FIVE STAR CHINESE NOODLES| 五星上海一碗面
Address: 184 Jiaozhou Road, Jing’an District (near Xinzha Rd.) |静安区 胶州路184号(近新闸路)
Hours: Daily 11:00 – 22:00
Price: 40 – 60 RMB/person
Cuisine: Chinese – Shanghainese
Five star or…
The group behind Five Star Chicken Rice have opened a Shanghainese noodle joint where one of their Thai restaurants previously was. As fans of their chicken rice locations we had high hopes and ventured over on a rainy winter day to warm up with some strands.
The place is small but clean and just a few doors down from the chicken rice spot (in case you can’t decide if you’re in a grains or strands mood) and looks almost identical from the outside. The décor is similar to their other restaurants – red walls with wood and black accents and some Chinese décor flair.
The menu is actually pretty extensive. Most noodle dishes have the option of 汤面 (soup noodles) or 拌面 (dry mixed noodles). Despite the cold rainy day, we opted for dry noodles because the photos on Dianping looked more appetizing. Note that most of the recommended dishes have key ingredients including intestines and stomach, but if that’s not your cup of tea then you can go for the shredded chicken or eel toppings. Portions are generous and there are a variety of other side dishes to go alongside your strands.
Noodles w Shredded Eel Sauce (响油鳝丝拌面) | 58 RMB
This dish is sweet and saucy which is typical of Shangahinese food. The dry mixed noodles (拌面 ) comes with the eel sauce on the side so you toss it together yourself. The noodles are essentially cong you ban mian (scallion oil noodles) which already have soy sauce flavor on them. After tossing the noodles with the eel, the first few bites are satisfying, but I find the sweetness and heavy sauce overwhelming and repetitive after a while. As standard of all Shanghainese restaurant, there is black vinegar on the table to bring some acidity, however I think the sauce could use some spices or other flavors to balance the sweetness. The dish uses small pieces of eel which soak up the sweet sauce and create a very soft consistency with no other ingredients for texture. Some crunch would be nice! Not recommended – unless you just love sweet, saucy strands.
Noodles w Stir-Fried Chicken Giblets (爆炒鸡杂拌面) | 32 RMB
Same as the noodle dish above, the chicken giblet sauce comes on the side for you to toss with the noodles yourself. I’m not big on any inner parts of meat but I ate around the chicken giblets and the overall flavor is pretty good. A little on the oily side, but the spice from the chili peppers stir-fried with garlic, leeks and soy give a good punch once everything is combined. Recommended (if you’re down with giblets).
Stir-Fried Water Spinach w Garlic (蒜香空心菜) | 28 RMB
Water spinach with garlic is a pretty standard and safe veggie dish to have alongside noodles. Nothing too spectacular or noteworthy with this one, but a good option if you’re looking some veg. They also have dou miao – pea/bean shoots (豆苗), which is always a good alternative. Recommended.
Salt and Pepper Pork Strips (上海椒盐排条) | 38 RMB
Who doesn’t like fried pork with salt and pepper? The deep fried pork strips tossed in salt and pepper with a little chili is deliciously savory and adds a nice crispy texture to pair with the saucy noodles. It was one too many dishes for two people, but a good sharing snack or side with a larger group. Recommended.
Overall I’d say the noodles are not too memorable, but still tasty. We only tried a few out of the many dishes, so try it out yourself and let me know if there are any noteworthy strands I’ve missed. Strand suggestions and recommendations are always welcome!
- Most dishes are pretty oily so if you’re on a diet, best to try another time!
- All dry noodles come with a chicken (feet) soup on the side which has a strong savory flavor. If you can’t decide between soup and dry noodles, the dry option gives you some soup alongside.