Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seafood Noodle Something

I found another great place the other day on Nanjing W. Road, near Dihua Street.

Problem is, I don't know what they're called. I snatched a paper menu with the name across the top but the characters - I tried to look them up by radical - are not in my 3000 character dictionary.

So the title reads to me as 海鮮麵 something-something.

Their specialty - other than, of course, seafood noodles, is extra-large shrimp wontons. They offer regular-size wontons, as well, but they're pretty generic.

Another thing they have that is a bit unique is squid xiaochi (the Hakka-style small plate snacks, usually served cold). I've seen lots of xiao chi in my time, but this is one of the first times blanched, cold squid has been available. It's cooked perfectly - rings of squid that are soft and easy to eat - not even a hint of rubbery over-cooking. The subtle taste of the squid is allowed to come through; in most dishes I find it's used as a base flavor while the tangier, louder flavors of the seasonings form the main crux of taste. Here, it's seasoned with just a bit of sweet soy sauce and coriander, and left to be enjoyed as is. In any other restaurant that would equal tastelessness, but the freshness and well-cooked nature of the squid allowed the understated yet fine flavor to come through.

The large shrimp wontons were, of course, delicious. I got them served with rice vermicelli in a broth that was so light that I thought, disappointed, that it was tasteless. A few more sips revealed that it did have a lovely flavor...it was simply very subtle. In the end I did add some vinegar, chili oil and sesame oil though. The wontons themselves were as promised - huge and bursting with delicious, fresh shrimp. A mottle of ground shrimp was interspersed with small whole shrimp and it was large enough that you felt you were getting real, substantial meat. Most shrimp wontons and dumplings feel as though they're mostly bread with just a smattering of actual seafood inside.

All in all, a delicious meal and highly recommended for seafood lovers who want to try something quieter than a night at a 100-kuai-a-plate seafood&beer joint.

Seafood Noodle Something-Something is located on Nanjing W. Road #157 (north side of the road) not far from the Chongqing/Ningxia/Dihua area.

1 comment:

JensMueller said...

Did you try to look them up by radical in an online dictionary?