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Jul 21, 2007 06:28 PM

'Shanghai Bund' - A great Shanghainese cuisine find!!

My gourmand brother-in-law has been raving about the newly opened 'Shanghai Bund' ( 1661 Denison Street, Markham - SW corner of Denison/Kennedy ) for the past few days. He told me the owner of the restaurant actually went out of his way in hiring five cooks/chefs directly from the famed restaurant in Hong Kong and Shanghai. I was very impressed and, today, decided to find out for myself first hand. Well fellow chowhound, all I'm going say is, after tonight, I won't be going anywhere else for authentic Northern/Shanghai cuisine! Period! 369, Asian Legend, High Shanghai....etc. 'Once the word is out, prepare to meet thy doom!!' Ha!

Since there were only the two of us, we only managed to order four dishes. Of the four, the 'Braised garoupa fillet in wine sauce' was simply amazing, rivalling some of the best Hong Kong/Shanghai restaurants could offer. Similarly, the 'Stirred fry shredded eel with yellowing chives' was the best I've tasted outside of China. The 'Sauteed prawns with 'dragon-well' tea leaves' was also spot on. We were tossing between ordering either the pot-stickers or the hand-pull noodles and decided on the latter. The smoked pomfret that goes with the noodles were very authentic. For our next visit, I think I am going to form a big contingent, so that we can try out more of their dishes. Yuuuuuuuuuum!!

Thank God! Some genuine Shanghainese food in Toronto finally!!

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  1. Is this at the same location as the previous Shanghainese restaurant that used to be there (Shanghai Royal Garden) ... right next to the large chinese grocery store?

    The last few times I went the owner was on the phone, sounding like he was trying to sell the place. Looks like the deal was done (all for the better). The food before wasn't half bad (as I had posted two reviews), but still it was always empty. Not sure if it's the location that did them in.

    Looks like I'll definitely have to give it a try. How's their prices compared to Hi Shanghai?

    1. Thanks for the review.

      I am very interested in trying it out too as I know they got some great chefs in there ! Got a copy of the menu and see that they have the Crispy aromatic duck, 香酥鴨. Hmm...It is actually a szechuan famous dish (note that not all chuan dishes are spicy !). Have not tried one that is good here, so I am interested in trying it out to see if they can make it great !

      Crispy aromatic duck is famous that Charlie Chaplin said "unforgettable amazing taste he has ever tried in his life !!" in the 1954 World Peace meeting he attended at Geneve when he met with the Premier of Republic of China Zhou En Lai at that time. He even requested one to bring back home !

      3 Replies
      1. re: skylineR33

        Hello Royaljelly and skylineR33. Home so early?! No saturday night out chowing?!
        Yes, the place is next to the huge Chinese supermarket. The revamped decoration is pretty elegant and the price is very reasonable, slightly on the high side but not overly excessive for that quality of food. I believe the Crispy aromatic duck ( I always like to call it 'Chinese duck confit'! Ha!) that skylineR33 eluded to cost around $9 for half a fowl. The braised garoupa fillet in wine sauce was $13 whilst the eel with yellowing chives was $16. I recall the crispy duck of the now defunct ' Shanghai one family' (direct Chinese translation), near Silver star Blvd, was.half decent. May be I'll use that as reference the next time I order the duck from Shanghai Bund. Hay folks! How about a Chinese Chow-meet at Shanghai Bund to give it a real chowhound scrutiny?! My wife, who happens to be a Shanghainese, commented that some of the dishes were very comparable in standard to those find in the Shanghai Social Club, Hong Kong central district. To be able to stand shoulder with shoulder next to HK's Shanghai food benchmark establishment says a lot about Shanghai Bund's food quality!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          Count me in! My wife is from Beijing, so she really like Northern food too. Plus she does all the ordering for me, since I can't read Chinese. Do you think the place is appropriate to bring a small child (under 2), or should I find a baby sitter? See my email in my profile if you need to message me.

          1. re: Charles Yu

            Hounds on many different boards have organized dinners and other gatherings and they're always a lot of fun--plus the reports after are great chow tips!

            We have a couple of guidelines we ask organizers to follow in order to keep the focus of the boards on chow talk and not on RSVPs and other organizational details. The main guideline is that posts to the boards should be announcements (and followup reports!) only--all discussion, scheduling and RSVPing should happen off the boards.

            The way most people handle this is by posting an initial announcement to their local board with an email address for people to contact if they're interested in getting together for a Chowhound dinner. If you use the 'report' link on that announcement, you can ask us to sticky it to the top of the appropriate board so it doesn't fall off the front page.

            They then use email (some cities even have established Google or Yahoo groups or listservs, etc, for scheduling dinners) to discuss the specifics of where and when to meet. Once the group has decided on a concrete plan, you can post a second announcement to the boards, with the specific details, again, including an email address so people can RSVP offline. If you 'report' that one, we'll sticky it in place of the original thread.

            Then, once your dinner has happened, start a new thread so people can report back on what they ate and whether it was delicious so other hounds can benefit from your experiences.

            Good luck with your event!

        2. Wow thanks for the review and heads up Charles! I visit Shanghai at least twice a year and can never wait to go back, this sounds like a great place to curb my craving! Thanks!

          1. I am Charles' brother in law, not a gourmand, just someone who loves to eat almost anything. After discovering the Shanghai Bund Friday afternoon, I went back Friday night for dinner. You have to try any of their clear soup (not hot and sour), and enjoy the very nice taste and fragrance of Chinese ham 金華火腿 that they mange to import. Their cold dish smoke fish 壎魚 was made from cod marinated just right, and simply delicious. I travel to China 4 times a year. Charles is right, I only expect to find such standard of Shanghainese food in Hong Kong or China. To top it off, the restaurant is nicely decorated, and they have a liquor license. Do not take credit cards yet. Introduce yourself to the owner, Victor Lau, and he has many stories to tell you about his restaurants and dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Caneast

              I took my wife and kid there today for lunch... the place was already packed! We ordered 5 dishes (yes, we're pigs). The cold dish marinated cold fish was a bit too sweet/saucy, the cold bamboo shoots (looks like rat tails) was nicely done. A tofu squares deep fried with a brown sauce was also a touch salty, but very flavourful and rich. Hollow veggie was very large serving and cooked perfectly. The soup noodle w/ mushrooms, bamboo and shrimp was a bit on the bland side. All ingredients were very fresh as well.

              Here's some scans of their take-out menu (I presume it's close to the in house menu?)

              Page 1 -
              Page 2 -
              Page 3 -
              Page 4 -
              Page 5 -
              Page 6 -

              Can't wait to go with the Chow gang and try their dinner dishes.

            2. My family got take-out from Shanghai Bund about a week ago after a friend of a friend of a relative, who supposedly is a food writer from HK, resoundingly endorsed it. We ordered a Stuffed Duck with Glutinous Rice (Eight Treasure Duck) and some other dishes.

              It was slightly different from how we've gotten this dish before. Usually it's smothered with a sauce, but they serve it without so the skin remained crispy and a lovely medium golden-brown. The duck was completely deboned and stuffed generously with glutinous rice and assorted goodies. Very juicy and meaty with a thin layer of fat which made for great texture with the skin, fat, meat, and stuffing. Apparently, this is one of their specialties. Since we got it take-out, it wasn't as perfect as it could have been. My family plans to visit the restaurant and order their other specialties, including the "Fried Egg White Balls Stuffed With Sesame". I can't wait!

              2 Replies
              1. re: lsk

                So did you call in advanced to have the "Eight Treasure Duck" prepared since it is a take out ? Usually, this dish takes a longer time to make...

                I had a good "Eight Treasure Duck" before at Fangs' (now is replaced by QianLong) in First Markham place.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Yes, we had to order this in advance. This, along with their Beggar's Chicken are the two "order in advance" items.