed Oysters with Garlic and Ginger. It was a bit overcooked, and I still prefer raw oysters.

彪哥煲仔饭(黄鳝) Brother Biao’s Claypot Rice (Yellow Eel)

彪哥煲仔饭(黄鳝) Brother Biao’s Claypot Rice (Yellow Eel)

Claypot rice is a traditional delicacy in Guangdong. Claypot not only refers to a cooking utensil, but also a cooking method. Generally, washed rice is put in a claypot, measure and add the right amount of water, cover it, add the rest of the ingredients when the rice is 70% cooked, and then switch to a slow-fire to finish it off. The key to cooking claypot rice is the choice of rice, and the best are the Thai hom mali rice, commonly known as fragrant rice. Because the fragrant rice has good water absorption, it can also absorb the aroma of ingredients.

Wow, it was worth the 45 min wait for this claypot rice. The smokiness unique to cooking in a claypot was apparent with every grain of rice. And one of my favourite ingredient to add to claypot rice is unagi. This is different from the Japanese method where the sauce used is sweet, the Cantonese method is savoury.

This is a really good restaurant, reasonably price and great service. It’s no wonder it survived the peak of the pandemic and is still around today.

Shunfeng Shunshui 顺风顺水 | 顺德菜 (大悦城)

大渡河路169号, 长风大悦城商场4层23-24商铺

Date Visited : Jul 2021

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