Melbourne has a strong xiao long bao game, but it’s Shanghai Street that’s arguably the busiest of the vendors, pumping out its popular steamed pork dumplings and attracting out-the-door queues on a daily basis. To meet the frenzied demand, the long-standing restaurant is opening an upmarket venue on Bourke Street.
“Our dumpling shops can be too fast and greasy for some customers,” says Min Shi, owner and director of Shanghai Street. “So this time we want to offer a new idea of a Chinese restaurant which is very clean and relaxing with better food, better service and some surprises on the menu too.”
The first Shanghai Street opened in 2010 on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke streets with a seating capacity of 25 people. Subsequent restaurants have popped up on La Trobe Street, two in Chinatown and another on Chapel Street, totalling five. “We have four CBD outlets, so we are confident of the consumption of our product in the city and this location for the next outlet,” says Shi.
Scheduled for late September this year, the sixth outlet will open near the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets with extended trading hours until midnight on weekends. It will be the largest fit-out of the Shanghai Street cohort and appeal to those seeking a more upmarket dining experience.
“Our customers have been asking for us to open a place where they can stay longer and enjoy higher quality dishes,” says Shi.
The 400-square-metre restaurant will seat up to 130 people and focus on higher quality ingredients, which will see customers paying more than its sister venues. The menu will be a half-half combination of familiar Shanghai Street dishes, and an introduction of more premium dishes, such as flame duck and cheese prawn.
Min and his wife, Wayna Shi, are working with SGA Design to transform the old Australian Red Cross blood bank into a fully equipped kitchen and restaurant.
The decor will display a fusion of Western and Chinese cultures to create a more refined dining atmosphere that’s clean and minimal. Colours of black, grey and red will be featured throughout the interior, with copper complements and more comfortable furniture.
Level 1, 360 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Mon to Fri TBC – 10pm
Sat & Sun TBC – midnight
For Melbourne’s latest, subscribe to the Broadsheet newsletter.