How did you celebrate Chinese New Year? My family and I dined at Shanghai Palace to ring in the year of the snake. This restaurant is situated in NW Calgary and appears to be quite popular with the neighborhood folks. It was about half full when we arrived around 6pm and by 7pm it was packed and buzzing. Lots of other families were also out celebrating the new year.
We started off with this dish of scallops, chicken slices, snow peas and celery. The flavors of this dish was good although I found that the scallops kind of got lost in the heavy sauce.
This vegetable dish of bok choy and mushrooms is quite standard in set menus. However, it’s usually prepared with snow pea leaves instead of bok choy. The bok choy was still good though, not overcooked and still maintained that slight crunch.
Typically, the soup that accompanies the set menu is a fish maw soup. However, this was more of a seafood egg drop soup. It was filled with shrimp, squid and scallops in a thicken egg drop broth. The flavors were good but I did find it to be a tad salty.
Everyone at our table loved the deep fried shrimp balls and they went like hot cakes. The outside was coated with vermicelli noodles so it was crispy while the shrimp paste on the inside was still tender.
I like to think of this dish as an upgrade from the typical sweet and sour pork. The pork chops were nicely fried and still remained its crispiness after it was coated in the sweet and sour sauce. It’s then drizzled with mayo as a final touch. This dish was quite good and the sweet and sour sauce was not overly acidic or too sweet.
This dish of crispy fried chicken topped with fried minced garlic is also quite common. I did find that parts of the chicken were a bit dry and oddly a few pieces on one side of the dish were really sweet like it was coated in simple syrup.
The live crab in a ginger and onion sauce was average. There wasn’t anything particularly stand out about this dish and it was also the only one that we didn’t finish.
This steamed fish dish was quite odd to say the least. Usually, we’re presented with a whole steamed fish but this was only a portion and the serving was really really small. There wasn’t even enough to go around.
The dried scallop and shrimp fried rice was pretty standard and on par with most of the other Chinese restaurants.
Most Chinese restaurants end their meal with some sort of dessert soup – typically red bean dessert soup. However, Shanghai Palace offers these tasty treats. Since it was Chinese New Year these glutinous rice balls were filled with red bean paste and coated in coconut, very similar to a mochi. We all really enjoyed these as they were not overly sweet and the perfect end to a heavy meal.
The service was really slow that night since the restaurant was packed. We sat with our empty dishes for a good 20 minutes after our meal and it wasn’t until we flagged down a server that our table was cleared and dessert was brought out.
5149 Country Hills Blvd NW