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Joe's Shanghai

o
offthebeatenpath1 Jan 10, 2008 02:46 PM

I'm going to Joe's Shanghai for the first time tomorrow night and I wanted some suggestions on what to try. I am allergic to shrimp (which is painfully annoying) and don't like rice, so that probably narrows things down. Any recs are well-appreciated.

  1. o
    offthebeatenpath1 Jan 14, 2008 06:47 AM

    I am really bummed because after the buildup and great suggestions, I didn't go to Joe's Shanghai because my companion got sick. But, determined to have dumplings, I went to Vanessa's and was really, really disappointed. I have read a bunch of reviews on these boards and it seems that Vanessa's is supposed to serve a good dumpling.

    I ordered the chicken and mushroom dumpling and the pork dumplings and both were TERRIBLE. The dough was way to thick. It was like eating a boiled calzone and there was barely any filling. I literally ate 1 of each and left.

    1. o
      offthebeatenpath1 Jan 11, 2008 06:26 AM

      Thanks for the suggestions. Now I am really looking forward to eating at Joe's.

      As far as Pork Belly, I think it is really hard to find a place where you can say it is always good. It's just one of those things that can be horrible if one little thing goes wrong. But, I love it and will probably try it.

      Thanks again. I will report back about my exprience.

      1. a
        Amy L Jan 10, 2008 08:31 PM

        Their soup buns, turnip cake and onion pancake are good. In terms of main dishes, their cooks make pretty good quick stir fries dishes (sauteed minced pork and squid, eggplant with spicy garlic sauce, shanghai flat noodles) , but none of their braised dishes (e.g. pork shoulder, pork belly, Lion's head) are good at all.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Amy L
          r
          rrems Jan 11, 2008 04:16 AM

          "none of their braised dishes (e.g. pork shoulder, pork belly, Lion's head) are good at all."

          Really? Could you explain what is wrong with them?

          1. re: rrems
            a
            Amy L Jan 11, 2008 06:55 AM

            The pork shoulders are always pre-made and they do not cook their pork shoulder long enough such that they should be fork tender. If the cook responsible for these dishes had taken pride in his work, the quality should be consistent from day to day.

            Ditto for the pork belly, and fried too long before braising. Additionally, it is too sweet. Skyway does a better job.

            For the lion head meatball, if made properly the interior should be light and not just a mere lump of ground meat.

            1. re: Amy L
              k
              kobetobiko Jan 11, 2008 06:57 AM

              Amy L,

              Finally someone who shared my sentiment!

              I particularly agreed with your comments on the lion head. In fact, the same problem exists for the meat they use for the soup dumplings.

        2. Brian S Jan 10, 2008 05:26 PM

          I love the whole yellowfish. www.chowhound.com/topics/453864

          And of course avoid anything Cantonese or Sichuan... it's Shanghai food all the way!

          1. r
            Renguin Jan 10, 2008 05:06 PM

            i don't know what pork shoulder everyone else has had there. i was really disappointed with it when i got it there. if this is prepared correctly, it should not be served with a knife. you should be able to pick off the juicy meaty bits with chopsticks. when i got it at joe's i had to hack at it to get dry tough pieces off. i haven't been back there in a long time since i think u can find better versions of all their dishes elsewhere. if you're gonna go there, i'd agree though, the soup dumplings and the noodles are what u should get. i think the jiachang doufu, which may be the aformentioned braised tofu is decent too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Renguin
              r
              rrems Jan 10, 2008 06:22 PM

              Perhaps the pork shoulder is inconsistent(?), but the times I have had it I found it to be extremely tender, juicy, fatty (extremely, and that's a good thing), and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

            2. r
              rrems Jan 10, 2008 04:44 PM

              Soup dumplings with crab are a must. The pork shoulder is heavenly (you may have to call and order it in advance). Pork belly (called fresh bacon on the menu), yellowfish fingers, jellyfish are some of my favorites.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rrems
                ballulah Jan 11, 2008 08:32 AM

                OOOH!! I love the yellowfish fingers as well! I've heard that the WHOLE yellowfish is really the way to go, but call me a bit squeamish, I'd rather have the fingers!

                And if you're not allergic to crab, then yes, the crab and pork soup dumplings are A MUST. In fact they will ask you if you want an order of them as you're seated. If you are allergic to crab as well, never fear, they have a pork only version that many people prefer.

                Which one are you going to? Chinatown? Midtown? Or Queens?

                1. re: ballulah
                  o
                  offthebeatenpath1 Jan 11, 2008 09:20 AM

                  I honestly am not sure if I'm allergic to crab, but to stay on the safe side, I don't eat it. It's torture that I can't eat my absolute favorite king crab legs, but I guess it's better than my throat closing up (trust me, I the thought of just eating shellfish and carrying an epipen has crossed my mind).

                  I am going to the Chinatown locale.

                  1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                    ballulah Jan 11, 2008 10:11 AM

                    I go to the Chinatown Joe's all the time. As cheesy as it may be, as awful as the decor is, as past its prime as it may be accused of being, as rushed and inconsistent as it can be, I still love it! You won't be missing much by sticking to the all-pork soup dumplings.

                    1. re: ballulah
                      o
                      offthebeatenpath1 Jan 11, 2008 10:14 AM

                      good to hear. I can't wait. I have had such a craving for good dumplings for over a week.

              2. d
                Desidero Jan 10, 2008 02:50 PM

                Pork steamed buns (must), scallion pancake, kung pao chicken, Shanghai fried flat noodles with beef, eggplant with pork in garlic sauce. I haven't had the pork shoulder, but have heard it's worth trying.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Desidero
                  k
                  kobetobiko Jan 10, 2008 02:53 PM

                  Desidero already posted some good suggestions so I am not going to repeat. Just make sure that you tell the waiter about the shrimp allergy as sometimes they use dried shrimp for flavors and it is not going to show up in the menu (or even the dish).

                  1. re: kobetobiko
                    c
                    clashfan Jan 10, 2008 02:56 PM

                    The soup dumplings no doubt along with the fried flat noodles. One dish I really liked was the braised bean curd, very tasty.

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