Vacation 7 – Shanghainese

Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 6In my family, we seldom celebrate birthdays, anniversary, or any special day, such as mother’s/father’s days. For the really big days, such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas time, we will have dinner together (when all shops are closed and family/relative gatherings are held). That’s the reason why I didn’t know mother day was coming until I see all sorts of marketing on TV, radio, even in the MTR. Advertisement was everywhere… you just can’t miss or simply ignore it. I hate ads sometimes – too much information. Yet, one night while waiting at the MTR station, I got a free magazine and started browsing through it. There was a name that I remembered from reading the newspaper back in Toronto. Ming Ya Fe (酩霞飛), a Shanghainese restaurant in Mongkok. They have the 4 persons combo for Mother’s Day dinner. I immediately called them and reserved a table for 2 for the night. Yea, it’s very convenient if you can make phone calls in the subway. But of course, it’s annoying if someone beside you is on the phone forever, and speaks very loudly.
Mother’s night, me and my mother came to Langham Place (朗豪坊) in Mongkok. The reservation was 8:30pm. It was relatively late compared to our usual dinner time. There were two time slots: one is from 6:30 – 8:30pm, the other one is from 8:30pm – close. Of course I would go for the second slot since I know they have live performance starting 9pm.
That was the first time we have ever been to the Langham Place. The place was quite tall – instead of having a lot of stores on one level, there are 13 levels in total. The top 3 are mainly restaurants. There are also offices and hotel @ Langham Place, but I didn’t have a chance to visit the hotel nor did I have a reason to go to the office. One of the uniqueness of the mall is from its long escalators (what they call “Xpresscalators”) that go from level 4 directly to level 8, and from level 8 directly to level 12. It was really COOL! (But the first time we didn’t know there’s such an “express way” to go up… it took us a long time to take the elevator up to level 10, then walk up to level 13 for the restaurant.) If you wanna know more about other cool features of the mall, you can click here.

With all the cool features there, it somehow set a good tone for the night. We came to Ming Ya Fe at around 8:25pm and were led to a table near the window where we could see the Grand Atrium and the Digital Sky, which was quite nice. The service… so far was good.

Looking at the menu, I knew we couldn’t get the four persons combo. Therefore, I ordered a two persons set dinner instead. There were two different combos… well, I went for the better (more $$$) one. Of course, if you’re going to give, you wanna give the best.

Surprisingly, the order was processed very quickly and the first dish was delivered to our table in 5 minutes. (wow!) The first dish was the Drunken Chicken (醉雞)(using the 10 year old wine). It tasted quite good, but the thing is… I forgot that my mother can’t consume alcohol. hum… but she ate a few pieces anyway.
Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 1

This is the Crab meat, shark fin soup (蟹肉翅) – nothing special Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 2

With Shanghainese food, how could I not get the juicy (soup) pork dumplings 小籠包! I have to say these little pork dumplings are very tasty! The wrap is very thin and there was lots of juice in it.Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 2

However, starting the third dish, I started to feel that we were being rushed. I mean, it’s good that the food comes promptly, but there should be some lead time in between courses. I’m sure it’s not because I’ve been to Canada for many years and become “slow motion”. They were just too quick… Always come and check if we have finished the dish or not, and take away dishes and deliever the next dish right away. The other thing is… the portion was quite small there. Anyhow, here’s the broccoli with beef (Chinese name is 翡翠牛肉, which means Jade Beef – what a nice name). The taste was so-so though.Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 3

Also included in the combo was the 玫瑰露川汁龍蝦, i.e. Spicy Szechuan style lobster. Look at how BIG that is. argh… We were looking at those 4 pieces of lobster (I thought… what a rip off)Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 5 Here’s a close up – again, the taste wasn’t very good either.Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 4 Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 7
After all these, I looked forward to the dessert and hoped we would get some nice Shanghainese dessert to make it up. Well… here’s what we got!!!!!!!!! Western style cheesecake – in a Shanghainese restaurant just don’t make sense to me. (No matter how good they are OR how westernized Shanghai is) Originally, I was thinking of having the sweet soup or deep fried egg white w. red bean paste, or something along those lines – On the right is the coffee cheesecake

Mother's Day Dinner @ MongKok 酩霞飛 8Rapsberry mousses + cheese cake… Half way through, the performance started and we wrote down the songs that we’d like to listen to. The singer was actually quite good. She’s a mid-age women … of course they have to hire this type of performers ’cause all the moms and dads weren’t going to listen to pop music! Overall… the experience was ok – I’d give it a higher score just because of the performance, i.e. I wouldn’t go there again if I were to go there for dinner.

FYI:Restaurant directory @ Langham Place

One thought on “Vacation 7 – Shanghainese

  1. Personally, I think Chinese families don’t regularly celebrate b-days, holidays, or other significant events because there are just too many people. Multiply thespecial days by the size of most Chinese families, and the number of days to celebrate would be ginormous. I’ve got over 40 people in my family to the 1st cousin level. I’d be broke by the end of the year if celebrated everything.(*^_^*)

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