Restaurant review: Shanghai Lane chain - toned-down Shanghainese
Although Shanghai Lane claims to serve authentic Shanghainese cuisine, much like the pseudo-Chinese decor, the dishes are toned down to suit local tastes. Nevertheless, they are still tasty and reasonably priced - otherwise the three branches in Central, Tin Hau and Happy Valley probably wouldn't survive against the competition.
The menu features most Shanghai staples and offers combinations. All three shops do takeaway. They are known for their wonton, and the variety filled with watercress and pork (HK$50 for eight pieces) was our favourite.
The soup base was bland, however, so go for the hot and sour variety if you prefer a more intense flavour.
The classic minced meatballs with baby bak choi (HK$68) were flavourful and melt-in-your-mouth tender. The traditional smoked grass carp (HK$58) was sweet and fragrant. The fried Shanghai sticky rice cake with shrimp, chicken and ham (HK$82) was a disappointment, however, with the ingredients tasting not quite fresh.
Next time, we would probably go for their vegetable rice, which could be paired with a wide range of dishes such as deep-fried pork chop, chicken in wine sauce and their popular braised sweet and sour spare ribs.
Shanghai Lane, 35-37 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2850 7788; Tin Hau, tel: 2510 0393; Happy Valley, tel: 2891 6629