This is a really out-dated blog entry (December last year?) - sorry, I am slowly (but surely) clearing my back-log.
Both B and I both used to work in Shanghai (at different times - no, we did not meet there) so when his parents mentioned a "really good and cheap" Shanghainese restaurant at Geylang, we hurriedly gathered a group of friends to check out the place. It was a hole in the wall place - don't expect a fancy ambience or atas service. Run by PRC locals, I'd imagine you'd need to speak conversant mandarin in order to order the dishes.
Lucky for us, we already had a whole list of Shanghainese dishes we were craving for. For me, it was Hong Shao Rou and drunken chicken. We also ordered La Zi chicken (in dry wok style) and Duo Jiao Yo Dou (fish head in diced chilli). The latter was really more Hunan-style rather than Shanghainese but I don't think anyone was compaining, haha.
Ok, the verdict. It certainly doesn't beat my favourite restaurants in Shanghai but for the price and quality, I'd give it a thumbs-up. I love the fact that it's just in my backyard and I can get my fix of Hong Shao Rou anytime. Taste could have been more robust, but in the same manner they cut down on the oiliness and sweetness, the food has been prepared to cater to the Singapore palate.
We loved the drunken chicken though, it's a must order. Most authentic dish of the lot. The guys ordered a second serving! It's amazing how food can bring back so many good memories of our time spent in Shanghai.
I used to have my weekly fix at Xiao Yang Shengjian bao when I was in Shanghai, and when I saw it on the menu I almost hyper-ventilated. We were already stuffed but I couldn't resist ordering a dozen for ehem "desser". Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed - the shengjian bao just did not deliver - the pan-fried base was not crispy enough and it was too dry - where's that burst of delicious soup when you bite into the bao?
Nonetheless, this is one joint I'd go back to. The other dishes were good.