Load up on pan-fried buns, steamed, soupy dumplings and handmade noodles at the newest cheap and cheerful joint in Sydney’s CBD.
Situated on the fringe of Chinatown, Shanghai 18 Bun joins an area littered with well-known dumpling and noodle houses offering traditional, no-frills cuisine. Located on Sussex Street near the corner of Druitt Street, the brand new restaurant can be hard to miss as shop front signage is yet to be installed. With a spacious 52-person capacity, Shanghai 18 Bun has a clean interior with linear timber wall panels and warm, statement lighting throughout. Licensed and featuring two TVs for sports and entertainment, the venue is a step up from the bare bones atmosphere of many of their competitors.
Pan-Fried Pork Buns ($11.80)
The pan-fried pork buns are perfectly golden and crisp on the bottom with a soft, fluffy interior that isn’t at all doughy. Inside, a generous bite of delicious, succulent pork leaves us wanting more — these are a must order!
Shanghai Xiao Long Bao ($9.80)
If there was a queen of dumplings, it’d have to be xiao long bao. With it’s delicate, paper-thin skin barely cocooning a mouthful of rich, flavoursome soup and a juicy morsel of pork. The military precision and consistency of Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung always act as a point of reference me and often, I’m disappointed with thick skins and far less delicious broth. Shanghai 18 Bun’s Xiao Long Bao’s, however, were truly delectable. Although not quite as delicate and silky as DTF, the skins were thin and wobbly, and the soup and pork filling had an extremely comparable flavour, for almost 40% less of the cost.
Steamed Prawn Dumplings ($11.80)
Another excellent option were these dainty steamed prawn dumplings stroked with a vibrant green colour. Delightfully sticky with soft, succulent prawns and elevated by a touch of soy and chilli sauce.
Special Style Chicken with Noodles ($15.80)
At $15.80, the ‘special style chicken’ is excellent value for a huge bowl filled to the brim with chicken, vegetables, fresh chilli and seemingly never-ending handmade noodles. Although the flavours in this dish weren’t particularly exciting for me, I did love those beautiful, silky noodles, which were delightfully soft and smooth. Served traditionally with wobbly skin on the chicken, this may not be pleasant for everyone.
Eye Fillet with Special Cantonese Sauce
Noticeably sophisticated compared to the more traditional dishes preceding it, the eye fillet featured beautifully tender cubes of beef with a slightly crisp exterior and further texture lent from the sliced almonds. Together with a rich, salty and sweet special Cantonese sauce, this was a tasty and satisfying dish.
With an extensive menu covering dumplings, handmade noodles, curries, an array of Chinese street snacks and more, there’s so much to try at this delicious new casual dining venue. I’d recommend the dumplings, particularly the xiao long bao, as well as the handmade noodles, which were beautiful and silky.
Thank you to the wonderful Shanghai 18 Bun team! Eats with Marie dined as a guest. All opinions, comments and photos are 100% honest and my own.
Shanghai 18 Bun
Shop 1/267 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000
0410 665 868
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