Restaurant review: Jiangnan Taste, Tsim Sha Tsui - Shanghainese
The food is good and the prices reasonable at this small restaurant in the Ashley Centre
There are several well-known restaurants in and around the Ashley Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui. Jimmy's Kitchen is probably the best known, but there's also Xin Dau Ji, Morihachi Yakiniku, Savaranaa Bhavan and Arirang.
The complex also has outlets that are less well known, and among those is Jiangnan Taste.
The small Shanghainese restaurant was only about half full on the night we visited, but the welcome was smiling and friendly. It's not the best Shanghainese meal we've had in Hong Kong, but the food is good and the prices are reasonable.
We started off with a trio of starters. The crispy fresh shrimp (HK$98) disappeared quickly. The small shrimp were perfectly cooked so the entire thing was edible — thin shells, crunchy heads (full of juice) and succulent flesh. Drunken chicken with hua diao (HK$88) was also very good — the meat was firm but tender and the wine sauce was balanced.
The crispy bean curd skin with shrimp paste sauce (HK$78), however, was a failure: instead of being delicately crisp, the bean curd sheets were hard, and there wasn't any taste of shrimp paste. We also disliked one of the main courses — the sautéed shredded eel with yellow chives (HK$118). The eel was tough and the sauce was too light.
Stir-fried Samoan crab with glutinous rice (HK$438) was excellent. It wasn't a large crab, but the meat was moist and plentiful, and there was plenty of roe in the back shell. The rice had really absorbed the crab juices. Stewed pig's trotter (it was actually the shank, HK$168) had skin that was meltingly soft, but while the meat was tender, it hadn't absorbed the flavours of the rich sauce. Braised bacon and bean curd sheets and seasonal vegetables (HK$88) was a light, palate-cleansing dish that was a good balance to the richness of the pig's trotter.
Jiangnan Taste, 8/F Ashley Centre, 23-25 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2489 9988. About HK$250 without drinks or the service charge