Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend Food Trip at: Modern Shanghai

Last weekend, I was invited by our family friend for a nice meal at the newly opened restaurant at SM Mall of Asia called Modern Shanghai.  Modern Shanghai, based on my research prior to visiting the restaurant is part of The Bistro Group.  I've always been a fan of restaurants from the said group and most of the time, I leave their restaurants with a silly smile on my face as I don't get out just being "plain full" but very contented!

Will Modern Shanghai be just like any other Chinese restaurants I've tried?  Well, you better stay focuse and scroll down while I reminisce these wonderful dishes!

Modern Shanghai on the outside reminded me so much of the posh restaurants I've dined in Shanghai.

As soon as I got in the restaurant, the wonderful ambiance and yellow lighting greeted me and immediately puts me at ease.  We had a nice table reserved for both Mr. AMW and I plus our friends.  As I looked around mentally wished for their signature Xiao Long Bao, well, wishes do come true!

Modern Shanghai's "Signature" Xiao Long Bao
Php198.00 (approx $4.95)
Both Mr. AMW and I have this strange "want" to try the best Xiao Long Bao in town.  We may not be expert foodies but we know what we want in our Xiao Long Bao and we definitely had it right here at Modern Shanghai!  Their signature Xiao Long Bao (steamed version) has a good amount of pork inside and the soup was just enough that bursts right inside your mouth bite after bite. 

If you have tried Din Tai Fung's version of Xiao Long Bao, well, these are close but meatier! 

Chef's Special "Pan Fried" Xiao Long Bao
Php228.00 (approx $5.70)
For every steamed version, there's always a pan fried version!  I've always been a fan of Suzhou Dumpling's Pan Fried Xiao Long Bao and we haven't found any that would match the wonderful taste of it.  Well, not until that fateful night!  Though pan fried, the Modern Shanghai's version is still as juicy as the steamed version with the added crispiness at the bottom of each piece.  I nearly forgot to dip them in sauce as they were very flavorful and tasty on its own.

Braised Pork Belly with Squid
Php588.00 (approx $14.70)
As the pot of braised pork belly with squid was served right in front of us, we immediately asked for rice as the succulent piece of each pork literally breaks down inside your mouth without much effort in chewing!  Let me repeat, a must try, with rice!

The taste of squid isn't as overwhelming as most squid dishes.  The flavors of pork and squid blended well together like a happy married couple.

Deep-fried Garoupa with Sweet and Sour Sauce
Php788.00 (approx $19.70)
I can usually say no to complicated dishes that requires some effort in eating!  A full fish, served in front of me is easy to say no to but not this one!  Though drizzled with sweet and sour sauce, the deep fried Garoupa was surprisingly crunchy even after several minutes of chit-chatting and picture-taking!  The sweet and sour sauce definitely did not overwhelm the fresh taste of the fish.  I do wish the fish was fatter as I would want more! :D

Sauteed Sliced Beef with Scallions
Php288.00 (approx $7.20)
Another MUST try!  In most Chinese restaurants, most sliced beef comes with either onions or broccoli, as for tonight's dish, the super tender sliced beef comes with scallions and it was very tasty and healthy at the same time! 

Modern Shanghai "Signature" Braised Lucky Pork Knuckle
Php888.00 (approx $22.20)
The Braised Lucky Pork Knuckle came out like the star of the night!  It wasn't enticing for me at first as I thought it would taste like regular "Hong Ba" (Braised Pork) and most of them tastes the same in most restaurants.  Modern Shanghai's version was indeed very juicy and the it was obviously marinated well!

Sauteed String Beans with Minced Pork & Chili
Php188.00 (approx $4.70)
I've never been a fan of string beans but this one is unique in its own way.  I prefer chewing this as an appetizer.  Thank goodness the dish didn't came out very spicy but to some who are probably expecting the "kick", well, it doesn't have the spicy kick so better request for your level of spiciness.

Deep-fried Pork Ribs with Spicy Salt and Pepper
Php288.00 (approx $7.20) 
As seen in most restaurants, these Spicy Salt and Pepper pork ribs usually comes with loads of chopped chili, peppers, salt and a whole lot of spices.  As for this, the spices are fewer and you can immediately see the pork ribs right away.  This dish works as an appetizer or as a main dish.  The Modern Shanghai version is a bit more subtle in terms of spiciness and the pork is super tender as each bite contains tender meat and a tiny portion of fat.

2 types of rice we tried for the night
I can't remember the exact name of both rice we tried both both were very tasty and they obviously used new rice!

Another version of fried rice with egg

Another unique factor that I see from Modern Shanghai is the availability of the unique flower tea that I've tried when I was working in Hangzhou, China years ago.  This was served to me by my VIP class (Chinese government officials) and I was told these are perfect for everyone to drink as it increases good blood flow plus it helps your skin looks better!  True or not, who cares?  This drink is definitely a wonderful conversation piece!  Scroll down and you'll understand why!

Several minutes after pouring hot water.  See how the flower bloomed?  Okay, guys, if you plan to propose to your girlfriend, you may use this idea!  (Promise, I won't tell!) *winks*

Mango Tea Sangria
A unique mix of fresh mango, strawberry, lemon, orange juice, Sprite and Mango Tea.
Passion Fruit Lemonade
Passion fruit doused in jasmine tea with pink guwava, lime juice, soda and pink lemonade
Php178.00 (approx $4.45)

As for the rest of the cold drinkers out there, we picked these two recommended drinks. My order was Passion Fruit Lemonade but I was able to take a sip on Mango Tea Sangria and both drinks are must try!  It immediately refreshes anyone after a heavy meal!

Crispy Pancakes with Red Bean Paste
Php118.00 (approx $2.95)
I'm not a fan of desserts in ALL Chinese restaurants but since these came out a bit unique, I courageously took a bite and said: "This tastes like Buchi!"  Buchi is made of rice cake while this version was made with crispy pancakes with sweet red bean paste inside.

If you worry about the sweetness, it is not too sweet, the level of sweetness was just right for any concerned citizens out there. :)

Deep-fried Souffle with Banana and Red Bean Paste
Php68.00 (approx $1.70)
Another unique dessert made by Modern Shanghai.  Again, not a fan of red bean paste but for the sake of trying, I took a huge bite and the banana and red bean paste were blended well together you can't pinpoint the distinct taste of each ingredients.  Very filling and unique.

Golden Pumpkin Cake
Php58.00 (approx $1.45)
And just when I thought I don't have enough space for anything, the Golden Pumpkin Cake called my name and I love anything with pumpkin!  After taking a huge bite, I prefer this to go a tiny bit sweeter or probably dusted with confectionery sugar!

Thanks to my uncle I was able to meet Bistro Group's Research and Development's Mr. Werlito Ragot!  He's the man behind all these wonderful dishes not only at Modern Shanghai but the rest of the Bistro Group restaurants.
Since we were enjoying our dinner until closing time, I was able to spot the rest of the Modern Shanghai Team.  I mustered my courage, went straight to them and asked for picturel.  Come on, who can say no to a full and pregnant girl?  

These guys came from Hong Kong by the way!  And with our very short talk, I was able to ask them if they enjoyed their stay in the Philippines and so far, I had a huge YES!

Modern interior meets oriental.  These round tables are perfect for family gatherings too!
Overall, the restaurant was on a dry run that night but I never see any glitches!  Everyone's very professional from the manager down to the servers.  I was having a wonderful time enjoying each unique dishes that was created specially for the restaurant.  Will I go back?  Definitely!  Especially now that I own a Bistro Group Premier card (costs Php2,500 available at all Bistro Group restaurants.

Modern Shanghai
2nd Floor Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia, Metro Manila

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  1. wow that flower tea! its amazing~

    1. It is indeed amazing!!! Have you tried any flower tea in the past?

  2. Wow I'd like to try the tea! Cute! ;)

    1. Charry! Give it a try, have a date night with your hubby! I'm sure it'll be fun! :D

  3. Omnomnom~ everything looks soooo yummy!!

  4. Worst service ever. Even worse was that it's a Bistro Group resto. Food was so-so.

    1. really ? what happened? Can you tell me more about it as so far, the service we had was great and food was good that night! :)


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