Where did the folks from New Shanghai go?
About a month ago, the New Shanghai closed for renovations, and it has reopened but it's not the same restaurant. I realize that Shanghai Gate is owned by the same person who used to operate New Shanghai but since I'm not going to be there any time soon, does anyone know where the chef from the New Shanghai went? I, and many of my co-workers, need the steamed pork buns, you know the mini soup buns, yum.
As for the new New Shanghai, if you're interested in anything beyond the typical luncheon specials, don't bother going. I ordered the steamed pork buns, and they were made of the dough you usually see on a dim sum pork bun but instead of being fluffy, it was doughy and actually had a bit of a crust on it. There was no broth on the inside, and I believe they used the same meat filling as they would for a Peking ravioli. And the buns weren't served with a dipping sauce. I asked for a dipping sauce, and it wasn't very good. I didn't even bother to finish the buns. I also ordered spicy chicken cubes and after waiting for over a half hour decided to leave and go around the corner to the Windsor Cafe. A man who ordered after me actually had already eaten, paid and left the restaurant.
Lunch at the Windsor was good as always.
We ate at the new place last night. (Warning: the sign hasn't been changed from New Shanghai yet, but it's no longer a Shanghaiese restaurant.) The dishes we had -- dan dan noodles, yu hsaing pork, and braised green beans -- were perfectly nice but absolutely nothing special. The bad part was that we were seated in the back, where the waitstaff congregated during their down time, and they basically hovered over us the entire meal. We finally had to tell the waitress to go away while we were trying to decide what we wanted.
It wasn't awful, but I can't imagine going back. There's just way too many places I'd rather eat in Chinatown.
I dunno - the food wasn't terrible, but everything else about the experience actually was pretty awful. I really wish that jdoherty had posted this yesterday!
We were one of three occupied tables in the restaurant, so I don't know why they put us in the back, but it was really uncomfortable. In addition, I had an unappetizing view past the wait station and into the kitchen.
The menu, as far as I could get a handle on it, is now Szechuan and Peking style. My confidence in the prospective meal was undermined by the fact that our waitress seemed to be completely unfamiliar with the menu - we had to point to each item in the menu and she painstakingly copied the information in Chinese. (I'm used to the problem that wait staff in Chinese restaurants sometimes have trouble understanding orders in English - this seemed more like she just didn't know what the dishes were at all. In fact, after we were served she spent most of the rest of the time we were there studying a copy of the menu.)