Xin Da Lu China Kitchen – Good Upscale Peking Duck Restaurant in Shanghai

新大陆中国厨房 Xin Da Lu China Kitchen is located at the Hyatt on the Bund.  The Hyatt is a very nice hotel on the Bund in Shanghai (check out their rooftop bar, it has a great view of Shanghai at night).  Unlike most of the restaurants I chose to eat at in Shanghai, Xin Da Lu is very upscale.  It’s got a very sleek, modern design, dim lights and high vaulted ceilings.  The décor looks like an upscale restaurant in NY in fact it’s probably a bit nicer than most.  All of these things would normally scare me away from a Chinese restaurant.  However, I wanted to treat my friends since I’d been staying with them and they’d been taking me everywhere and Xin Da Lu came recommended from some friends as a good place to have good Peking duck in a nice atmosphere (it was also recommended on chowhound).

The service was again pretty poor.  They kept rotating servers and the servers were slow to respond to requests although it was passable service.

Xin Da Lu specializes in Peking duck and they also have a lot of Shanghainese and Hangzhou dishes on their menu as well.

Here’s what we got:

Peking Duck:

This is what Xin Da Lu is famous for along with their Beggar’s chicken (fyi, you need to pre-order either dish).  They had shipped in a big Peking duck oven from Beijing, which you can see in their open kitchen and hired a couple chefs from Beijing to man it, so the duck was supposed to be among the most authentic in Shanghai. The skin was excellent, crispy and very flavorful, thought this was among the better skin I’ve ever had.  The meat was pretty good, but I thought it was a bit on the dry side.  The pancakes were good, but not amazing.  The sauce was great (I believe it was tian mian jiang i.e. sweet bean sauce), I actually had to get more because they barely give you any, but it really complemented the duck in the pancake with the spring onions.  Overall, it was quite good although not transcendent.  8.25/10 (8.75/10 for the skin and sauce, 8/10 for everything else)

Fried Dumplings (Guo Tie):

These were the most beautiful guo tie I’ve ever seen.  There are five of them and they are served together with a sort of web connecting them (see the picture below).  I was concerned they were going to be a complete gimmick because they looked so pretty, but they were surprisingly good.  Nice skin, crispy bottom, good flavorful interior and well made.  8.5/10

Tomato and Pork Rib Soup:

We wanted a soup, so we got this.  It was a light tomato and pork broth soup with chunks of tomato and pork ribs.  The pork ribs were good, not melt in your mouth falling apart ribs, but good nonetheless.  The broth was flavorful although not outstanding.  7.75/10

Snow Pea Leaves (Dou Miao):

These are the smaller and skinnier dou miao that you get in Asia that I like a lot.  This dish was on the soupy side with large chunks of garlic in it with a light sauce that didn’t overpower the dou miao.  It was pretty good.  7.75/10

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao):

These were surprisingly very good.  The skins were nice and delicate.  The soup was light, not overly oily and the filing was good.  I was very pleasantly surprised because we actually just ordered them because we weren’t sure what to order.  8.25/10

Overall, I thought it was very good although I wasn’t blown away by the food (for comparisons sake if this restaurant was in the US this would be considered an amazing restaurant).  It is however a beautiful restaurant and I would come back if I had the chance.

1/F, Hyatt on the Bund, 199 Huangpu Lu
Phone: 6393-1234 ext. 6318

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