Shanghai Family Restaurant (Mountain View)
mikeop34, have you been to Shanghai Family Restaurant on Rengstorff in MV? I used to go to Shanghai Taste Delight a lot, and recently tried Shanghai Family. They have a lot of interesting dishes and the food is pretty good. It might become my new default Shanghainese place, supplanting STD (the restaurant, not the ailment).
I finally made over to Shanghai Family Restaurant last night. It reminded me a lot of restaurants in LA, great food in an anonymous stripmall.
The menu looked huge so I started scoping out what other people, especially the asian customers, had ordered. The table next to us had a wonderful looking dish of shrimp on greens - I asked them what it was. They said it was shrimp with peashoots, not on the regular menu, adding that when they go, they ask what the specials are and order accordingly. Their dinner looked so good, we copied it, getting the aforementioned shrimp with peashoots (perfect, tender shrimp, an occasionally tough peashoot, lots of oil), a claypot with chinese cabbage and gluten balls stuffed with pork and veggies, and a fish soup (chopped greens, celery, egg white, and small bits of white fish).
The waiter brought a little dish of seaweed salad as an appetizer - lots of umami and some sesame oil. Everything was really good, especially the claypot, very rich and savory with those amazing gluten balls. The soup initally seemed a bit bland, but as I got used to the subtlety of the flavors, I really enjoyed the subsequent three bowlfulls. Ahem.
They comped us with dessert soup, a sweet broth containing rice paste balls filled with dark sesame paste. As I bit in, the sweet rich sesame flavor exploded in my mouth, really delicious and not something I had had before.
I'll definitely be back. There was a bit of a language barrier and talking to the other table really helped. It seems like a great place to go often enough to become a regular and thereby learning a new cuisine, trying the specials, and discovering the great dishes available.
I just went for a late lunch and felt like something like noodle soup. I ended up with (recommended by the waiter) the Special Shanghai Ji Zhai Wonton Soup- it's under the Shanghai Dim Sum section (#1) - you get 10 big won tons, made up of pork and vegetable (Ji Zhai), which reminded me of chinese collard greens (maybe that's what it is?) in a clear chicken broth with green onions floating in the broth. It was simple and good flavor, and the won tons were a good size.
I also ended up with an order of Shanghai egg rolls too (4) - they were fried, but different from the egg rolls that are in HK dim sum - these have a sauce in them that is pretty good - not too saucy though - I couldn't finish them after the won ton soup, but I would order them again.
I've only done dinner take out one other time with some friends, and the food was good, so I'm looking forward to trying more stuff from the menu!
I dropped by yesterday for a quick lunch. I agree that the menu is very impressive. I just tried one item -- a shrimp dish with semi-crispy noodles. Plusses: the white sauce was terrific, not overly soyed, tasted nicely of chicken stock; the noodles were cooked perfectly -- just the right match between "chewy" and "crisp". Minuses: the shrimps were small and not fresh; the vegetables in the dish were frozen peas and carrots; the cup of soup that came with the lunch was a watered-down egg drop soup that was undistinguished at best. I was the only Anglo in the place, and the dishes at the surrounding tables looked exotic & smelled terrific. Worth some more exploration.
Last Saturday I didn't expect to eat anything else after our dim sum chow lunch. But started to feel a bit peckish around 8:30pm and thought this would be a good opportunity to try the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) at Shanghai Family. I have to agree with mikeop that the xlb are just so-so. But the dishes on the tables around me looked and smelled great, and I was amazed that the menu in this small place is as extensive as it is. Also, it was packed at 8:45pm on Saturday night.
The filling was kind of muddy tasting and not very juicy, let alone soupy.
Here's a photo of the xlb -
Shanghai Family Restaurant
108 N. Rengstorff Ave.
Post recommending xlb -
re: Melanie Wong
You're the gal for the job! Only ordered the one thing. Here's the full-size of the take-out menu -
is this the restaurant in the same complex as the Hobees off Renstorff/Central? There was a nice report back when it first opened a year or so ago, but the signage outside the restaurant changed and I wondered if the original owners had moved on & the food had changed.
what are your favorite dishes here? tia
I should certainly hope not the ailment!
Anyways, yup that's the same place. The ownership changed at the end of last year or early this year. Originally, it was called Shanghai Restaurant or something like that. I preferred the old place to its replacement for my favorite dishes like the Shanghainese rice cakes and the roast pork with bean curd knots (I'm not quite sure what the dish is called in English, but I think that's a rough translation). Shanghai Family does decent versions of both, though, as well as good versions of other standbys like glutinous spongy something or other (kaw fu) and finely diced green veggies with some dried bean curd (mo lan toh). I'm not even gonna try to describe or name the other dishes, except to say they involve a lot of veggies and bean curd preparations ... I usually point to them on the menu.
Also, both places have good soup noodles but mediocre soup dumplings (xiao long bao) IMHO. What are some of your favorites?