Spring brings with it many spectacular things. We get the opportunity to rejoice with those we love, enjoy a change in the weather and indulge in some truly scrumptious meals. And this month some of the city’s finest restaurants are seeking to showcase their love for spring and all its entire splendor by introducing an array of zesty, mouth-watering cuisines to celebrate the new season.
“Pomegranate bag” plate
To add a bit of “spring” to your step, Shanghai Tang has introduced several refreshing and spring-centric meals. Start with the cold dish like fresh scallops with shredded bamboo shoots in homemade sesame sauce, you can truly have a breath of cool air on any sultry day. The chef adds a bit of chili oil into a bamboo broth to help open the appetite.
The “pomegranate bag” plate, signifying fertility and happiness in Chinese tradition, is also recommended. Wrapped in a Vietnamese spring roll, the “bag” has shredded fresh vegetables, pine nuts and mushrooms inside. You will definitely feel a flavor that is delicate and aromatic.
As for the main dish, try the braised snow crab meat and vermicelli cooked with lobster head broth, steamed Reeves’ shad and Boston lobster cooked with sliced turnip. Known as shiyu, Reeves’ shad is a rare delicacy from the Yangtze River. Steamed Reeves’ shad is the best way to enjoy the fish. The chef places fermented soya beans, pickled pepper and dried scallops on top of the fish to complement the flavor. Unlike most other fishes, the Reeves’ shad is cooked without removing the scales, because not only are the scales edible and quite delicious, they can protect the tender flesh.
Boston lobster cooked with sliced turnip
And of course no meal can be complete without dessert. This season Shanghai Tang brings peach gum, or taojiao, which is an ingredient secreted from the bark of peach trees. It’s also known as the “tears of a peach blossom” in China because of their amber crystal-like appearance. Not only is this dessert excellently plated and as much a feast for your eyes as well as your mouth, it also harmonizes the spleen and stomach, tonifying and activating the blood as well as alleviating pain. Also rich in collagen, the nourishing peach gum is considered a beauty supplement by women in China. So be sure not to miss out on tasting this mouth-watering post-meal pick-me-up!
Shanghai Tang hopes that springtime will carry with it jubilance and jocundity for all and also ensures that starting the season off with any of the new spring selections will certainly not let you down.
Baby pigeon and Chinese toon soup
At the Hut, it is recommended to start with a fresh broad bean juice and move on to the steamed daoyu, or knife fish, a rare freshwater fish from the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River. Served in a bamboo cup, the knife fish is steamed with spring water and has a unique taste that is unlike any other.
The baby pigeon and Chinese toon soup is also a nutritious choice. Chinese toon, known as xiangchun in Chinese, is only on sale for a very short time. The fresh leaves of the Toona sinensis tree are a rare treat and only exclusively available in spring time.
Fancy some comfort food? Why not try the fried knife fish wonton and fried rice topped with shrimps. Wrapped in delicate, tender skins, the knife fish meat inside has a different taste to the steamed dish.
And what cannot be ignored are the sweet aspects of spring; which are also well encompassed in the new dessert option, strawberry shuangpinai (double-layer milk custard). It is a perfect remedy for cooling down as the days warm up.
Butter chicken soup with fish maw
Lingjie Seafood Hotpot is opened by young Chinese actor Zheng Kai who named the restaurant after his mother. The restaurant offers an elevated Cantonese hotpot experience, high-quality ingredients and a diverse range of base soups.
Diners can choose dishes from a best-selling menu such as butter chicken soup with fish maw or Boston lobster soup. Fish maw is a dish popular with ladies because it provides a natural supplement to increase skin radiance. The older generation also like it because it has a rich and concentrated flavor.
Seafood lovers can choose imported sliced groupers, eel, Alaska king crab, sea whelk, geoduck clam, lobster and shrimp in their hotpot. Other popular choices include sliced Wagyu beef, handmade shrimp or fish balls, mushrooms and organic vegetables. The range of dim sum staples, like prawn wonton, also sell well.
At Sinan Mansion, the restaurant has seven private dinning rooms and six booths, perfect for a family get together or a friend’s reunion.
The fruit tea with grapefruit, lemon, orange and dragon fruit served here is also recommended.
BMS Organics, a worldwide vegetarian restaurant chain, has opened its fourth branch at Shimao International Plaza in downtown Shanghai, offering a large selection of Chinese, American and Southeastern Asian vegan dishes.
The establishment opened its first vegetarian cafe at Bandar Puteri Puchong in Malaysia in 2007 to provide customers with an option to enjoy healthy, organic and tasty vegetarian food.
The restaurant has several delicious options including burgers, laksa, hotpots and desserts. The signature laksa is one of the most popular picks. The whole soup bowl is filled with roasted mushrooms, eggplant, okra, cowpea, bean sprout and tofu, while the homemade broth adds a fresh taste to the vegetables.
A beet and kale burger with fried fries is an ideal choice for a working lunch. The chef uses beet, taro, pine nuts, sweet potato and shredded coconut to make the patties. The beets are high in nutrients and includes folate, iron and fiber.
The fruit tea with grapefruit, lemon, orange and dragon fruit is also recommended.
“Vegetarian is a modern lifestyle. To keep healthy, we can just start from what we eat,” K.B. Lee, the founder of BMS Organics, said.
Cover image: Daoyu, or knife fish, is a rare freshwater fish from the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze River.