Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Shanghai Dream, Roppongi

Inspired by my last visit to Hutong and realization that I don't know enough about Chinese lunches, I maneuvered today's lunch into a trip to Shanghai Dream, known (to me) as 'the orange-fronted place'. This is on Roppongi Dori's south side, on the way to Nishi Azabu (near the horrible Charleston Cafe, or the quite good tempura Kawana 川奈). It's not my new favorite, but it was good. It seemed more Chinese somehow.

In fact, we ended up there because we tried to go to the more classy place across the street and were told that my friend couldn't smoke. No such problem here; lots of Chinese people smoking away.

Plenty of lunch sets for Y1000. I had the pork kakuni and agetofu in thick brown sauce (I'm sure there's a name) and it was great - nice and sweet, the pork very tasty, the fat soft and not-objectionable (but still extremely thick, so I didn't eat all of it), and the tofu deeply fried so there was plenty of the good bit (the fry) and less of the waste bit (the tofu). My friend had the 5-thing fried noodles (五目焼きそば) which actually seemed to be deep-fried noodles instead. The gomoku was in thick sauce (あんかけ) and had so much seafood that it should have just been called that. Good stuff, and good value when it also comes with some kind of corn-chicken soup, some pickles, and a single dim sum. Plus an ashtray, can't forget the ashtray!

The ambience felt like the real deal - modern but strangely timeless, dim lights, people smoking and speaking Chinese. Service was extra-brisk but not unfriendly.

Not my new favorite, but more than worthy of sen yen now and then.

Whaddya know, it's not really called Shanghai Dream, or even 上海夢. It's 小天地. Hmmm.

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