By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Among the most popular dishes in Shanghai is stir-fried shrimp with West Lake tea leaf, a simple dish of shrimp herbed with tea. There was trouble sourcing the gulf shrimp. They must possess perfect texture. They must be crisp. They must be tender. They must have a snap under dental pressure. But they must not be chewy or mushy. The Yaos found their bull's-eye.
Flesh for the jellyfish and scallions is sliced from the head and then marinated in saltwater and blanched for 10 seconds and served with daikon radish. Lobster with scallops and bamboo topped with clusters of smelt roe tests the kitchen's commitment to precision. The difficulty is in preparation of the sauce, a composite of egg white and a touch of cream. The temperature must be perfect. The time under heat must be exact. If these two measures stray, the egg whites will brown and become listless, refusing to puff-up and fluff, stripping the slightly sweet sauce of its textural levity. The sulfurous breath marries perfectly with the tint of marine.
Beef tripe with cilantro, strips of pink bovine stomach sliced into feathery strips freshened with sprouts, is refreshingly crunchy. West Lake beef soup—egg white, tofu, scallions and minces of tenderloin in a rich chicken stock, delivers a stinging slap of white pepper on the front of the palate. It comes with a dish of vinegar to invigorate it, but limit this to a couple of drops. More will strip the soup of its delicate balance.
4757 W. Park Blvd., No. 108
Plano, TX 75093-2329
Finish with sesame rice balls, cores of sesame paste bound in sticky rice flour. They float like the whites of eyes in a clear warm broth, unleashing a wheeze of sweetness when crushed between the teeth. But while the menu speaks in appropriate whisper-ese, Yao Fuzi Shanghainese should be hollered out all over.
4757 W. Park Blvd., No. 108, Plano, 214-473-9269. Open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $$-$$$