No homemade lunch waited for me when Dad and I came home. After grocery shopping, Mom decided she did not want to cook two whole meals on a Sunday. After satisfying her hunger with a bowl of wonton, she brought home Chinese fast food from Food Shanghai Ting. This, as we have discovered, is one of the better places to go for Chinese fast food, as most dishes are made to order. The chef is from China and so knows what he is doing. The dishes usually taste quite decent, even if they are not the most authentic.
First, we tried the 上海炒年糕 (Shanghai Fried Rice Cake). It was basically stir fried sliced rice cake with shredded pork, bok choy, and some other sort of smaller Chinese vegetables. The sauce was a simple soy sauce-based one. The rice cakes were cooked nicely, al dente in a way. They were chewy yet soft enough and still quite sticky. Rice cakes, when cooked to the perfect texture, are one of my favourite foods, especially in the carbs category, better than rice and maybe even thick noodles. The bok choy and the other vegetable were okay. The pork was mostly lean pork, perhaps slightly fatty, but mostly just tender pork. There were only a few shreds of complete fat. The flavour was not too salty or bland, but I found the food quite oily. There was literally a layer of oil covering the rice cakes, vegetables, and pork. They certainly could have eased up on that.
The 鱼香肉丝饭 (Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce on Rice) was more flavourful. The garlic sauce certainly had more of a complex flavour. I love garlic and chili peppers, so garlic sauces are usually one of my favourites when eating more generic Chinese food. The shredded pork was the same as in the rice cakes, mostly tender and leaner meat with only a few shreds of pork fat. My favourite part of this dish was actually the vegetables – bamboo and black wood ear shreds. They absorbed the flavour better than the pork, although the taste was good in general. This was certainly not too authentic, but it was still quite tasty and came out steaming hot. For $5.75, Mom and I found it to be a good deal.
Both meals were $5.75, but comparing the flavours, I think I would pick the Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce on Rice over the Shanghai Fried Rice Cake. I like the more complex flavours – garlic sauce will beat out soy sauce almost all the time. It would be lovely to have the shredded pork come with rice cakes. Then it would be really appealing for me. There are so many of these fast food places around Richmond now. With so much competition, most of them are quite decent from what I have heard. Perhaps I will try a few more in the next few months to see for myself the general quality for Chinese fast food in the most Asian city.