In Luwan, there’s a streamlined Cantonese restaurant called Molokai (摩罗街) putting out relatively straightforward dishes with equally straightforward flavors, cleanly and simply presented, with quality ingredients. In Shanghai, this is not a bad achievement. Think of Molokai as a step up from Tsui Wah, at heart still all about Cantonese comfort foods, with milk teas, fried rice, and brisket-centric dishes.
My friend Winston ordered this stewed brisket (清炖牛拉) with daikon radish, and I had a bite. This is a fairly simple dish but the flavors aren’t easy to get right, and Molokai’s version had good balance between the fragrant sweetness of the daikon and the umami depth of the brisket. The meat was nice and tender, with a few choice bites of collagen hidden throughout.
A bowl of fried rice (大肚婆炒饭, roughly translated as the fat lady’s – or the fat wife’s – fried rice). Really simple, with minced ginger, egg, and thin strips of lettuce.Pork chop rice with tomato sauce and cheese, a mishmash of hearty pizzeria flavors and juicy slabs of thick-cut pork.
There wasn’t a lot of char on the kimchi and beef fried rice, which would’ve been better, although not in keeping with Molokai’s lack of skillets. Still, the chili flavor was nicely prominent, with a hint of salt and butter and fatty nibs of beef.
The curry chicken (咖喱鸡肉) and salt-and-pepper squid can be found better elsewhere, but weren’t noticeably bad. Overall, stick to the fried rices and pork and beef items, and you’ll be alright.