a meal to remember

It’s evening now, but I’m still slightly stunned by the lunch I ate today.

We received an impromptu invitation to a first brithday ‘celebration’ lunch for Shanghai Ling’s new premises – it was a set menu, but we were told not to expect anything we’d seen on the menu before. Sure enough, there was a menu, but no-one took an order, so we wondered if that huge list of dishes was coming to our table… well, they did!

I can’t remember all of them, but this was a degustation menu with a difference:

  • Starting with a Melon, Dried Shrimp, Egg and Char Grilled Pork soup. Light, tasty and delicious… a perfect start to the meal.
  • Chinese toast: a slightly sweet dough lightly fried – it looked like a tiny loaf of bread.

Then there were the mains:

  • Scallops wrapped in Nori, served with a tangy light mornay sauce and tender flowerets of Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes. This sounds like a weird melange of flavours, but it was sensational! My favourite.
  • Prawns marinated in LongJing tea. These looked so simple on the plate, no visible sauce at all, but the flavour explosion of the tea had everyone on the table exclaiming as they tasted them.
  • Steamed Chicken with Caramelised Onions: just a superb combination.
  • Mushrooms with Bok Choi: a blend of the fresh and crisp green with dark, saucy, sumptuous chinese mushrooms.
  • Mushroom caps stuffed with prawn and fish paste, smothered in a silky ginger sauce.
  • Quail egg and Chinese sausage wrapped in a rice noodle.
  • Braised pork spare rib. A favourite, but perfectly executed.
  • Blue Grenadier in a grape bunch shape. A crisp fried fish, this was probably my least favourite, but still good nonetheless.
  • Stir fried Amaranth with garlic. This is one fragrant vegetable!
  • Sea Cucumber, Mushroom and Char Grilled Pork in a claypot. A real suprise: the sauce accompanying this was amazing. Bear in mind what we had just eaten, this was the last dish, you’d expect it to be hard to make an impression… oh, how sublime!

Finished off with a fruit platter – phew!

Well, we’ve known Ling for years and enjoyed the food cooked by her husband Mi Kun Wen on many occasions, but this one will stand out for a while to come.