I happened to be in Shanghai on the week of Restaurant week. I was glad that my colleague, a Shanghainese chose Whampoa Club, a restaurant on my wish list to dine at. A Shanghainese who is also a foodie like myself and one from Suzhou and joined me, the Singaporean on this trip to Whampoa Club.
Whampoa Club offers both Cantonese and Shanghai food. I am familar with the former though not the latter, I have with me a Shanghainese colleague who is well-versed with the latter.
The interior design looks contemporary to me. With some chinese motifs like the dragon and yet there is a huge chandelier and eclectic colours combination on the walls.
Next to the reception area of the entrance, a chef quietly sat at his station with Candy Art to offer. These are complimentary to diners. You could request for a specific design but you may be asked to tell a joke or sing a song in exchange for his amazing edible craft. I got a horse. I have videoed the creation process and it is in my facebook page.
Appetizers comprises 3 items. The trio were Shanghainese style smoked fish 老山海熏鱼, Rainbow jelly fish salad with aged vinegar 缤纷香醋海蜇头, Plum flavoured Chinese yam 话梅山药. We were impressed with these 3 dishes.
I started with the Chinese Yam. The Plum sauce provided a fruity sweet to the otherwise bland crunchy Chinese yam. Next the Rainbow jelly fish which is also another tasteless ingredient too the flavour from the aged vinegar and sesame oil fragrance. Lastly the fish has a nice outer crisp and soft interior. What’s worth a mention is the dark sauce that elevated the sweetness of the fish.
Among the Mains, there is a soup, Matsutake mushroom and Pigeon soup 松茸炖乳鸽. Overall, it was very flavourful. Somehow like true Cantonese Soup. The soup emitted mainly the Matsutake Mushroom flavour with the pigeon meat, it elevated the taste.
Next was the Charcoal roasted baby lamb chop with lemongrass 香茅烤羊排 which wasn’t impressive. Though the lamb was tender and has a good ratio of fats but the marinate was bland. There isn’t any lemongrass flavour instead I savour ginger aroma instead. All 3 has the same sentiment.
Follow by a worse dish, Garoupa mixed with white beech mushroom 白玉茹拌海斑. Though the fish was fresh and batter was thin. The sauce didn’t seems to complement the sauce. The sauce has only one dimension that is salty and very much nothing else. Absolutely a disappointment. Both myself and the Shanghainese felt the same.
Subsequently were all Cantonese dishes. First of all is a commonly found dish in Singapore and I am a big fan of it, the Steamed shrimp dumpling 水晶虾饺. Prawn was no doubt fresh and of good quality but it was the skin that result in a less than stellar dish. Skin was too thin and isn’t smooth to the palate. In addition, it was a tad dry.
Next is the Steamed rice with dried shrimp and minced meat 虾干肉末蒸饭. For typical Cantonese dish, this dish didn’t make the mark. It is lacking of the preserved cabbage (tung choy) and also garlic. As such it wasn’t as fragrance and tasty as it should.
The Stir-fried seasonal vegetables 清炒时蔬 was fresh and it has nice bright green colour. Personally, I find it a little oil though. Since amount wasn’t huge, it was acceptable.
Ending Mains with the most decent and at the same time most authentic was the Stir-fried shrimp and sweet peas with XO Sauce, XO 酱密豆炒虾球. The XO Sauce was the important ingredient to elevate the flavours.
I always look forward to desserts but this time instead of ending with a sweet note, it spoiled my entire dinner with the Double-boiled peach gum and sago pearls soup in coconut milk 椰汁桃胶西米露.
There are numerous factor that resulted in the unpleasant overall taste of this dessert. First, as this bowl of dessert which has coconut milk as the key ingredients, it wasn’t with fresh coconut milk. Instead, it used the canned type as such it really ruin the taste. Secondly the remaining ingredients in the coconut milk were flat. Each does not have a distinct flavour to complement the coconut flavour. The yam was crunchy, it wasn’t the soft kind with strong yam aroma. While the rest of the ingredients itself are bland as it takes after the flavour of the key ingredients, coconut milk. As such, I deemed it failed.
Anticipation built before my dinner at Whampoa Club, while having the dinner, hope was dashed. In a nutshell, I was extremely disappointed with the standard, since more misses than hit.
No.3 The Bund 3 Zhong Shan Dong Yi Road (Entrance at 17 Guang Dong Road)
Tel: +86 (021) 6321 3737
Monday – Sunday 1130 to 1430, 1730 to 2230
Nanjing East Road