'Fishing' at Modern Shanghai
Ruth Sindico (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2013 - 5:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - Those looking for non-meat options when dining out should check out the new Modern Shanghai at the northern veranda of the SM Mall of Asia.

While the restaurant specializes in modern Shanghainese cuisine and offers a wealth of pork and chicken options on the menu, it also has numerous seafood and vegetable dishes for vegetarians and those who want to abstain from meat this Lenten season.

Shanghainese cuisine is characterized by a "gastronomic euphony of flavors and techniques borrowed by surrounding provinces." It is also heavy on seafood and freshwater delicacies, thanks to its geographic location facing the East China Sea; it lies near the legendary YangTze River, which irrigates fish farm ponds.

The "king" among Modern Shanghai's dishes is the Deep-fried Garoupa with Sweet & Sour Sauce.

A garoupa (Lapu-Lapu for us Filipinos) is deep-fried to achieve the right crisp-on-the-outside, succulent-on-the-inside texture. It is served with mixed vegetables and sweet & sour sauce and garnished with toasted pine nuts. One serving is enough for three to four persons to share and goes great with the also meat-less Shanghai Vegetable fried rice.

It also has the Sautéed Shredded River Eel with Spring Onions, Braised Crab with Rice Pudding in Spicy Sauce, Sautéed Egg White with Fish Meat, Sautéed Rive Shrimps with Spring Onions, and Sautéed Shrimps in Tomato Sauce with Rice Crackers, among others. 

Better make room for appetizers, by the way, before you feast on the main dishes. We recommend the Jelly Fish with Aged Vinegar and Jelly Fish in Sesame Oil & Spring Onions. But if you're like some people who prefer to start their meals with something sweet, better try out the dessert Crispy Pancakes with Red Bean Paste

We have long learned that eating Chinese food is better paired with a cup of hot tea and Modern Shanghai's Blooming Tea selection is a must when enjoying its Shanghainese feast. Here, you can see "a bundle of tea leaves and flowers" literally "bloom" in front of your eyes as hot water is poured into a cup of its Fairy Jasmine (lily, osmanthus, and jasmine tea), Lily Blossom (green tea mixed with lily and jasmine tea), Golden Sunrise (amaranth and jasmine tea) and Peaceful Garden (chrysanthemum and jasmine tea).

For meat options, meanwhile, there are the Sweet & Sour Chicken, "Tung Bor" style Braised Pork Belly and its signature Braised Lucky Pork Knuckle.

The Shandong-style Shredded Chicken, a hand-pulled roasted chicken with garlic garnished with coriander and served with shredded chicken sauce, is a must-try.

The same thing goes for its signature Xiao Long Bao, which is served steamed and comes with ginger and Zhenjiang vinegar on the side, and its Chef's Special "Pan-fried" Xiao Long Bao.

Modern Shanghai is open from 10 AM to 11 PM from Sunday to Thursday and from 11 AM until 12 midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. It will soon open a second branch at Glorietta.

12PX FONT JELLY FISH MODERN SHANGHAI SHANGHAINESE SIZE SPRING ONIONS
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