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Jan 10, 2008 02:46 PM

Joe's Shanghai

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.

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  1. 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

      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

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

    2. 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

        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

          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

            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

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

      2. 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

          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. I love the whole yellowfish.

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

          1. 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

              "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

                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

                  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.