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Jan 15, 2006 03:57 PM

Shanghai Bun

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After reading this board I decided to take my family out for Dim Sum today. We have eaten at and enjoyed both the regular menu and the Dim Sum at West Lake which is also on Rt 34 and only one or two plazas over from Shanghai Bun, but we like to try new places.

We ordered way too much food, like we always do so we can take some home for later. We had the spicy beef soup and spicy beef dumplings, shrimp shu mai, shanghai fried rice, noodles with hot peanut sauce, soup dumplings, and steamed pork buns.

It was easy to tell that the food was made using fresh, quality ingredients. Also, most everything was good tasting. But honestly, nothing, not even the spicy beef soup, was wonderful.

Perhaps I was expecting too much, but I left confused as to why the obviously superior West Lake was ignored on the board here and Shanghai Bun is lauded.

I live in Freehold and enjoy eating a lot. If I had more time I would post here often as I feel we have many good places to eat locally (try the new mexican place on W Front St in Red Bank btw), but I work two jobs and time is scarce.

Well, off to my job teaching poker online. If any of you are players as well as gourmands, you can find me at


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  1. I've linked below to my post on the Aberdeen/Keyport thread about my experience with Shanghai Bun.

    I'm not familiar with West Lake since I'm not a big fan of Chinese food and, therefore, don't go out of my way to acquaint myself with good restaurants of that persuasion in the area. However, my husband likes Chinese food, and I do like steamed buns. So, does West Lake serve them?


    1. I agree that Shanghai Bun has been over-rated. I go there on occasion because it's close to where I live but it always seems like a pale imitation to me. I prefer Grand Shanghai on Route 1 near Edison. Their food is MUCH better and it has a nicer atmosphere. They're also very willing to explain their Chinese menu (I always have to ask for it when I'm seated). I've compared the soup dumplings and spicy beef soup at both places and the only thing I like better at Shanghai Bun are the scallion pancakes. I'm interested in your West Lake preference. Are there any dishes that you especially recommend?

      1. hello:

        I'm sorry but I usually don't order bao as I prefer dumplings at dim sum so I am not sure if they serve them at West Lake. Very accurate review btw - well done! I also prefer the warmth, silverware, and atmosphere at West Lake. Though, to be fair, there have been places I have enjoyed immensely that were little more than holes in the wall, but they all had something in common - wonderful food :o)

        As for my food preferences there. The fish tanks are usually well stocked and the fish specials are always good. Same with the casseroles from the chinese menu, especially the beef with turnips when available. From the american menu, they have excellent salt and pepper dishes - try the pork chop or the shrimp. Also the Dried Sauteed string beans, young chow fried rice, and the house special garlic chicken.

        All the dim sum items we've had have been enjoyable as well.

        One other thing I liked, as an Occidental, was that even though the first time I went there was as part of a largely oriental party, when I went back with my family I was not treated any less well ( is that good english? :o).


        4 Replies
        1. re: Seal

          Does anyone know if Shanghai Bun has a menu online? I'm going to be in that area for lunch tomorrow and I'd like to plan out what I'm going to order so as to efficiently utilize my stomach space! Thanks!

          1. re: autumnlilacs

            I don't know of a web site. Here are some photos I took of the soups.

            Shanghai Bun has its fans and detractors on this board. I am a fan. I prefer to go on weekdays. I think the kitchen gets overwhelmed on weekends. I go there for the wonderful soulful homemade noodles. It's just a little joint, no ambiance. I like the steamed pork buns too.

            1. re: val ann c

              I was just looking at the pictures. Nice fotos. The comments from other people are pretty funny.

              1. re: wench31

                Another good lunch today at SB. Me and one of my boys shared bowls of spicy beef noodle and shredded pork with pickled radish soup along with an order of soup dumplings. Everything was fresh and excellent. If you can get over the brusque service, the place can't be beat. Total cost for the above with a can of soda was approx. $18.