04 July 2010

Grand Shanghai (大上海)- Edison

I am exhausted. We went to the beach yesterday with another family, and we ended up going to Grand Shanghai, which is in Edison, for dinner. As the name states, the restaurant specialises in Shanghainese Chinese-American food. I say "American" because the food wasn't exactly authentic. I mean, super-sweet orange fish doesn't really exist in legitimate Chinese cuisine. For example, the fish was way too sweet, my brother told me. I decided to try some of the sauce, and he was indeed correct. "Fish with orange sauce" may exist, but "fish with a cup of sugar in the orange sauce" does NOT, in fact, sell itself in China.
Anyway, the parents ordered this planned-out meal, which included appetisers, a seafood soup, a bunch of dishes, and orange wedges with maraschino cherries [ew] at the end. Apparently, the two pots of tea were separate, which sort of defeats the idea of an "all-included" meal plan. We ordered Pu Er tea [the red tea, below] and Chrysanthemum tea [which I dislike, in general].
The appetisers included a lot of cold cuts of animal pieces, but there were two non-animal ones too. One was diced dry tofu, with cilantro/Chinese celery. Personally, I don't like the flavour of cilantro but this wasn't too terrible, since I was honestly really hungry.
The second appetiser was this spongey tofu with a spicy peanut sauce. In all honesty, I was reminded of spicy Thai peanut noodle sauce. It was great.
There were veggies and stuff as well, and at the end there was the nian gao, or, "year cake", which is basically pieces of flat dough made from rice flour. I usually love this stuff the way my mum makes it, but Grand Shanghai's method wasn't bad either... I mean, anything smothered in oil and seasonings tastes... "good".Of course, I have to ruin the intellectual atmosphere by posting the above image. Check out A17, the "Sampler [PU-PU Platter]! Hahaha!!

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