There is a restaurant chain in Taiwan called Yuyuan (滬園) which specialises in Shanghai dumplings (otherwise known as xiaolongbao. They have now opened one that also serves Chinese ramen. Both are favourites of mine. And so I had to visit.
Yuyuan Ramen Shanghai Dumpling (滬園拉麵小籠包) — man, that’s a mouthful — is situated on the underground level of the Global Mall at Banqiao. It’s really a semi-restaurant as it is located in a food court. The menu is quite traditionally Chinese, with stuff like noodles, congee, wontons and so forth. They even have cold snacks you can peruse (and order) in a glass cabinet.
I’m not typically a fan of food court food, which is often serviceable but rarely great. Yuyuan is better than serviceable, but it’s not great either.
On this day, we ordered a noodle mixed with broad bean sauce, a noodle mixed in peanut and sesame sauce, a shrimp shaomai, a dry wonton with chili oil, a plain congee, a plate of fried seafood rolls and a plate of deep fried chicken. The full menu (with English) can be obtained here.
All the dishes were at least par or above. The two noodles were decent but unexceptional, not unlike what you would be able to have at most cheap-and-dirty vendors in Taipei, except cleaner. I’ve had better shrimp shaomai and dry wonton with chili oil elsewhere — the shaomai were on the dry side and the wontons could have used a sauce with more kick.
As it turned out, the fried dishes were the best. The seafood rolls were crunchy on the outside and soft, moist and hot on the inside, and very flavoursome to boot. You can’t go wrong with fried chicken in Taiwan, so it was a given that theirs was pretty good too.
Oh, and I didn’t really bother with the congee, but I will say that the fried dough sticks were not good enough. Didn’t feel…fresh.
On the whole, I guess it was fairly good for a semi-food court type of joint but not a place where you would go for a wonderful meal. It is the only restaurant of its type under the Yuyuan umbrella, so if you are into their food then I would certainly recommend it.
7 out of 10
PS: To be honest I wasn’t planning on such a high score but the photos made my immensely hungry.
PPS: I just realized I didn’t even order their Shanghai dumplings…or ramen. Oops.
Banqiao Global Mall B1 (connected to the MRT and train stations)
Phone: (02) 89691688
Hours: 11am-10pm (weekdays), 10am-10pm (weekends)