Industry Nights is a semi-regular column featuring the haunts of chefs, restaurant owners, F&B managers and other marginally sane people with good eating recommendations.
Singaporean chef Corwin Leong has been on the grill at Morton's since 1988 and worked his way up through the ranks until they made him executive chef of Morton's Singapore. In 2010 they sent him here to open up the restaurant chain's first branch on the Mainland. He's come to us with a few of his favorite spots for culinary comfort.
The Fried Seafood Noodles at Crystal Jade
"I’m Cantonese, and I love Cantonese food. When I came to Shanghai, Crystal Jade was the first place I went to eat because it was recommended by a friend. It’s pretty authentic; the dim sum is really very good. The whole family loves this place. The skin for the Steam dumplings is very good and just like the ones used in Hong Kong. I also really like the fried seafood noodles. First, they deep-fry the noodles put them on a plate and set them aside. Then they mix seafood like shrimp, fish and squid and stir-fry it with gravy before pouring it over the still-crispy noodles."
The Pig Organ Soup at Orchard CRC
"I was raised on Singaporean Food. This place has been around for some time, and they serve genuine Singaporean home-cooked food. I can’t find pig organ soup anywhere else. It’s basically pig stomach with salted vegetables and a lot of pepper. It’s pretty popular in Singapore. It helps to clear the throat and nose when you have the flu because you sweat a lot, and afterwards you feel better. It’s a place I go when I want to feel at home, if I want a taste of Singaporean food. And the chicken rice! I have to mention the chicken rice. It’s authentic and very close to what I eat whenever I’m back home."
The Beijing Duck at Madame Zhu’s Kitchen
"Madame Zhu’s Kitchen was opened by a friend of mine. I’ve tasted a lot of Peking Duck even in Beijing, and their [Madame Zhu’s Kitchen] Peking duck is by far the best. The skin is fabulous. It’s very crispy and very nice. The service is also very good. The presentation of the food itself is very, very…how can I say this? When it comes out and you see it you just can’t wait to eat it. They have a location in Beijing as well, and they both have remarkable consistency. It’s always packed, so make reservations ahead of time. Both locations in Shanghai, Pudong and Puxi, are good. Order the wasabi shrimp; it’s wrapped with shredded potato before being deep-fried."
The Ramen at Ippudo
"Ippudo is a new Japanese restaurant in the Shanghai market. The Ramen soup has a very authentic flavor. I consider it to be very similar to what you get in Japan. I also really like the design of the place, the teppanyaki style. You go in and sit down and talk to the people sitting next to you. It’s a good family atmosphere: nice and cozy even though it’s always busy. I’ve met people sitting next to me before- it’s that friendly. I like to keep a low profile when I’m out so people don’t usually know I’m a chef. I heard they’re opening in the IAPM mall so I’ll have to try that location too."
The Banana Chocolate Tart Farine
"Farine a place you want to go to for tea time. They have good breads and tarts in a nice and cozy atmosphere. It’s very relaxed and laid back. My favorite is the banana and chocolate tart. It’s simple, comforting food. Like soul food."
The Barbecued Fish on the Street
"There are lots of little restaurants on this street that specialize in seafood. My favorite is this one right on the corner that does this fantastic barbecued fish (kao yu). I don't remember the name. Just look for the chef who's grilling fish outside. Behind him is a small dining area of about five or six seats. I like to get a window seat so I can see the chef in action. You can watch and see exactly how he does it. The place also does oysters, scallops, you name it, and it's all incredibly affordable."