Flavours of Shanghai @ Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant

A confession. The only Shanghai food that I know is Xiao Long Bao 小笼包.

However after last night's dinner invitation to Zuan Yuan Chinese Restaurant in One World Hotel, I gladly say I know a few more dishes. Pork free again (similar to the pork free dumplings that I had last month) I now have another reason to return to Zuan Yuan with my Muslim pals who love chinese food.

Three Shanghai Style Appetiser was the first to tease our taste buds. A prawn, beancurd and mushroom. 3 different flavours and textures.
I must admit that the mushroom did look a wee slimy but it was really not slimy nor was it oily. It was yummy!

I loved the prawns too. It tasted right with a blend of saltiness and sweet in every prawn.
The dried beancurd dish with mushrooms was the least favourite of the 3 dishes in the Three Shanghai Style Appetiser. Nothing against the dish but it was a tad sweet for my tastebuds. However, I understand that Shanghainese food is generally sweet and finding this dish a tad too sweet for my liking is merely my personal preference as many of the other guests were happily eating it.
Braised Fish Head Soup with Preserved Vegetable in Claypot! Sounded good. And it tasted awesome. This I think was my favourite dish of the night. Had 3 helpings of the soup and dug into the fish. I even ate the fish eye and it confirmed the freshness of the fish. Delightfully light and bursting with the flavours of fish head, this soup is a must have!
Sautéed Shrimp with Egg White is a cold dish. Crisp and not fishy despite it being a cold dish, this is another must have for lazy prawn eater who hate to peel off the shells:P
When I saw the next dish in orange arrive, I smiled. The colour was cheerful but the biggest reason for my smile was that this dish had pine nuts on it. I love pine nuts for its rich flavour. Deep-Fried Mandarin Fish with Sweet and Sour Sauce is not too thickly battered. It is quite appetising and I was tempted to request for some rice. This dish would have been the perfect dish to get kids started on fish if not for the bones. The mandarin fish has some Y shaped bones but its worth braving those bones as adults as this is a very sweet juicy fish.
Sautéed Shredded Beef with Honey Bean is a dish that many others liked. I only enjoyed the honey beans which were nice and crisp. A refreshing flavour and texture to slightly peppered and gingered beef dish. The Sautéed Shredded Beef with Honey Bean is fine with me except that the beef was a wee too tender for my liking. I've also like beef with a little texture and bite in it.
Mushrooms should be big, juicy and not bitter. last night, the Sautéed Mushroom with Chicken and Shrimp was definitely another of my fave. Every mouth of the mushroom was bursting with the sweet earthly flavours of the mushroom. The stuffing of prawn and chicken went really well with the mushroom too. A very healthy dish!
Fried Noodles with Beef and Vegetable is a good end per se. Although I'll have it admit I did not eat much of it because I was quite full after the earlier dishes.
Dessert was unique. I've drank Osmanthus tea before and I love the taste. Sweet Scented Osmanthus Rice Cake sounds delightful. When it arrived, I couldn't quite make up what it reminded me of. But I ahd fun playing with it because the piece decided to stick itself onto the plate. A little sweet for my liking, you'll need a very sensitive tastebud to taste the Osmanthus. I'll have to say that hubby loved the Sweet Scented Osmanthus Rice Cake that he ate 4 pieces.
Overall experience of this pork free Flavours of Shanghai has been fun. It was authentic - no doubts about it as the 4 chefs were flown in from Shanghai Eton Hotel for this 10 day promotion beginning Thursday 23 June until Saturday 2nd July 2011. The Shanghainese set menus are priced from RM380++ per table of 4 as well as ala carte menu are available for lunch and dinner.

For reservations, please call Zuan Yuan at +603 7681 1159.


  1. A very refreshing take on the meal ;)

  2. That's some nice looking prawns you have there :)

  3. nice meeting you that night :)

  4. pureglutton: thanx:D

    isaac: both the prawns were yummy.

    ai wei: hello there! good pics on your site