Sunday 24 April 2016

Wang Jia Sha (王家沙) Shanghai Cuisine ~ Cityplaza, Taikoo Shing HK

Wang Jia Sha
No.101, 1/F, Cityplaza II, 
18 Taikoo Shing Road, Tai Koo
Monday to Sunday: 11 am to 3 pm, 5:30 pm to 11 pm

Wang Jia Sha is another food outlet in Cityplaza that we visited twice because food was good. Their specialty is tan tan noodles and Shanghai cuisine but they also serve dim sum. Essentially a lunch place, they only open 11am onwards with a break in between before dinner.

Our first meal here was dinner followed by brunch on another day.

Here's what we liked:

Marinated Pork in Zheng Jiang Style ($60)

Served as an appetizer, the Zheng Jiang marinated pork looked really fascinating with marbled meat sandwiched between pieces of fat. The meat was pretty tasty like a compacted cube of cured ham though it wasn't for me because of all the fat.

Braised Spare Ribs 'Tan Tan' Noodles in Spicy Sesame Sauce ($58)

The tan tan noodles were great - springy thin noodles in a thick, tasty broth with flavors of earthy peanut and sesame. More like a sauce consistency than a broth, there was minced pork hidden in every happy slurp. 

Even though the spicy version was actually mild, it was still an enjoyable dish. It was so good that we couldn't resist from ordering a bowl with pork chop during our second visit. I could really eat this every day.

Fried Mandarin Fish in Spicy Tomato Sauce ($188)

Looking a lot like sweet and sour fish, it tasted every bit like the Malaysian equivalent plus a generous sprinkling of fragrant pine nuts. We gladly picked clean the perfectly deep-fried fish and lapped up all the sauce which was great with white rice.

Long Jing Fried Chicken 

Beneath the crispy chicken skin was smooth chicken meat with a really mild tea flavor. Pick up the deep fried leaves to eat with the chicken then you'll get tasty chicken with the fragrance of Long Jing tea.

Stir-fried Kai Lan with Garlic

The stir-fried thick kai lan stems may have been difficult to pick up with chopsticks but it was fresh, crunchy and the best vegetable dish I had in Hong Kong.

Pan-fried Minced Pork Soft Bun ($36)

Crispy and chewy at the bottom and fluffy on the top, we were really impressed at the texture of these Shanghainese buns.

On the inside, the minced meat was quite tasty without additional sauce but I liked it with a hint of chilli bean paste.

Shanghai Wontons in Chilli Sauce ($42)

The meat dumplings in chili oil turned out quite good as the chilli had a slight kick, much to the delight of these chilli-loving Malaysians. The skin was translucent and thin so it was like having a dumpling version of the soft buns.

Here's what we didn't like:

Mung Bean Noodles with Assorted Shredded Meat Topped with Ground Sesame Sauce ($52)

The mung bean noodles were a little lost on the Malaysians at first because it was very much like kuey teow but it was thicker, had a foreign chew and served cold. On top of that, the sauce was rather bland and there wasn't enough to go around. We enjoyed this dish in another restaurant so it was concluded that Wang Jia Sha's was just not that great.

Sesame Balls with Custard

We thought that jin tui with a custard filling would be interesting but it turned out that it's better paired with tastier fillings such as peanut grounds or lotus seed paste. Custard is just too bland for the already bland jin tui and the thick outer 'shell' made it too floury.

Siu Mai with Glutinous Rice ($36)

We got rather conned by these siu mai with glutinous rice. They were really no big deal.

The only part that resembled a siu mai was the dumpling skin and it was filled with plain glutinous rice with soy sauce. No additional meat or vegetables.

Shanghai Dumpling with Minced Pork Filling ($36)

You'd think that a Shanghainese restaurant would be good at making Shanghainese siu long bao. We thought so too. The dumplings had skin that was too thick and more minced pork than soup. This could have been much better.

Pan-fried Crab Meat Soft Buns ($58)

The crab meat soft buns were ordered for some variety.

The filling did have some crab meat but it tasted mostly like the minced pork variety but costs so much more!

There were hits and misses with Wang Jia Sha but overall, the food served is decent. It's not a dim sum restaurant although dim sum is mentioned in the restaurant description. Stick to the Shanghainese dishes like the locals do and you'll have an enjoyable meal.

Other reviews are available OpenRicehere and here.