Sugared & Spiced

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[Shanghai] The Grumpy Pig (2)

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The Grumpy Pig

Add: 65-4 Maoming Bei Lu, near Yan’an Lu / 茂名北路65-4号, 近延安路
Tel:  6217 3355
Hours: [Sun-Thu] 11am~10pm [Fri-Sat] 11am~12am
Price: 100~200 RMB/person
Visited: Mar 2012 (visit 1)

Back at The Grumpy Pig for their famed tonkotsu ramen which I didn’t have room for on my previous visit. With natural light pouring through the skylight, this little space is equally charming during the day as it is after dark. A perfect lunch spot for those working in the area.

Love these light bulbs. Maybe I can find them at aroom?

The very pork-centric menu.

Started with a refreshing House Green Salad (25 RMB/small, 35 RMB/big) – mixed greens, herbs, radish, cucumber, bean sprouts, peanut soy dressing.

Duck Steamed Buns (25 RMB/2 pcs), duck, carrot, spring onion, cilantro, and mayonnaise sandwiched between fluffy buns.

Then, a Potato Salad (25 RMB) with walnuts, eggs, and lacey pork crisps. This one I particularly loved and will be sure to order again next time. The potatoes are of my preferred fluffy texture and dressed in just the right amount mayonnaise, while the lacey pork crisps added a nice crunch along with the walnuts. On a related note, I found this detailed article titled “Potato Salad Done Right” on Serious Eats – for you home cooks out there.

Here’s what I came for, Tonkotsu Ramen (45 RMB) with pork belly, poached Yodo egg, bamboo bean sprouts, scallion. Let’s examine it bit by bit.

First, the noodles. We tried the medium noodles (thin and thick are two other options), which had a yellowish hue presumably from eggs and perhaps kansui (alkaline mineral water used to make ramen noodles). Firm and chewy, in a good way.

Second, the tonkotsu broth simmered from pork and chicken bones. The tonkotsu broth I usually have tend to be cloudy white and of a creamy consistency, but the broth at The Grumpy Pig looked fairly clear and tasted much lighter. Still, a hearty soup with plenty of flavor and depth.

Another important component – poached egg, with a perfectly gooey heart.

And of course, the pork. “Melt in your mouth” is so over-said, but these slices really do melt in your mouth. If I remember correctly, however, the braised pork from Cafe Dan‘s ramen is even more tender than this (but Cafe Dan’s ramen is also at a hefty price of 78 RMB/bowl…yikes.)

A bowl of Pork Dumplings (30 RMB) with soup (or dipping sauce if you so prefer). The pork is hand chopped, resulting in a chewy rather than mushy texture. The pork is mixed with vegetables and a dash of yellow rice wine, then wrapped into little bundles. It’s simple and it’s good, though the skin seemed overcooked as they disintegrated instantly at the chopsticks.

A bit a midday drinking…

Crack Pie (25 RMB), is it named this way because it’s so addictingly good but so horrible for you? Oatmeal cookie crust, chocolate, peanut butter, butter, lots of sugar, and more sugar.

Carrot Cake (25 RMB) with cream cheese frosting and walnut bits.

A lovely lunch in a lovely spot. Click here to see The Grumpy Pig on my last visit, equally charming after dark. This is a place to come back to.

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Written by sugarednspiced

March 4th, 2012 at 4:12 pm