A Chinese restaurant with a pleasant hint of Indianness where old-world charm is fused with modern warmth to tickle the taste buds. Team Y gorges on Cantonese cuisine and generosity
Shanghai Kitchen is a new Chinese restaurant which promises to bring inventive Cantonese cuisine to life in Muscat. Located in Azaiba, the restaurant’s bright red décor is inspired by the opulent old-world Art-Deco period which is about dark wood furnishings, ornate designs and low lighting.
Most of the tables were occupied when we walked into the restaurant on a Thursday evening. At one end, they had a big screen live telecasting the Indian Premier League cricket match.
After having a look at the menu, we ordered chicken and prawn siu mai, pepper garlic prawn, egg fried rice, mix hakka noodles and wok-tossed king prawns. The menu has a decent list of appetisers, soups, main course in vegetarian and non-vegetarian sections.
The starters were nicely made and we quickly polished off the siu mai (dim sums) that were steamed and stuffed with minced chicken and prawns, and flavoured with sesame oil. It is served with a black pepper dip, mustard dip and pickled ginger. The combo was awesome.
The pepper garlic prawn was crispy fried prawns tossed with crushed black pepper, ginger and soy. Although it was slightly on the spicier side, it surely tickled our taste buds.
The main course of egg fried rice (rice with stir-fried egg whites and spring onions), mix hakka noodles (stir-fried soy-flavoured noodles with shredded vegetables and chicken) and wok-tossed king prawns (jumbo prawns and vegetables tossed in sauce) was flavourful and left us with a pleasant feeling. All the dishes were simple and non-oily with a distinct flavour.
For dessert, we had mango pudding which was out of the world (yes, this is the season of mangoes in Oman) and fried ice-cream which was a letdown. Ice-cream fried with a thick layer of shredded coconut was soggy and unappetising (upon conveying our disappointing feedback, the staff made sure not to add it in the bill).
All the portion sizes were decent and filling. One thing we noticed was the ‘distinctive Indianness’ to the dishes which, of course, was welcomed by us since it pleased our palette.
By the time we finished our dinner at 10pm, there were a dozen diners waiting for their turn. Fresh food, affordable pricing and good hospitality can work wonders. The restaurant is licensed too. When the restaurant is packed with families, it can get a bit noisy.
If you are a Cantonese Chinese food lover, eating at Shanghai Kitchen is well worth the visit. They have valet parking too.
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