Shanghai Me: Traditional Asian fare with a modern touch

Shanghai Me:  Traditional Asian fare with a modern touch
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Updated 04 December 2020

Shanghai Me: Traditional Asian fare with a modern touch

Shanghai Me:  Traditional Asian fare with a modern touch

DUBAI: Often, we’ll recommend a restaurant to friends based on the whole experience — the ambience, the service and the decor, as well as the food. But sometimes, you try a specific dish and it takes you on such a delightful journey that you’ll return to the same place over and over again just for that one dish. 

The Grilled Silver Cod with Yuzu Miso Sauce at Shanghai Me is one of those dishes. The Alaskan cod comes wrapped in a bamboo leaf, with a side of yuzu miso sauce for dipping, a lemon and hajikami (pickled ginger sprouts used for styling and flavor). Each bite is like an adventure gradually unraveling on your tastebuds. The tender flaky fish simply melts in your mouth, releasing its smokey and fatty flavors to roam. The portion is not big, but it’s packed with so much flavor that it will definitely satisfy. This dish would not be out of place at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

The Art Deco-style space is very much in line with the DIFC’s classy feel. Supplied

Shanghai Me is a 1930s-inspired Asian restaurant located in Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) — home to a growing number of excellent dining options. The Art Deco-style space is very much in line with the area’s classy feel. Its walls are adorned with wood carved in a traditional Asian style, artworks, and a generous helping of plants. The whole area is drenched in warm yellow light in the evening. Sitting in Shanghai Me felt like being nestled in the jungle, particularly on the terrace, which is lined with bamboo and banana trees.

Wild mushroom dumplings. Supplied

Aside from the wonderful cod dish already mentioned, the restaurant — which bills its fare as   “a contemporary take on traditional Asian cuisine” — also has excellent sushi. Although the selection is limited, the flavors and freshness do not disappoint.

The spicy tuna tartare cut roll is a great example. The fresh fish and spicy sauce are garnished with spring onions and placed on top of maki made with creamy avocados and juicy cucumbers rolled in roasted nori, sushi rice and tenkasu (Japanese deep-fried flour-batter). The flavors simply explode as all the ingredients crumble with each bite, while still retaining a perfect spicy-creamy balance.

Prawn and truffle dim sum. Supplied

The lobster corn shells are another gem. A perfect marriage of Latino and Asian cuisines, the crunchy corn taco shells are stuffed with avocado, chipotle mayonnaise, aji yuzu sauce and juicy chunks of lobster. If you’re a fan of shellfish, these are definitely for you as they are packed with soft, scrumptious meat with refreshingly zesty and warm spicy flavors.

Evgeny's wagyu sub. Supplied

No restaurant boasting traditional Asian cuisine would omit dumplings from the menu. Our pick of those on offer at Shanghai Me is the prawn and truffle dumpling — each bite was filled with tender meat enveloped in the earthiness of truffles. Meanwhile, the wild mushroom dumpling is a great vegetarian option, as the perfectly cooked meaty shiitake mushrooms unfold with a strong earthy umami flavor. 

For those with a sweet tooth, Shanghai Me has two great offerings that will satisfy two completely different pallets. 

The Giant Fortune Cookie comes complete with the traditional reading. Supplied

For the avid Instragrammer with a love for rich chocolate flavors, the Giant Fortune Cookie could be exactly what you are looking for — complete with the traditional reading. The crispy biscuit of the cookie is glazed with dark and milk chocolates and almonds, hiding a creamy, fluffy mousse inside. Prepare your cameras when the waiter brings out your order, as they crumble the giant structure in front of you.

Our other favorite dessert was a modern take on an Asian classic — a milk cake accompanied by black sesame ice-cream, some fruit jam and a thick milky sauce. The fluffiness of the cake, combined with the creamy sweetness of the milk, the sourness of the fruits and the slight bitterness of the ice-cream create a perfectly balanced and unique flavor with Asian flare.

While Shanghai Me’s prices are above average (as are those of most restaurants in DIFC), the quality of the food justifies the expense. If you want to indulge in an Asian fine-dining experience, this restaurant might be the place you’re looking for.

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site
Updated 17 January 2021

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site

Egypt announces ‘major discoveries’ at Saqqara archaeological site
  • Egyptian archaeologist says discoveries will rewrite history of region

CAIRO: An Egyptian archaeological mission working in the Saqqara area near the pyramids of Giza in Egypt has discovered dozens of archeological finds, including a Pharaonic funerary temple.

The Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities announced that the discoveries —  made by the joint mission between the council and the Zahi Hawass Center of Egyptology — include wooden wells and coffins from the New Kingdom, dating back to 3000 B.C.

Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the council, said that the discoveries are located at the Saqqara necropolis, near the pyramid where King Teti, the first king of the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, who ruled Egypt between 2323 and 2291 B.C., is buried.

Zahi Hawass, Egyptian archaeologist and head of the mission, said that these discoveries will rewrite the history of the region, especially during the 18th and 19th Dynasties of the New Kingdom, during which time King Teti was worshiped.

Hawass said that the mission found the funerary temple of Queen Nearit, wife of King Teti, part of which was uncovered in the years prior to the mission, as well as three mud-brick warehouses on the southeastern side, used to store offerings and tools that were involved in a revival of the queen’s creed.

The mission also discovered 52 wells, ranging in depths between 10 to 12 meters and containing more than 50 wooden coffins from the New Kingdom era. This is the first time that coffins dating back to 3000 B.C. have been found in the Saqqara area.

The surfaces of the coffins depict various scenes involving the gods who were worshipped during this period, in addition to texts from the Book of the Dead that help the deceased pass on to the other world.

Inside the wells, the mission found numerous artifacts, such as statues of the deity Ptah, as well as a four-meter-long papyrus, representing chapter 17 from the Book of the Dead, with the name of its owner recorded on it. The same name was found on four statues.

Other finds included a set of wooden masks; games for the deceased to play in the other world, one of which is similar to chess; and statues and a shrine of Anubis, the god of death.

The mission also discovered a bronze ax, indicating that its owner was one of the leaders of the army in the New Kingdom era, and paintings inscribed with scenes of the deceased and his wife and hieroglyphic writings.

A large amount of pottery dating back to the New Kingdom was found, including pottery establishing trade relations between Egypt and Crete, as well as Syria and Palestine.

Hawass explained that this discovery confirms that the Saqqara antiquities area was not used for burial during the Late Period only, but also in the New Kingdom.

The mission studied the mummy of a woman who was found to be suffering from a disease known as Mediterranean fever or swine fever, which comes from direct contact with an animal and leads to a liver abscess.

Hawass asserted that the archeological discovery is one of the most significant ones of this year and will make Saqqara an important tourist and cultural destination. It will rewrite the history of Saqqara in the era of the New Kingdom and will confirm the importance of the worship of King Teti during the 19th Dynasty.