Wilmington, DE Chinese--a winner!
After reading a blurb about Shang Hai (2815 Philadelphia Pike) in a DE News Journal article from two months ago, I finally made it over to this restaurant in Claymont for lunch today. I am thrilled to report that it was highly satisfying. This place has the standard Chinese take-out menu, chicken with cashews etc., but ASK FOR THE CHINESE MENU. (It's in English also, not to worry.) My friend and I got three items today--leek-shrimp wonton soup, sauteed string beans with pork, and crispy-fried tofu and eggplant with hot peppers. All three were very well done, with the standout being the wonton soup. The wontons were home-made and absolutely delicious, and a bowl of soup for two (ten wontons) cost $5. The string beans and the pork were tender and well seasoned (a little on the oily side, but that's to be expected) and the batter on the fried tofu/eggplant dish had just the right seasoning. With tea and rice, lunch for two was $18.75.
I am very happy to have a new home for well-made, authentic and interesting Chinese food in Wilmo (I used to hit Asian Palace regularly, but finally got way too fed up with the owner's Fascist attitude toward his customers). I plan to visit Shang Hai many more times to sample the rest of the Chinese menu. They have things like Lion's Head pork ball, cool-sounding fish dishes, sauteed greens, etc. that are very compelling.
Shang Hai's dishes are very cheap and the atmosphere is commensurate with the prices. There are only five tables, and the restaurant does a lot of take-out business, but it's still pleasant to sit there. The staff were extremely friendly. Give it a try!
I agree, I too read the article and have eaten there several times and never disappointed. No doubt it is the best Chinese place we have. Try the salt crispy duck, it is excellent.
We have eaten at Shang Hai a few times and really loved the food. They have soup dumplings, something I was very surprised to find in Delaware. Next time we go I want to try the Lion's Head meatballs. The place is small, the hostess/waitress very pleasant and helpful...however...if you need a bathroom, she will direct you to the Burger King up the street. We don't live in DE, just go there to visit family who are NOT chowhounds, so I wouldn't take them there.
Finally made it to Shang Hai after reading all these positive posts -- I'll just add my voice to the chorus here and say that it's indeed excellent. Had the crispy salt tofu w/ eggplant & peppers, kung pao tofu, green beans in garlic sauce, and an order of the steamed veggie buns. All were great -- the steamed veggie buns were not like any I've had before (seemed like they were stuffed with a mixture of kale, tofu, and mushrooms) and were perfect with a little dab of chili sauce for each bite. There was a good handful of veg options to chose from, and they were clearly marked on the chinese menu. I've noticed that it can be hard to communicate what 'vegetarian' means in some asian restaurants (since that often means fish / seafood are okay, which for me isn't the case), but no such problem here. The waitress is every bit as pleasant as all the previous post-ers have said, and she and her husband obviously take great pride in their work. Can't wait to go back...
Thanks to all of you for the great info on Shang Hai. I just tried it last weekend. Unfortunately, I failed to ask for the Chinese Menu. I ended up ordering a couple of things off the "regular menu," and I would say the food was OK, not fantastic. But now I realize my mistake and will request the other menu. Thanks for providing your insights and I am very excited to add Shang Hai to my short list of chowhound-worthy low-cost, high quality establishments in the Wilmington... Any other great food spots around Wilmington (where I work) -- be they more Chinese, pizza, any other great ethnic food?
Genelle's on Market St. has great Caribbean eats. Good curries, jerk chicken (it's spicy though) and johnny cakes.