We ate at Shanghai Gourmet at Pacific East Mall (3288 Pierce) in Richmond today and found that the place had gone downhill. How sad! No more chicken with chestnuts — it was taken off the menu. The braised meatballs (often called “Lion’s Head”) had limited richness of sauce, which was markedly lighter than in the past and floury. The pork with bean curd sheets — which should be pork belly and bean curd knots braised in a clay pot with the usual suspects, like wine, rock sugar and soy sauce — was a memory of its former self. First off, half the pork belly was replaced with another cut of pork, which sent my mother into a tailspin. Second, the sauce was weak. Stuff was missing or the dish was not given enough time to braise – maybe both. All I know is that it should have been obscenely savory but fell flat. Matt ordered pan-fried bean curd with shrimp roe, which was very good, but none of us were able to detect much roe flavor. When we talked with our server about the state of the food, he claimed there had been no change in ownership nor chef. Then what the hell happened? This calls for some investigation.
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