Finding a good Shanghainese restaurant in Toronto is not easy. Normally we would go to Ding Tai Fung located in First Markham Place which we recently learned was a knock off chain of the real Din Tai Fung that originated in Taiwan. However, we were looking for a change of scenery and we decided to try Hi Shanghai located in Splendid China Tower instead.
The restaurant was very easy to find inside this plaza as there was a designated entrance for it called “Restaurant entrance”. As the name suggests, upon entering this mall, you will walk past a strip of restaurants with Hi Shanghai located at the very back.
This restaurant is generally not very busy during the day. As a result, we noticed better customer service such as frequent tea refills and clearing of dishes since we assume the staff doesn’t have anything else better to do anyways. However, it is generally busier before 11:30 am because if your orders are placed before this time, all dim sum dishes are priced at a flat rate of $2.50 per dish. Anytime after 11:30 am, all dim sum dishes will be priced according to their “size” such as small, medium, large etc. Although they categorize these dim sum dishes in various sizes, their listed size is not a true reflection of their actual size. In fact, the “size” of the listed dim sum dishes are simply an indication of their value with large dishes being pricier than a small. Dim sum dishes are ordered off a piece of paper based on quantity desired while bigger dishes such as noodles and rice are ordered straight off their menu.
The first dish that arrived was the Pan-fried Green Onion Pancake. I’m usually a bit hesitant when it comes to ordering this dish because not many restaurants make it the way I like it. I like my Green Onion Pancake to be flaky and crispy. However, a lot of the restaurants that I’ve been to make theirs too doughy and it tastes more like bread than a pan fried Chinese pancake. Luckily, Hi Shanghai made it just right without it being too greasy. It wasn’t super flaky but it was crispy with the right amount of thinness. Best of all, you can taste the green onion flavour in the pancake opposed to just plain batter.
The next dish to arrive is the Spicy Beef Brisket Noodle, which is a very common dish at Shanghainese restaurants. The broth wasn’t too spicy and the brisket was very tender and flavourful.
The Xiao Long Bao arrived shortly and is a must have at any Shanghainese restaurant. The soup within these dumplings were extremely flavourful and one of the best we’ve had in town. We would advise that you wait a couple minutes before biting into the dumplings as the soup can often be hot since it is freshly steamed.
For those who don’t know how to eat Xiao Long Bao properly, one normally dips it into ginger vinegar and place it onto their soup spoon. Then, you would take a small bite of the dumpling skin just enough to tear a small hole so that you could suck/drink the soup from the dumpling. This prevents the soup from squirting everywhere upon biting into it.
Finally, we got some Pan-Fried Dumplings (commonly referred to as Pot stickers) to end our meal. They were not too large in size which made them easier to eat. Similar to the Xiao Long Bao, the dumplings were also filled with soup so they must be eaten in a similar manner. Unfortunately for us, we completely forgot about this and ended up having the soup squirt halfway across the table upon having us bite into it. Luckily no one was beside us
To summarize, we had a really great meal here. We would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in Shanghainese cuisine. If possible, try to come early so that you can get your orders in before 11:30 am so you could take advantage of the flat rate price they charge per dish. It’s a great place to go eat Chinese food without the long wait.
Splendid China Tower
4675 Steeles Ave E
Scarborough, ON, M1V 4S5
Phone Number: (416) 291-5117
Open for Lunch and Dinner