Located near Xinjiekou, the central landmark of Nanjing, the district is bustling with people and filled with bright lights just like the fifth avenue in New York City.
At Desheng Shopping Mall, you will find a restaurant, 南京精菜馆, where it serves the highlights of Nanjing cuisine. Do not be deceived by its luxurious interiors and a beautiful violinist playing 'live' classic and contemporary music. The food was delicious and affordable.
We ordered a Signature Braised Meat Balls (招牌千金鼎). Priced at RMB 88, the way this dish was made through improvements from the traditional preparation technique for meatballs. You do not have to chew when it is in your mouth. Suck the meat slowly and let its special meat flavour slowly permeate in your mouth. The meat balls seriously melted the minute it was in my mouth. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
Priced at RMB 22, the Stewed Beancurd (素烧鹅) is a traditional cold dish. Made from bean curd skin, this dish is vegetarian and nutritious. This dish is highly recommended. The light, yet aromatic sauce was unforgettable. I cannot words to describe it but it is really good. (Food rating: 5/5)
The Perigord Truffle and Koumo Mushroom (黑松露口蘑), priced at RMB 38, was delicious but the truffle was too subtle as it was not there at all. However, overall, the mushroom dish is equally delicious without the truffle. (Food rating: 4/5)
One of Nanjing's specialty, the Signature Boiled Salted Duck (招牌鹽水鴨) was marinated over 12 hours, then dried for a while before special recipes were added. The texture was surprisingly like chicken. I even had a debate with my friend on whether it was chicken or duck. In the end, I lost. The beautiful texture and lightly salted duck was amazing. (Food rating: 4/5)
Though it is not Nanjing's specialty, I love the vermicelli in claypot. I first tasted this dish in Hangzhou and I fell in love with it. The noodles were chewy, springy. The flavour in the Baked Shrimp with Vermicelli (虾仔焗粉丝) was just nice. The dried shrimps added that boost, making the noodles extremely delicious. Every time I am in China, be it in Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, I will never fail to order this dish if it is available. (Food rating: 4.5/5)
I had Stewed Turnip and Taro (萝卜芋头) for the first time. Stewing white radish and taro, the white radish was extremely sweet. The stew was delicious and complemented the radish and taro extremely well. (Food rating: 4.5)
The Traditional Yang Chun Noodles (老牌阳春面) uses freshly cut noodles that have a mild alkaline flavour and is complemented with soy sauce, chives and refined lard. A very simple dish with no other ingredients than the noodles is a must try. Due to affluence, we usually expect other ingredients in the noodles like meat, vegetables, etc. However, this Yang Chun noodles were so simple that it warmed the cockles of my heart. (Food rating: 5/5)
The Chicken Broth Wonton (鸡汁小馄饨) is traditionally eaten during cold weather. There is nothing better than a steaming hot wonton with chicken soup, which is tasty.
Desheng Shopping Mall, Level 7
Stuffness Level (How full you are): 5/5 (Super full)