Xintiandi is the newly renovated restaurant of what used to be Jade Dynasty located on Francis Street in Northbridge. The direct translation is “New Heaven and Earth” and has a really nice ring to it in Chinese. It is also a name I could read and understand ALL of the chinese characters of – a proud moment for me (yay!).
When I first found out the name of the restaurant, I was racking my brain trying to figure out where I have heard it before, was it another restaurant I had been to in a different country, or was it a brand of a Chinese company? It turned out to be the name of an affluent car-free shopping, eating and entertainment precint in Shanghai. Ooo another Shanghainese restaurant in Perth! Filled with excitement, my sister and I decided to bring mum there for her birthdaydinner.
The inside of the restaurant does not disappoint with its modern decor, contrasting colours of black, white, grey and purple and what seemed to be hundred of glass lights hanging at varying heights from the ceiling. Nice! On the night, the restaurant was segregated into two by a black curtain with a function occupying most of the space on one side making the remaining side (where we sat) slightly claustrophobic-ish. Not an optimal experience to be facing a black curtain the whole night, hopefully this doesn’t happen too often.
The menu was extensive with dishes I haven’t come across before and with lots of pictures! I love this kind of menu as you have a preview of what you are getting. It actually makes a difference in what you end up ordering! The pictures ended up being very helpful to us as we discovered that most of the waitresses working at the restaurant only spoke Chinese! This posed a big problem for a family that does not speak Chinese. Eeks! After a few attempts of try-hard Chinese questions and ordering/pointing where we got the poor waitress even more confused, the manager finally came to the rescue! He could speak English. Phew! Our grumbling stomachs were very grateful.
For entree, we had:
- Steamed Shanghai Dumpling with Minced Pork Filling – 6 pieces ($6.80)
- Xintiandi’s Steamed Chicken Soup ($5.00)
- Double Boiled Ginseng with Crocodile, Lillies, Chinese Cabbage and Chicken Soup ($10.00)
The Shanghai Dumplings were delicious with tender and moist pork pieces, overflowing juices and thin and soft dumpling skin. Hard and thick skin is a no-no and so is dry filling. These passed all my criteria for a tasty “Siew Loong Bao”! Both the Soups were also very flavoursome albeit slightly salty. They were still very good though with big chunks of chicken and crocodile meat in them! I wish I could boil soups like these at home! I would drink them everyday!
For dinner, we had:
- Xintiandi’s Special Braised Sliced Abalone, Scallops, Sea Cucumber, Mushroom and Prawns in Claypot ($38.80)
- Pan Fried Stuffed Beancured with Seasonal Vegetables ($18.80)
- Wok Fried Crispy Egg Noodles with Assorted Vegetables and Mushrooms ($16.00)
- Steamed Patagonian Fish with Ginseng and Wolfberry ($26.80)
All the dinner dishes ordered were yummy especially the Special Seafood Claypot. They were generous with the amount of seafood in the claypot especially with the abalone. Was very satisfied. The only thing I didn’t like about the dishes was the excessive amount of oil in them. I think I have become a bit of a health freak in recent years and the aftertaste of oily food in the mouth did not sit too well with me. This is where the chinese tea came in to save the day. :)
As with most Chinese restaurant, they gave us a complimentary plate of fruits at the end of the meal. We couldn’t resist looking at the dessert menu as well even though we were so full (a bad habit I must change in the new year!) and decided to order the Mango Sticky Rice Rolls with Custard and Coconut ($5.80) and the Chinese Pancake with Vanilla Ice-cream ($6.80).
The Mango Sticky Rice Rolls were another hit – filled with real mango pieces and creamy custard which melted in the mouth. It was oh-so wonderful! The Chinese Pancake however was a miss, too oily with overfried pastry and little filling. The ice cream was good though :P
Overall, I really liked this place, decor and food wise. They are much better than what Jade Dynasty used to offer. Service was ok, however the langugage barrier might be a bit of a challenge for non-speaking Chinese people. There are many dishes on the menu that I want to try out so will definitely be back soon. I’d also heard of good reviews of their dimsum!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
After trying the dinner out, I couldn’t resist going back for the dimsum one afternoon. We headed there on one of the weekdays and found the place to be quiet. Good for us as we got a table straightaway! The dimsum were awesome although the service that day was horrendous! There were not enough people on the floor and we waited ages and ages before we managed to put our order in. Hope they improve this in the future. Some photos of the food we tried shown below:
We ordered the Steamed Shanghai Dumpling with Crabmeat Filling but honestly I couldn’t taste the difference between those filled with crabmeat or pork. Either the amount of crabmeat was so insignificant in the dumplings that there was almost no taste to them or they might have given us the wrong order? I don’t think I would be ordering those with crabmeat filling again.
The highlight of the lunch was the dessert! They have the most awesome dessert menu - alot of variety and very different as well albeit pricey. I ordered the Gold Digger ($7.80) which was a shaved ice jelly syrup covered with lychee and orange compote and a scoop of mango sorbet. My friend had the Awesomeness ($7.80) which was a mixture of grass jelly, red bean, jelly and dumpling topped with japanese green tea ice cream. Yum Yum!
Rating by: N.L.
Telephone: 08 9228 9619
Address: 40 Francis Street, Northbridge