Updated 4Sep2013: this restaurant is closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
How is this for taking one for the team?
This restaurant post has to be a record for a new restaurant ever on chowtimes. The previous record was new Kumare Filipino restaurant where we happened to visit them on their first day of business. That was quite by accident but it did turn out to be one heck of a restaurant.
Kumare was by chance. This one is planned.
We went to the Shanghai Fusion Restaurant 45 minutes after they opened. LOL! Yeah, we learned that they were going to open on Saturday, March 5th at 11:00 AM and so we decided to come here for our brunch.
It is not that we ever thought that this restaurant is good. It is in the name. A Chinese restaurant with the word “fusion” in the name can’t be any good. Yeah, I am one of those people who thinks that Chinese cuisine must be pure. Those Sichuan-Canto or Beijing-Xinjiang sort of things just doesn’t work in my mind.
The Shanghai Fusion Restaurant is located in the recently closed Pho Viet in the Empire Centre. This is the strip mall where King Buffet, Bushair, Shiang Garden and Sunway is located.
They have a 12% grand opening discount now. So if you want to save on the HST, this is the time to go.
It was quite a big dining area. They had removed the center partitions during the time when it was West Lake and Pho Viet. Both the previous restaurants here are now operating elsewhere in Richmond and the reason they move was because this restaurant is simply too big. So yes, this is a really big space.
I can’t quite make out what this place is. Perhaps from my observation, I would call this a … Cantonese owned Shanghainese restaurant. I mean our waiter and waitresses speaks perfect Cantonese. Most of the customers at that time we were there were Cantonese. Maybe that is why the word “Fusion” in the name.
The table arrangements is a cross between formal round tables in the center like a banquet restaurant and booth seats on the side like a HK Style Cafe. But it is not a HK Style cafe at all. They have table cloth in the booth tables too.
I love the menu. It has some pictures of the dishes and was well laid out. I had so much difficulty speaking with them that I gave up asking for permission to take shots of the menu. I so wish I could show you that because I think you will like it. The prices are right.
The only thing about the menu was that it was in Engrish. They have a dish called chichen which I suspect is some kind of a fowl. There is also a dish with something called seasame … maybe it is some sort of seafood. They even have a Spanish vegetable called Spanich.
All good stuff.
But seriously, the menu was interesting. They have combo sets which I thought was quite worth checking out. There is a cheaper version and a deluxe version. Sorry I did not take down what it was in the menu. So you gotta go see for yourself. They are like:
- Combo for two: $48
- Combo for two: $68 (deluxe)
- Combo for four: $88
- Combo for four: $98 (deluxe)
But for this visit, we did not order much. We wanted just a light meal. We had been eating way too much and it’s time to really put some sanity around it.
Almost all of their noodle soup dishes are $6.00. So is this Pork with Pickled Vegetable Noodle Soup.
We like the noodle and the texture of it. For a moment, we thought it could be handmade but on closer inspection they are too perfect and has to be machine made. But it was good … very slurpable and a bit chewy.
The generous additions of the pickled vegetables which has a slight crunch and is what gives the taste to this dish. The soup is not too salty and we did not feel the MSG effect after. So it was good for a simple soup noodle.
They have several versions of the crispy rice. I chose the one that is the most expensive which is the sea cucumber version ($15.00).
The crispy rice and the soup was served separately. When the waitress brought it to the table she was about to help us scoop the soup into crispy rice. Whew … good thing I stopped her in the nick of time!
Surprisingly the crispy rice served while warm. That I like.
Actually I thought that the crispy rice would be like what you get at the bottom of overcooked rice. Nope. This one is puffy, crunchy and light … and it gets soft vey quickly in the soup.
We were wondering how they made this crispy rice. Because they were all in squares, we thought that perhaps one could buy this from the stores. Does anyone know?
Does anyone know where to buy this and how to cook this? This is so nice I would love to have this at home.
The soup or broth was thick and gooey and it has a mild taste. It has lots of ingredients …
… such as ham, prawns, carrots, bamboo shoots and sea cucumber. All of them tasted very good and very fresh. I like the big prawns. I am not surprised how fresh tasting the ingredients were. After all, they were opened just 45 minutes and I bet most of the ingredients came the day before.
The sea cucumber was good but in hindsight, perhaps we should have saved a couple of bucks and ordered the cheaper version. Without the sea cucumber, it was still as good.
So we dunk the rice crispy in the soup instead of pouring the soup over the rice crispy to keep its crunchiness. It is nicer to eat this way. Yeah, we may look like kids eating but who cares as long as we enjoy it. The rice gets soggy so fast that you don’t want to throw it into the soup.
I recommend you try this if you had never tried this before.
We also ordered the Marinated Beef Wrap in Pancake $5. One look at it we know this is not gonna be any good.
The hallmark of a truly good beef wrap need to look like the two above – left from Peaceful and right from YY Village. Both of them have a flaky wrap …
… but this one is doughy and nary a flake in sight. Yeah, skip this.
You know, the kitchen were not able to keep up with the orders. There were quite a lot of customers even on their first day. The reason I said was because they served the noodle soup first and then the crispy rice dish and finally the pancake appetizer.
It was not a problem for us because we know it is their first day. We don’t sweat small stuff like this. After all this is what is meant by TOFTT, right? LOL!
So, you see? They gave us a VIP discount. Now, how did they know we are VIP?
This restaurant accepts credit card.
The above are their take out menu. Click on the images to make it bigger.
This Post Has 29 Comments
“So we dunk the rice crispy in the soup instead of pouring the soup over the rice crispy to keep its crunchiness. It is nicer to eat this way.”
haha…this is exactly how I eat this dish too 🙂
Thanks for taking one for the team…gotta hand it to Ben and Suanne, you two sure get around!
BTW: Fusion scares me the most when it’s Asian/Western Fusion…makes me crazy!
At least this place is serving up cuisine from the same continent.
Ditto for me on the crispy rice. I dont pour the soup on the crispy rice but rather dunk it into the soup. Their crispy rice looks so much like formed Rice Crispies cereals. Doesnt look good at all. I prefer the house-made crispy rice. Thanks for TOFTT Ben. I’ll have to check out this restaurant and see if they are equal or better than most of Shanghainese restaurants here in Richmond.
Hi Crispy: Oh really? So it is like they are Rice Crispies cereal huh? Now I understand what that “Fusion” word in the name means. LOL! Ben
Do they have XLB’s here? That’s what I was wondering when they say they are a Shanghai Fusion restaurant
Hi Wang: Yes, they have XLB in Shanghai Fusion. I remember seeing a glassed-up area where two ladies were busy making them (just like what you see in other Shanghainese restaurants). Ben
Gohba is one of my favourite ways to eat rice. The show is fun and the soupy rice is almost always deelish. The pics here look really good! Will have to give it a try this week.
sizzling rice soup
I love pickled vegetables noodle soup, good to see another place that serves a solid noodle soup 🙂 Now I must add this onto the ever growing list of places to try lol
I love crispy rice, but i’m not supposed to eat it. 🙁
You can buy packaged crispy rice from places like Kuo Hua and T&T, but I don’t know how it would be in reheating it.
The recipe I read before is pretty much similar to liz’s above, but using glutinous rice.
I think there are 2 ways reheating the rice; either bake or deep fry the squares. Deep frying gives a more golden colour.
The crispy rice squares look good, it looks like my mom used to make at home but she made it as Cookie that used caramels to bind the fried puffy rice and eat as a desert.
That crispy rice dish is so similar to the one at Ningtu in looks anyway, that I’m wondering if this is the Shanghainese way of doing it.I’ve only ever seen these perfectly square cakes at Ningtu previously. We usually get crispy rice at Sichuan restos, where it is super hot and the sauce sizzles when you (or the waitstaff) pour it over.
I’ve heard there are “pre-made” crispy rice that some restos can buy from (suppliers unknown). They just re-fry them last minute to get ’em nice & hot before serving.
The critical part of making the crispy rice sizzle is actually the hotness of the soup/sauce. But it doesn’t hurt that both elements are hot themselves for best effect.
Went to here for dinner tonight. I ordered the seafood noodle soup (6.00), vegetarian fried rice (6.00) and dongpo pork (stewed pork belly)(15.00). The seafood noodle soup had the same ingredients as your crispy rice dish minus the sea cucumber and with noodles instead of crispy rice. The vegetarian fried rice was served in a claypot which they put on top of the stove resulting in yummy crispy rice bits at the bottom. The star of the dinner was the dongpo. It was soooo very tasty and melt in your mouth tender. The vegetarian fried rice was a bit bland due to lack of meat but the delicious jhup from the dongpo pork went really well with it. The seafood noodle soup was quite tasty too with plenty of prawns and a mild refreshing seafood taste. Overall a solid meal for us. Will definitely go back again. Their prices are average. About the same as most Shanghainese restaurants in Richmond.
your pretty much getting into blog territory here…..why don’t you just go for it 🙂
Hi Joy, I wish I could but I dont think I have the staying power and a food blogger. My hats off to the food bloggers for their dedication.
Hey dude, wazzup with the veggie fried rice ?!?
I know its not like me to order a purely vegetarian dish but we just want some rice to go with the dongpo pork and its the cheapest of the fried rice dishes they have. It turned out pretty good. It was stir-fried then cooked in a claypot so we ended up. with crispy rice bits at the bottom. Delicious! I hope all their fried rice dishes are done this way.
Come on Crispy become the first Vancouver based Pinoy food blogger.Go for it Crispy_Lechon.com
Hi Pinoy Gourmet, thanks for the vote of confidence but I dont think I’m up to it. You may be a good person to start a blog with all the restaurants around the world that you have visited in your travels.
[chanting] Crispy …. Crispy …. Crispy …. Crispy …. Crispy ….
You can use this as your homepage pic:
Yummy crispy lechon! But no thanks LR. 🙂
Hi Crispy: Here is a little nugget I want to share with you that I personally remind myself everyday –> “DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU TODAY”. 🙂
Crispy did. He ordered a vegetarian fried rice, LOL !
The veggie fried rice was last night, LR.
Ben, speaking of doing something scary, today I went to see my dentist for some fillings. But that wasnt the scary part. The scary part is when I have to pay my portion. Its a whopping 138 bucks. Apparently my company dental insurance doesnt cover fillings done on the same tooth that has been previously filled. WATDA!!
Ata-boy, Crispy! That is the spirit. Now, come tomorrow, either you go to the dentist again or you so something else scary, like … crispy_lechon.com!
How’s their XLB? Anyone tried it?
I went two days ago:
– XLB – the meat is too ‘mui’ / ‘lan’, the texture is very loose and … not fresh if you will. not enough soup inside.
– shen jian bao – the buns were at the right temperature, but there was almost no soup inside. the soup had been all absorbed by the bun, which was odd. the filling had defrosted? it was left on the counter too long (but it was piping hot…)? it was pre-made?
– braised “hong siu” fish tail – all restaurants use frozen fish for this dish. the difference would be how to get rid of the ‘soil’ and ‘freezer’ taste from sub-fresh fish. they need to add more green onion and ginger. this is one of their signature dishes.
– preserved vegetables + fish soup – same idea as above. i have a rather low tolerance for non-fresh fish. they need to make this a tad more sour to cover up the non fresh taste. but i’m just very picky about fish. i tried the vinegar fish soup (different soup) at top shanghai and it was much better
– double side yellow noodle – this was excellent. the transition and combination between crispy (slightly burnt aroma) to soft was wonderful
– bean curd skin with mixed vegetables mixed inside on top of gai lan – this was my favorite dish of the night. they must have cooked this in broth or msg because it was very flavorful, but not too salty or oily at all.
i would go back only to try lunch and breakfast. yup, they have a breakfast menu and it looked interesting.
in comparison to wang’s and top shanghai, this place is not the greatest.
service was excellent and very attentive.
Stop that. You’re not a troll. LOL! Thanks for the detailed review. Enjoyed it and appreciate it. Will defo check out their breakfast. Ben
FYI, this restaurant is now permanently closed according to urbanspoon!