Shanghai style Chinese dining21 December, 2010 by Chad
Some time last month, Wilson and I ended up at the Tang Dian Wang restaurant in Suntec City. Food establishments at Suntec City seem to come and go every other month but this Chinese restaurant serving Shanghai styled dishes has survived there for quite some time. How was it? Well impressions after the jump.
If you notice, I don’t write much about Chinese food over here (Yan writes those posts instead). That’s because I’m not a really good judge for it. Sure I can tell when I like it or when it’s awful but for me it’s hard to describe Chinese dishes objectively in such a way that readers can have a idea of what to expect from.
The first thing visitors should know about Chinese restaurants is that even a simple meal ends up costing way more than it should. The menu’s always show deceptive prices and they charge you for random stuff not listed.
You’ll have to pay for the tissues too. All this in addition to an extra 17% service charge and taxes. Heck, they even charge you service charges and taxes for the tissues too. But knowing fully well, we ended at this Chinese restaurant this day.
Plain water is often not served at many Chinese establishments and drinks are sold at bar prices. But at least the glasses at Tang Dian Wang were larger than normal.
Unfortunately, I encountered a different problem instead. If you look closely at both the photo above and the one below, you might notice it. Dirty tableware! It wouldn’t be unexpected from a hawker or simpler establishment but for a restaurant setting this was unforgivable.
Wilson and I opted for a simple set meal that cost $38++ in total, pretty reasonable considering that meals at Chinese restaurants can often reach up to a few hundred dollars per person if you go for the exotic stuff. Since it was located at a central tourist trap, we were expecting to pay more. Perhaps Tang Dian Wang’s family restaurant prices was the reason for its continual survival here.
The soup was ok. It was some sort of chicken soup. Tasty and nothing to complain about but nothing special either. See, told you I can’t describe Chinese food properly.
We had a couple other dishes to accompany our main. Some sort of fried fish dish and fried tofu smothered in sauce. Wilson commented that the fish wasn’t very fresh, but fish served fried rarely are. The tofu was probably the most enjoyable dish for the meal.
Then also served us what was my most depressing Dim Sum experience, since the horrible Shu Mai at Yokohama’s Chinatown. A normal shrimp dumpling, some sort of yam cake and a shu mai that replaced meat with hard glutinous rice.
Main dish was shrimp fried rice. Not too oily, which was good but extremely salty.
After all the random additional charges, the cost of our meal came to about $70 total.
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