Lilong by Taste of Shanghai has finally opened up in the rooftop dining precinct of Westfield Hurstville and we could not be any more happier. Most of you already know by now, but we both love the food at Taste of Shanghai, so much so that we visit the Hurstville store frequently for take-out. The problem is, the store is small so it has very limited seats and even take-out can see you waiting for up to 30 minutes, The opening of Lilong should help ease the load by providing a similar store with practically identical tasting food! ... and they have plenty of seating capacity! :)
Start of with some warm Chinese tea served in a beautiful teapot. The teapot looks like it has been coated in matcha green tea powder!
Barramundi in Sweet and Sour Sauce
What a show stopper this Barramundi is! It is one of those dishes that makes the room turn around and gaze in wonder. The main reason is due to the beautiful presentation of the fish. The Taste of Shanghai group definitely do not hold back when it comes to letting their creative side loose. Unlike other fish dishes, this dish is so easy to eat, you simply pull the pieces as they break away from the main part of the body with ease. The batter was thin and super crunchy. The fish was cooked quite well but the let down in our opinion was the sweet and sour sauce as it wasn't bold enough.
San Choy Bao
This was a great entree to start the meal with. The meat wasn't overly seasoned, even had a slight sweetness and the lettuce was the perfect size to cup the filling. We ended up with left over filling once we had used all our lettuce, might have been enough for another serving.
Salt and Pepper King Prawns
The flavour was amazing and had a great impact, the prawns were cooked thoroughly without losing the texture of the prawn, the batter was light and seasoned well and most importantly... it was suprisingly not as oily as we would have expected. This is important because usually when king prawns are served, they leave you wanting more but at the same time you are reaching out for your drink. Needless to say it didn't take long for these to disappear.
Nasi Goreng is Matt's favourite way to prepare a "fried" rice. That's why we jumped at the opportunity to try the Nasi Goreng on the Lilong menu as we are HUGE fans of the Taste of Shanghai XO fried rice, so had high expectations. The fried rice was very tasty, however it wasn't Nasi Goreng, more like bordering a Tom Yum fried rice as it had a very strong lemongrass taste and aroma. The fried rice was quite sweet and had no wok hei at all but it was thoroughly enjoyable. That said, we will continue to be ordering our XO fried rice moving forward,
Xiao Long Bao
We have now eaten the Xiao Long Bao from all the different Taste of Shanghai group restaurants and can safely say that 1. They have the same taste and standard throughout each store and 2. they are still damn amazing at each store. Feel free to check out our other reviews on our blog.
Peking Pork Chops
The peking pork shops had great flavour and was served in a large portion. The batter was quite thick and from the sauce it ended up being soggy as well. There were several smaller bones that may have splintered off which we found whilst eating this dish, so best be sure to watch out for them. While we enjoyed the taste of this dish, we don't think it will be one that we order again.
Fish Fillet in Spicy Chilli Oil
We love our chilli but we can't take chilli well. That is why when we saw this dish being served, our jaws dropped in preparation to induce as much ventilation as possible to be able to indulge in this bright red chilli oil treat. Hidden beneath the fish fillet there are clear noodles at the bottom of the soup which caught us by surprise. The fish fillet is extremely tender and quite literally melts in your mouth. Highly recommended for chilli lovers, but also worth noting that as the dish cools down (temperature wise) it also tends to reduce the intensity of the chilli.
Chicken and Corn Steamed Dumpling
Similar to the pork steamed dumplings, the flavour remained quite consistent with these chicken and corn dumplings. There was very few corn pieces that we could see and it tasted very similar to the regular pork steamed dumplings.
Peking Shredded Pork Pancakes
What a shame this dish was only a former glory of the same dish we tasted in Taste of Shanghai World Square. Don't get us wrong, we loved every bit about the filling, it was sweet and the flavours were pleasantly received. The only let down was the most important element of the dish, the pancake. We are not sure how they were cooked, but from how they turned out we could only assume the microwave...it was clearly not steamed. The pancake was inedible, it was quite the battle just to simply take a bite of the pancake. We ended up pushing them aside and just eating the filling on it's own to not put good food to waste.
Deep Fried Chinese Milk Dough
Wow.. Just wow.
These golden beauties were brought to our table to commence the meal and we almost wish they would have been brought back to finish the meal also. It should be complimentary with each meal as it will definitely leave a great long standing impression of Lilong. You don't understand, this was some of the best fried mantao that we have tasted. Perfectly fried to provide a soft warm centre with a crisp, golden crust. The condensed milk was also quite sweet and plentiful as we were all able to properly soak our fried mantao generously.
Thank you Wasamedia and Lilong for a great evening of food and fun! It was also good to see Lily (theweekendfoodie) again and meet some new faces like Jennifer (@sweetandyummie) and Jenny (@seetastedo)