Adelaide has a handful of restaurants that provide yum cha. Shanghai Tea House is one of them, it is situated in the beautiful Burnside Village Shopping Centre. It certainly offers a lot of tea. It is one of their specialties. However, it is quite dear... unless if you are a intense tea drinker, and you can tell which tea leaves you are drinking, I say just stick with the basics.
We ordered a simple pot of jasmine tea, and the tea took a very long time to arrive at our table. The tea was served in a clear tea pot and these miniature cups. The good thing about these cups was that they didn't burn your hand. They looked great.
One of us ordered a hot and sour soup, it was very watery and all you could taste was the chilli and nothing else.
Other food started to arrive at our table, however there was no cutlery or plates/bowls. We had to ask several times. The waitresses and waiters spoke little english and wrong dishes were once again brought to our table. The sesame balls were very oily, the oil soaked onto the paper as you can see from the picture.
The dumplings were not bad, the skin was thin but so transparent that they were hard to pick up with chopsticks, and before you could even pick up with the spoon, the skin split and the fillings fell out.
Wonton noodle soup was not up to standard. The noodles were salty and the servings were extremely small. We asked for some bowls so we could all share, the waitress disappeared and said sorry no bowls as the kitchen was too busy. We had to eat soup noodles off our plate, how ridiculous was that?
One of my favourite dish to eat is Xiao Long Bao (XLB) or soup dumplings. I love to eat the whole dumpling with the juice squirted in my mouth. I normally eat it with ginger and vinegar as this is the way it is usually served. However not at Shanghai Tea House, we had to ask several times and waited until the dumplings got cold. The ginger should have been shredded and not sliced. I thought that was unacceptable, especially XLB is from Shanghai.
The fried dumplings were last. There was nothing special about these. On finishing our meals, the waitress brought out some bowls but there was no point as we had finished eating.
The staff were not adhering to any system. They were just running back and forth, and forgetting orders. Shanghai Tea House only gets two daisies this time.
Visit Shanghai Tea House - Shop 108 Burnside Village Shopping Centre, Burnside SA 5066 - (08) 7200 3063