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Taste of Shanghai (Shang Hai Xiao Chi) - delicious shanghainese in flushing

l
Lau Aug 24, 2009 08:11 PM

I heard about Taste of Shanghai on chound and yelp. I also read that it was the former chef from Shanghai Tide, which is run by the same owner / chefs as the now defunct Yangtze River Restaurant across the street, which was the best shanghainese in NYC by far when it was open. So I was excited to try it since Yangtze River was really good.

It occupies a space that has been a rotating door for chinese restaurants on the corner of 39th and Prince wedged between the parking lot for the Sheraton and a chinese bar who's name escapes me. It's got a yellow onning and is hard to miss. When you walk in there are two stories and maybe 6-7 smaller tables on the bottom floor and 5-6 bigger tables upstairs. The decor is nothing to write home about, but its not a total dump either.

The service was brisk, but fine and the waiter was reasonably helpful when ordering explaining some of the dishes. I'm not sure how good or not good their english is b/c we ordered in chinese, but the menu is totally translated into english, so it shouldn't be a problem either way. The menu is 90% shanghainese dishes with a few random other dishes in the mix. The prices are super cheap, I think the most expensive dish on the menu was maybe $15, most dishes range between $5-8.

We ordered an absolute ton of food (we were there for 2 hours):
- scallion pancake with beef (niu rou jia bing): this isn't really a shanghainese dish, I've had it at lots of taiwanese places and the best version I've ever had is at a shandong place in LA. It's pretty self explanatory, its a scallion pancake brushed with hoisin (haixian) sauce, sliced beef and cucumbers. It was pretty tasty, the scallion pancake was a bit thick, but fresh and crispy and not that oily at all. The combo of everything went well together. Fyi, their version is pretty small, its probably meant for two people (we had four people).
- cold cucumbers in garlic sauce: this was excellent, the cucumbers were very fresh and were sliced small enough (I hate when they give you big chunks), had sesame oil, garlic and a big a salt. Very refreshing
- crab and pork soup dumplings (xie fen xiao long bao): the XLB here are decent, but not great, I don't think they are any better than the ones in manhattan. The skins are slightly thicker than most, the filling was good and a little lighter than most XLB. The crab wasn't really worth it as they didn't really give you very much. I'd order them if you can if you like XLB, but you're not going to be wow'd by them
- sauteed watercress (kong xin cai): pretty standard, just sauteed kong xin cai with oil and garlic. I'm not sure if this was on the menu or not, but the waiter recommended it as a vegetable, so we got it. I love kong xin cai, so it was good.
- egg and tomato: this is sort of a homestyle dish. It's basically just scrambled eggs with tomatoes. Wasn't the best version, I've ever had, but i like the dish alot, so I enjoyed it.
- scallion and dry shrimp noodle: this was interesting, the noodles sort of reminded me of ramen noodles, it was in a sort of salty sauce that was soy sauce and scallion oil. It was topped with scallion that were brown, I believe they were fermented and put in the oil, there were also tiny dried shrimps on top. It was pretty good although not mind blowing
- spicy blue crab (xiang la xie): wow this was so good, blue crab chopped into pieces sauteed in a dry sauce of oil, fermented black beans, peppers, scallions, green onions and maybe one or two other things. Really good, meat was sweet and tender, the sauce was spicy, but not overly spicy...it was also a bit sweet. Everyone was really wow'd by this dish. Fyi, the waiter said there were two preparations a dry and a soupy one, but he said the dry one (the one we got) is better.
- braised pork shoulder in brown sauce: another excellent dish, a big pork shoulder with bone-in in a semi-sweet brown sauce. The meat was fall off the bone tender and the skin / fat was melt in your mouth delicious. It's pretty self-explanatory, but really good
- meatball casserole: the name was deceiving, but its actually a light soup with meat balls, tofu and cabbage. The meat balls were pretty decent, fairly light actually. The soup was good albeit a bit too salty. Good, but not great dish
- mushroom and gluten: this was very simple dish of sauteed mushrooms and gluten. The mushrooms were good, but the gluten was weird, it was kind of mushy, so the dish was just so so.
- eight treasure rice (ba bao fan): i like this dish, its sticky glutinous rice with red beans in the middle and then they put raisins and some other dried fruits on it (they are all colorful...think of like fruitcake colorful)...i love red bean and i love sticky rice, so i liked this dish.

I really want to come back to try to braised yellow eels, which they had run out of that day.

Overall, everyone really liked the restaurant and I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of some of the dishes. What I really liked about this place was that the focus was on shanghainese food other than soup dumplings. I think shanghainese in the city has become solely associated with soup dumplings similar to how vietnamese food is now associated with banh mi and I think there is alot more to these cuisines then these famous dishes (although they are both tasty). This place is definitely worth trying out to taste good shanghainese outside of soup dumplings. I highly recommend.

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  1. scoopG RE: Lau Aug 25, 2009 05:12 AM

    Thanks Lau for your diligent review - I've a hankering for blue crab!

    17 Replies
    1. re: scoopG
      l
      Lau RE: scoopG Aug 25, 2009 08:47 AM

      yeah its worth trying...i was very pleasantly surprised

      1. re: Lau
        f
        FattyDumplin RE: Lau Aug 25, 2009 08:52 AM

        their fish head casserole (sa guo yue to, i know a massacred this) is great and a bargain at $7.50, i think. nice big pot filled with fish, tofu, noodles.

        1. re: FattyDumplin
          l
          Lau RE: FattyDumplin Aug 25, 2009 09:41 AM

          i almost ordered that dish, but i was getting full so i passed...ill have to try that next time along with the braised yellow eel

          1. re: FattyDumplin
            buttertart RE: FattyDumplin Aug 25, 2009 10:11 AM

            I loooove that dish, this is up next for next Flushing trek, husband will go anywhere for the real thing zhen zheng Shanghai cai.

            1. re: buttertart
              l
              Lau RE: buttertart Aug 25, 2009 10:14 AM

              i highly recommend that spicy blue crab dish...it was definitely the best dish...the braised pork shoulder was also very good

              if you have a chance try the braised yellow eel, i really wanted to try that dish, i was disappointed they were out of eel

              1. re: Lau
                buttertart RE: Lau Aug 25, 2009 11:10 AM

                Look forward to it, maybe this weekend. Love crab too.

                1. re: Lau
                  buttertart RE: Lau Aug 25, 2009 11:14 AM

                  By the way, are they licensed? Or BYOB?

                  1. re: buttertart
                    f
                    FattyDumplin RE: buttertart Aug 25, 2009 11:29 AM

                    i recall they serve beer there.

                    1. re: FattyDumplin
                      buttertart RE: FattyDumplin Aug 25, 2009 12:08 PM

                      That's all that's needed! thanks.

                      1. re: buttertart
                        l
                        Lau RE: buttertart Aug 25, 2009 12:17 PM

                        they do serve beer and its cheap as hell...$2.50 / beer

                        1. re: Lau
                          buttertart RE: Lau Aug 25, 2009 01:07 PM

                          We are so there this weekend! Thanks.

              2. re: FattyDumplin
                bigjeff RE: FattyDumplin Sep 14, 2009 10:00 PM

                fatty; that is a great price and, a great attempt at pinyin, not bad at all! sa-guo yu-tou is a little closer.

                1. re: bigjeff
                  buttertart RE: bigjeff Sep 15, 2009 05:51 AM

                  Sha is the usual Pinyin for the character for sand. Not to ba a pest or anything...

                  1. re: buttertart
                    bigjeff RE: buttertart Sep 15, 2009 10:23 AM

                    that is my fake taiwanese pinyin!

                    1. re: bigjeff
                      buttertart RE: bigjeff Sep 15, 2009 11:11 AM

                      Too cute, reflects Taiwan pronunciation as well. I was very surprised to see Pinyin in the Taipei subway - a friend opined that it was of DPP origin...??? Sa guo, sha guo, the yutou and the doufu still taste wonderful.

                      1. re: bigjeff
                        d
                        diprey RE: bigjeff Sep 15, 2009 06:40 PM

                        Guys, both your pinyin translations are extremely helpful, but there might be some minor dialect issues here. Thank you both!

                        1. re: diprey
                          buttertart RE: diprey Sep 16, 2009 06:06 AM

                          Indeed, not minor. As you doubtless know, Shanghainese Wu dialect - which Lau notes is spoken here - is very unlike standard Mandarin. Would love to learn it someday.

            2. chefjellynow RE: Lau Aug 26, 2009 07:15 AM

              going today at like noon

              7 Replies
              1. re: chefjellynow
                buttertart RE: chefjellynow Aug 26, 2009 09:14 AM

                Await report w/bated breadth.

                1. re: buttertart
                  l
                  Lau RE: buttertart Aug 26, 2009 09:18 AM

                  yeah let me know how it is

                  1. re: Lau
                    chefjellynow RE: Lau Aug 26, 2009 10:39 AM

                    OK all hehe I took some PICS of course

                    well i was not too adventurous as i tried 2 items Lau reviewed..

                    1) scallion pancake with beef and pepper
                    2) pork shoulder with brown gravy

                    LARGE PORTIONS! WOW

                    pancake was really nice, as stated in review not too greasy, nice shreaded beef and semi-spicy green peppers. I really liked these

                    Pork ... well what can i really say lol ... i felt like i was in the flintstones cartoon! this was a 2+ pound pork shoulder, here i am sitting alone with my new buddy, the shoulder. fall off the bone tender, brown sauce that was sweet at first but kinda evened itself out as you ate it. the green vegetables were steamed and there bitterness went really nice with the gravy. A+ for sure. i have enough for dinner for my family tonite taboot

                    here are some pics:

                     
                     
                    1. re: chefjellynow
                      l
                      Lau RE: chefjellynow Aug 26, 2009 10:53 AM

                      haha sorry i didnt tell u how big that dish is...that place is really cheap now that i think of it based upon portion size and prices

                      1. re: Lau
                        chefjellynow RE: Lau Aug 26, 2009 11:01 AM

                        oh yea i forgot Lau, i asked for yellow eel and no go they had none again
                        boooo

                        1. re: chefjellynow
                          l
                          Lau RE: chefjellynow Aug 26, 2009 11:15 AM

                          i read somewhere that it is good there and i like that dish, so i really want to try it

                      2. re: chefjellynow
                        buttertart RE: chefjellynow Aug 26, 2009 11:17 AM

                        Looks great, can't wait, thanks for pics!

                2. erica RE: Lau Aug 26, 2009 09:36 AM

                  Many thanks, yet again, Lau, for your thorough report. Since my only experience with Shanghai in Flushing has been Shanghai Tide, which I've liked and about which I have written a couple of very short notes here, I am wondering if you have, indeed been to Shanghai Tide and how this new place compares.

                  When did the ST chef relocate here?

                  Thanks again! a faithful reader

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: erica
                    l
                    Lau RE: erica Aug 26, 2009 09:46 AM

                    well he opened the restaurant, so it must've been in the last 6-9 months b/c the restaurant is pretty new

                    I still haven't gone to shanghai tide although I heard that the actual shanghainese food (not the hot pot) is still quite good since the entire staff from yangtze just relocated, so i cant compare although I can compare it to yangtze and while it was good, yangtze was better

                  2. buttertart RE: Lau Aug 30, 2009 07:11 AM

                    We went yesterday afternoon and had the sheng jian bing - which were OK, basically thickskinned dumplings fried on one side - and the scallion pancake with braised beef - which was delicious; the Yangzhou doufu gan si dry beancurd strips which were served heaped in an excellent broth with pork and black mushroom strips and doumiao pea shoots; the redcooked knotted dry beancurd sheets and pork belly; the kong xin cai green veg; and the spicy blue crab - the sauce for which is similar to a Sichuan hot pot preparation, very mala, and the crab is served on a bed of udon-type noodles in the sauce. The crab was fantastic, and the other dishes were very good indeed. Given the Tatung plates and the unsimplified characters on the menu (and on the sign in the rest room), I would expect this place is owned by people from Taiwan. It reminded us rather of Jiangzhe places in Taipei, with the admixture of some Sichuan-leaning dishes to the menu as was often the case there - Shanghai being the NYC of China in a way, drawing culinary influences from all over. Loved the food and we will definitely be back. The Taiwan place across the street at the corner of 39th and Prince looked very interesting as well (are their "Manile clams with basil" really haiguazi, I wonder?) and the place advertising Northern and Jiangzhe snacks on their awning just up from it on Prince is also tempting. I just don't know how we will be able to pass up the blue crab next time in Flushing! (One of the best things I have eaten in a very long time, and that long time includes some truly spectacular meals.) And it's amazingly cheap: all the above plus 4 Tsingtao beers, $60.00 before tip.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: buttertart
                      l
                      Lau RE: buttertart Aug 30, 2009 10:03 AM

                      you know thats actually a good point, it does taste like how a shanghainese restaurant in taipei would taste like although i know the chef was at yangtze restaurant which was definitely run by shanghainese (my friend knew the owners and they would always blab away in shanghainese)

                      glad you enjoyed...that blue crab is really very excellent and i'd probably concur that its one of the better chinese dishes ive had in NY in a while

                      i think you're talking about lu's seafood (its changed names once or twice, cant remember if thats its current name), but they have good pai gu fan although i havent been there in a while, but they are known for their pai gu fan

                      1. re: Lau
                        f
                        FattyDumplin RE: Lau Sep 14, 2009 07:56 AM

                        we went back to taste of shanghai this weekend. was not as good as i had remembered it. their xiao long bao were mediocre this time - very little juice and pretty thick skins. the sen jian bao were ok also. and my wife was disappointed by her shredded vegetable and pork strip noodle soup. kind of weird, because my toddler son, who loved it the last time here, kept spitting it out, so something may have been off.

                        the fish head casserole was great again though. so cheap, great flavors and chock full of noodles, fish and tofu.

                        the eels are back. apparently, his supply here got disrupted, but its back now. although it is 14.95, not 12.95 as it says on the menu.

                        1. re: FattyDumplin
                          l
                          Lau RE: FattyDumplin Sep 14, 2009 08:07 AM

                          ohh i have to try the eels, maybe going this weekend

                          their XLB as i said in my original post are not that great, but that isn't the reason to come to this restaurant...highly suggest u try the crab and pork shoulder

                          1. re: Lau
                            f
                            FattyDumplin RE: Lau Sep 14, 2009 08:15 AM

                            darn, i totally forgot. i'd had those two recos in mind before i went, but froze up when i went. so only remembered the eels. will need to give it another shot.

                            1. re: FattyDumplin
                              l
                              Lau RE: FattyDumplin Sep 14, 2009 08:25 AM

                              its worth going back, its one of the better meals ive had in flushing in a while

                              1. re: Lau
                                buttertart RE: Lau Sep 14, 2009 09:18 AM

                                One of the better meals I've had anywhere in the city recently too. The crab is spectacular.

                                1. re: buttertart
                                  j
                                  jsigalow RE: buttertart Sep 14, 2009 11:27 AM

                                  address please!

                                  1. re: jsigalow
                                    buttertart RE: jsigalow Sep 14, 2009 11:48 AM

                                    39th and Prince, Flushing, as stated in Lau's original post.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      chefjellynow RE: buttertart Sep 14, 2009 06:19 PM

                                      nice, gonna try the eel tomorrow yay, will report with pics of course lol

                                      1. re: chefjellynow
                                        d
                                        diprey RE: chefjellynow Sep 14, 2009 06:45 PM

                                        Second the pork shoulder: so tender you don't need anything but chopsticks...

                      2. re: buttertart
                        bigjeff RE: buttertart Sep 14, 2009 10:03 PM

                        ya that stretch of Prince Street is just chock-a-block with restaurants, almost insane.

                        anyone try the hotpot place at the end of prince street, next to ramen setagaya? looked ultra-modern with the individual booth flat-screens, and the "default" vegetable platter looked very nice as well.

                        lau, your ordering above is pretty much the classics; sounds like a real good time. how does this stack up to any manhattan places?

                        1. re: bigjeff
                          l
                          Lau RE: bigjeff Sep 15, 2009 07:28 AM

                          way better than the manhattan shanghainese places, which for the record i generally think are pretty bad, so i rarely go to them

                          although i know the chef / owner is shanghainese, the food almost tastes like shanghainese you'd get in taipei....any which way, its very good esp the crab and pork shoulder...you should def try

                      3. MOREKASHA RE: Lau Sep 16, 2009 07:16 AM

                        Ate there last night. had the crab, great sauce but could use bigger crabs to hold the sauce. The pork leg, omg......and to think Spicy & Tasty is aroung the corner. Can anyone name a better 500 feet to eat out? I think not.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: MOREKASHA
                          l
                          Lau RE: MOREKASHA Sep 16, 2009 07:40 AM

                          well they are blue crabs, so they're not going to be that big..i like the meat in blue crabs, its very good and the shells are easy to breakthrough in fact sometimes u can just eat them

                          1. re: Lau
                            buttertart RE: Lau Sep 16, 2009 08:18 AM

                            My husband does just that with the thinner pieces, he can lay waste to a lot more crabs than I and still have a lot less debris left on his plate. No GI issues fromn them either. Man or goat? (We took the noodles home, made a tasty lunch in themselves.)

                            1. re: Lau
                              MOREKASHA RE: Lau Sep 16, 2009 09:27 AM

                              I like them too, it's just that you run out of them so quickly. The blues are so much sweeter than the dungeness out west.

                            2. re: MOREKASHA
                              Xiao Yang RE: MOREKASHA Sep 16, 2009 10:06 AM

                              Blue crabs are about as big as you'd get in Shanghai. Be thankful you were weren't dealing with dazha (hairy) crabs.

                            3. j
                              Jerome RE: Lau Sep 20, 2009 02:46 PM

                              Sounds great. Just for info - the best niu riu jia bing that you had in LA , Lau, was it 101 noodle express?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jerome
                                l
                                Lau RE: Jerome Sep 21, 2009 06:12 AM

                                yes it was...love that place

                              2. l
                                Lau RE: Lau Jan 17, 2010 10:14 PM

                                i took my gf's family there tonight, very packed on a sunday night

                                it was very good again, here's what we got:
                                - scallion pancake with beef and peppers (xiao la jiao niu rou jia bing): this is just a scallion pancake with sauteed beef and spicy green peppers wrapped like a burrito. pretty self-explanatory, this was quite good, everyone liked it
                                - shanghai fried tiny fish: this was interesting, pretty small fish (think maybe 4 inches) fried up and served room temperature, you could pretty much eat the whole thing, they had a semi-sweet flavor which i think i might have been the batter they used, the fish itself isn't fishy, but almost has a smoky quality to it sorta tastes like the dried fish. It was good although i think it could be very good if they had been freshly cooked
                                - yang zhou fried rice (yang zhou chao fan): this was okay, the flavor was fine, but i thought the rice was too wet
                                - sauteed snow pea (chao dou miao): this was dou miao sauteed in garlic, this was excellent
                                - salted pork and winter melon soup (xian rou dong gua tang): this was quite good, it had a nice light broth with soft winter melon, pieces of salted pork belly that were excellent and tomatoes. I liked this soup alot, not too salty and very nice on a night with some crappy weather
                                - braised pork shoulder in brown sauce: this was quite good again although not quite as good as last time b/c the meat was a little drier although still quite good, the skin / fat was excellent though and the brown sauce they use is very good
                                - spicy blue crab (xiang la xie): i forgot they have two preparations of this and the waitress didn't ask me which one i wanted, so this time they gave me the soupy version, which while very good isn't as good as the version i had last time. this one comes in a very large clay pot filled with chopped up blue crab, udon type noodles, scallions and peppers in a spicy broth. the crab itself is great, the shells are so thin you can eat them, the meat is tender and sweet, the udon noodles taste good too. i prefer the sauce in the dry version, but overall this was quite good
                                - crunchy carp sichuan style: this is a fried carp covered in a spicy semi sweet sauce that has alot of garlic in it. The sauce was good albeit slightly sweet for my taste, the fish was cooked quite good, the outside was crispy and the meat was tender, but the thing i wasn't crazy about was that they used carp which i find to be a bit fishy not like very fishy, but more so than i prefer

                                overall, another successful meal here, ill post pics on yelp later and post them here

                                btw i noticed this when i was looking at the chicken drawing on the window outside that they specialize in san huang ji and i was searching around chowhound and i noticed that Arete already pointed that out (this was the first time ive read this post) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5623...

                                i definitely plan to try that next time. they were out of their braised yellow eel again too! i really want to try that dish there b/c its super good if made right

                                18 Replies
                                1. re: Lau
                                  buttertart RE: Lau Jan 18, 2010 05:04 AM

                                  It was the crab version with the udon noodles that we had and loved. Would like it dry too. In my experience carp can be good but has to be extremely fresh, otherwise it tastes not so much fishy as muddy to me.

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    bigjeff RE: buttertart Jan 18, 2010 08:22 AM

                                    is the carp dish dou-ban-li-yu?

                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                      l
                                      Lau RE: bigjeff Jan 18, 2010 08:43 AM

                                      actually i think it was, i forgot what sauce it was i was writing the review, but yes it was in a dou ban sauce

                                  2. re: Lau
                                    buttertart RE: Lau Jan 18, 2010 05:06 AM

                                    Ooh, san huang ji - with the chicken fat rice, I wonder? More Taiwanese than Shanghainese, I thought?

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      l
                                      Lau RE: buttertart Jan 18, 2010 07:33 AM

                                      good point on the carp, fishy is the wrong word to describe it, its that semi-muddy flavor you get from some fresh water fish

                                      the crab in the claypot with udon was very good, its just the dry version was better i thought, you should definitely try it

                                      not sure if they've have the rice, i literally only noticed it when i when i was leaving...ive only had san huang ji a handful of times in my life, but given arete's description

                                      i actually think its a shanghainese dish (although i could be wrong about that), most taiwanese food is a mix of various regional chinese dishes, so its likely not a taiwanese invention

                                      1. re: Lau
                                        buttertart RE: Lau Jan 18, 2010 08:49 AM

                                        Ages ago there was a restaurant in Taipei across from Xin Xin dept store that specialized in chicken (the Ji Jia Zhuang, Chicken Family Village, cute) that had this and the you fan. M-m-good.

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          l
                                          Lau RE: buttertart Jan 18, 2010 08:59 AM

                                          mmm i like you fan, i want to try it at gu xiang, they've got it in bian dang up front

                                          i was just in taipei, food is so great there

                                          1. re: Lau
                                            buttertart RE: Lau Jan 19, 2010 05:11 AM

                                            We were last there in 2007 and were thrilled to be back - quite amazing longevity in some restaurants as well as some great new places. Are you posting on Taipei? Must check. Love that city, apart from the food it's not perhaps the most exciting Asian city to visit as a tourist (that has to be Shanghai), but it's a wonderful place to get to know well and live in.

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              l
                                              Lau RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2010 05:18 AM

                                              i will post on asia, but i went to alot of places and its probably going to take me a bit of time to actually post on everything although in taiwan ill probably post the least b/c alot of the stuff i ate was some random street place that i dont really remember where its at haha

                                              1. re: Lau
                                                buttertart RE: Lau Jan 19, 2010 05:24 AM

                                                True that is a problem. Look forward to reading more.

                                      2. re: buttertart
                                        bigjeff RE: buttertart Jan 18, 2010 09:03 AM

                                        ya I know that as just plain plain chicken; sometimes bai-zhan-ji . . . like malaysia's hainanese chicken, right? on a tangent, I also really like drunk chicken (zuei-ji) which similarly looks plain but is cooked/marinated in chinese cooking wine and ends up sweet. not to mention the crazy red one too made with marinated rice:

                                        http://allthatmatters2rei.blogspot.co...

                                        1. re: bigjeff
                                          f
                                          foevp12 RE: bigjeff Jan 18, 2010 07:44 PM

                                          Hounds; thank you all for your guidance to the great cuisines of Asia and their stateside reflections here in Queens. I've had several fine meals suggested by contributors to this and other threads. Tomorrow, I'm meeting friends for lunch at Spicy & Tasty. Can anyone give specific recommendations for dishes? Thanks ever so much.

                                          1. re: foevp12
                                            buttertart RE: foevp12 Jan 19, 2010 05:12 AM

                                            I haven't been, but there are extensive discussions on Spicy and Tasty on this board, suggest you have a look.

                                          2. re: bigjeff
                                            buttertart RE: bigjeff Jan 19, 2010 05:07 AM

                                            Drunk chicken is also very good,didn't notice it on the menu at Taste of Shanghai but it's probably there, no? On plain boiled poultry, how about Nanjing saltwater duck? Tasty!

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              f
                                              foevp12 RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2010 06:36 AM

                                              Thanks, Buttertart. Found the other threads you mentioned. So much food, so little time....

                                              1. re: foevp12
                                                buttertart RE: foevp12 Jan 19, 2010 06:46 AM

                                                Ain't that the truth. Lucky us!

                                              2. re: buttertart
                                                bigjeff RE: buttertart Jan 19, 2010 08:24 AM

                                                I would say that I definitely prefer some of that very plain poultry over even the cantonese roast/fried with garlic/preserved veg preparations. something so good about it being cold out the fridge, or room temp.

                                                I've never been to seoul but my friend tells me about the boiled chicken available on the street. looks so perfectly good!

                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/annamati...
                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/annamati...

                                                1. re: bigjeff
                                                  l
                                                  Lau RE: bigjeff Jan 19, 2010 09:37 AM

                                                  thats a good point, i really do like some of the well prepared plain poultry (i love hainan chicken done right)

                                                  although i am a big fan of cantonese preparations of chicken as well

                                        2. l
                                          Lau RE: Lau Feb 3, 2010 07:42 AM

                                          NYT wrote a short review, not very unformative though, but he does mention the pork shoulder which is one of the best dishes there
                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/din...

                                          9 Replies
                                          1. re: Lau
                                            buttertart RE: Lau Feb 3, 2010 07:51 AM

                                            Might be nice if they actually scouted restaurants themselves and didn't just pirate CH recommendations... ;-)

                                            1. re: buttertart
                                              l
                                              Lau RE: buttertart Feb 3, 2010 07:56 AM

                                              I actually don't mind them pirating off CH, its good for the restaurants themselves (assuming they are good restaurants) although they should at least take the time to eat a bunch of dishes and figure out what's good...this review is barely a review

                                              1. re: Lau
                                                buttertart RE: Lau Feb 3, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                I take your point. It's amusing however. Typical Sifton more-about-me-than-about-the-chow review.

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  p
                                                  Pookipichu RE: buttertart Feb 3, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                  My standards for the NYT dining section have been so lowered by a parade of fools, Grimes, Aasimov, Bruni, that Sifton is like the second coming.

                                                  Bruni was like a searing hot iron being smashed on my gustatory solar plexus.

                                                  1. re: Pookipichu
                                                    buttertart RE: Pookipichu Feb 3, 2010 08:24 AM

                                                    Was not fond of Bruni either. It's a hard row to hoe.

                                                    1. re: Pookipichu
                                                      p
                                                      Peter Cherches RE: Pookipichu Mar 8, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                      Asimov was definitely clueless about Asian food. Bryan Miller was good when he was writing Diner's Journal.

                                                2. re: buttertart
                                                  bigjeff RE: buttertart Feb 3, 2010 09:54 AM

                                                  and VV suffers the same pirating syndrome. all good tho, as Lau says.

                                                  1. re: bigjeff
                                                    buttertart RE: bigjeff Feb 3, 2010 10:32 AM

                                                    True. And funny. Allpower to the exposure the restaurants get!

                                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                                      Joe MacBu RE: bigjeff Feb 7, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                      Except when they plagiarize. That is never cool.

                                                3. j
                                                  Jaleamia RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 05:01 AM

                                                  Last night we had dinner here for the first time because of all the great CH reviews. Everything was delicious, but we had a bit of an ordering dilemma that I'd like to share and get some advice about. We were seated at one of those small tables for two and proceeded to order 4 dishes - the Shanghai Steamed Crab Meat & Pork Buns, the Dry Shrimp and Scallion Noodles, the Pork Shoulder in Brown Sauce, and the Fish Head & Cellophane Sheets in Casserole. In a very short amount of time, the pork shoulder came out first and we immediately dug in - it was as good as everyone has said. The portion is huge and the plate took up most of the table. Then the buns and the noodles came out right afterwards - also very large servings. At this point there was no more room in front of us and the dishes were sticking off the side of the table. We were happily eating from each dish when the waiter came over and told us to eat the buns first because the fish head casserole was ready. We continued to eat, but obviously not fast enough because the waiter came over again and insisted we eat the buns right away. I finally took the last bun and just put it on my plate because it was impossible to shove steaming hot buns into your mouth quickly without doing some serious damage. After the bun steamer was removed they brought over the fish head casserole in an enormous earthenware dish, which could have fed 4 people easily.

                                                  Now, I'm not complaining at all about the size of the huge portions nor the fact that we were at a small table since there were only two of us and the restaurant was busy, but I would like to know whether it is typical to have everything brought out really quickly at the same time? Did we make a mistake and should we have ordered one or two things at a time which is our strategy for the next visit? Please advise!

                                                  28 Replies
                                                  1. re: Jaleamia
                                                    l
                                                    Lau RE: Jaleamia Feb 7, 2010 07:49 AM

                                                    the service does tend to be very "efficient" i.e. they bring stuff out really quick, the beauty of alot of chinese food is that it doesn't take all that long to prepare, so you tend to get your food quickly. I've sort of had the same issue as you b/c i tend to order a ton of food when i go to this place and your table totally ends up cluttered although ive never gone there with 2 people and i can imagine that could be logistically problematic, maybe you should order apps first or something like that.

                                                    btw how was the fish head casserole?

                                                    1. re: Lau
                                                      bigjeff RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 09:58 AM

                                                      suggeset to order apps *before* the 4 dishes they already ordered? whoa that would be a lot. regardless, they should have sent out the soup dumplings out first tho, or at least, that's one of those things that you order while still putting your coats on your chair you know what I mean? but ya, that is a little crazy for them to send it all out like that, esp. pork shoulder first. and they should also advise like, whoa, you sure you two want to get the pork shoulder AND the other two AND a "sha-guo-yu-tou" ("sha-guo" = cassrole, "yu" = fish, "tou" = head)? at least that should pause in the way they send it out.

                                                      1. re: bigjeff
                                                        l
                                                        Lau RE: bigjeff Feb 7, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                        haha actually i didnt even really think about how much food that is for 2 people although that place is cheap as hell, i always way over order at that place...the problem is that they bring stuff out in a weird order, they did that last time i was there, like the pork shoulder was one of the first things to come out now that i think about it

                                                        1. re: Lau
                                                          w
                                                          wew RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 11:02 AM

                                                          Eel question.
                                                          About a month ago I ordered eel and the waiter told me that they only had fresh eel at a higher price. If both eels were available which would you get?

                                                          1. re: wew
                                                            l
                                                            Lau RE: wew Feb 7, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                            hmmm i dont know b/c everytime i go they never have the eel. braised yellow eel is pretty typical shanghainese, so ive beeen meaning to try it there b/c i like the dish alot

                                                            1. re: Lau
                                                              w
                                                              wew RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                              From earlier posts and my own experience of being told no eel at all I went for the high tariff dish made with a simple brown sauce and peppers. I am at a loss to say what the freshness of the eel added. Oh well

                                                              1. re: wew
                                                                l
                                                                Lau RE: wew Feb 7, 2010 11:41 AM

                                                                so you ordered the "fresh" eel dish, what was the eel like? normally its this really small eels not the bigger ones

                                                                1. re: Lau
                                                                  w
                                                                  wew RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 12:38 PM

                                                                  Once again I must apologize for sloppy posting. Yes, I had the fresh eel, but with large pieces.

                                                                  1. re: wew
                                                                    l
                                                                    Lau RE: wew Feb 7, 2010 01:37 PM

                                                                    ok then that is the big difference, usually those are sort of chopped up into large pieces

                                                                    the version i'm talking about is much smaller eels, found a picture on google of the actual dish at Taste of Shanghai:
                                                                    http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/medi...

                                                                    1. re: Lau
                                                                      w
                                                                      wew RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 02:48 PM

                                                                      Thank you for the picture. Well well well. A head scratcher. This was not what I had.

                                                                      1. re: wew
                                                                        l
                                                                        Lau RE: wew Feb 7, 2010 03:14 PM

                                                                        if i remember right they actually have two eel dishes on the menu, its possible you got the other

                                                                        1. re: Lau
                                                                          j
                                                                          Jerome RE: Lau Feb 10, 2010 12:34 AM

                                                                          writing from los angeles, but am following this thread and am curious - was it manyu,鰻魚 fresh-water eel or
                                                                          shanyu 鱔 salt-water eel (yellow eel)

                                                                          1. re: Jerome
                                                                            l
                                                                            Lau RE: Jerome Feb 10, 2010 02:57 AM

                                                                            are you referring to the dish they normally offer or the dish wew got?

                                                                            1. re: Lau
                                                                              j
                                                                              Jerome RE: Lau Feb 10, 2010 02:49 PM

                                                                              just what the restaurant offers - and your dish if you like.

                                                                              1. re: Jerome
                                                                                l
                                                                                Lau RE: Jerome Feb 10, 2010 06:54 PM

                                                                                i'm not sure which dish wew had exactly seen i didn't see it myself

                                                                                the dish i'm talking about is i believe fresh water eels, they are very small (as you can see in the picture) its a fairly common shanghainese dish. There are tons of shanghainese restaurants in the SGV as i'm sure you know (and they are better than NY's), if you go into any of them they will likely have the dish (see the pic)

                                                                                ill look at the actual character next time i'm there b/c i dont remember what its called

                                                                                1. re: Lau
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  Jerome RE: Lau Feb 13, 2010 01:04 AM

                                                                                  thnaks. i'm a big proponent of Giang -nan (chinese name De Yue Lou) in monterey park. i'll check it out, but i would love to have the hanzi.

                                                                                  1. re: Jerome
                                                                                    buttertart RE: Jerome Feb 13, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                                                    Must get to SoCal - De Yue Lou is the name of a very good restaurant in Suzhou, wonder if connected?

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                      l
                                                                                      Lau RE: buttertart Feb 13, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                                      possibly but chinese restaurants are sort of notorious for ripping off names....in LA there are a whole bunch of places called yong he specializing in taiwanese breakfast and yong he is the name of an area in taipei and there is a breakfast place there called yong he dou jiang wang (yong he soy bean milk king) and everyone just names themselves after that place even though they have no relation, actually even in the flushing mall the breakfast place there is called yong he. Same thing with xiao fei yang (the hot pot place in HK, which has rip offs in LA and flushing) and ah zhong mian xian from taipei, which has rip offs in LA and flushing

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        Jerome RE: buttertart Feb 13, 2010 04:55 PM

                                                                                        no connection. there was also a place that called itself shan wai shan like the hangzhou restaurant. no connection.

                                                                                        the QuanJuDe, late of Rosemead was connected - 1/2 owned by the Beijing QUanJuDe and therefore 1/2 owned by the PLA.

                                                                                        it closed and had THE BEST beijing kaoya roast duck - open hearth method (fruit wood) ever, certainly the best in this country.

                                                                                        1. re: Jerome
                                                                                          l
                                                                                          Lau RE: Jerome Feb 13, 2010 06:04 PM

                                                                                          i was very sad when quan ju de closed

                                                                                          1. re: Jerome
                                                                                            buttertart RE: Jerome Feb 14, 2010 05:38 AM

                                                                                            Checked your review - if not under same ownership, they have paid attention to De Yue Lou SZ's menu - the fish with pine nuts is a specialty of theirs, and is one of the best things we've eaten in SZ. The tang yuan are big there too. Now I really wanna be in LA!

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              Lau RE: buttertart Feb 14, 2010 06:05 AM

                                                                                              oh just b/c they are ripoffs a) doesnt mean they don't serve the same dishes and b) that its not good. For example, while not as good as the original yong he, the yong he's in LA are very good.

                                                                                              on the other hand the ah zhong mian xian, isnt anywhere as good as the original

                                                                                              1. re: Lau
                                                                                                buttertart RE: Lau Feb 14, 2010 06:38 AM

                                                                                                Haven't seen this minced fish w pine nuts anywhere else here, have you? Mighty tasty.

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  Jerome RE: buttertart Feb 14, 2010 04:01 PM

                                                                                                  my favorite dish in suzhou was a lotus root, stuffed with sweet red bean paste - (or date paste) , steamed and then sliced then.

                                                                                                  they don't make it at Giang-nan/deyuelou.
                                                                                                  But come to LA, try it and you might enjoy it. If not there, there are plenty of huaiyang restaurants nearby.

                                                                                                  1. re: Jerome
                                                                                                    buttertart RE: Jerome Feb 15, 2010 05:29 AM

                                                                                                    That is a great dish (although better as a dessert than an appetizer it seems to me). My favorite SZ dish comes from my favorite restaurant there, the Wang Si - thinly sliced lotus root marinated in tangerine juice. Quite wonderful. Yes, it would be great to explore the restaurants out your way!

                                                                                2. re: Jerome
                                                                                  scoopG RE: Jerome Feb 10, 2010 03:48 AM

                                                                                  or even eel goby? 鰻蝦虎魚

                                                                2. re: Lau
                                                                  j
                                                                  Jaleamia RE: Lau Feb 7, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                                  OK, now I feel a little better knowing we're not the only gluttons. The over ordering was not intentional. We really had no idea how much food we were in for. It's also so hard to choose just a few items when there is such an extensive selection and everything looks so good. I'm always worried I might miss that perfect dish! We thought the buns and the noodles were appetizers and we'd get them first so the whole timing issue was a bit of a surprise.

                                                                  Lau, the fish head casserole was OK, but not my favorite. It looked so interesting, I had to order it. It was more like a soup than a casserole. There was one large fish head in it (I don't know what kind), with tons of large pieces of tofu and cellophane noodles. I thought the curry based broth was a little bland and could have used more depth in the seasoning. We were so full that we ended up taking most of it home and will probably have it again this evening. There was so much that they packed the fish head in one container and the soup in a separate one.

                                                                  BTW, all of this delicious excess cost $26. Amazing, even for Flushing. Will be back real soon!

                                                                  1. re: Jaleamia
                                                                    l
                                                                    Lau RE: Jaleamia Feb 7, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                    i figured it was more of a soup that's usually how fish head is served, but that is weird that they used curry; that is odd for a shanghainese restaurant actually that's pretty weird for just about any chinese restaurant (unless they were from singapore / malaysia). oh well

                                                          2. f
                                                            FrankieLymon RE: Lau Feb 10, 2010 06:40 PM

                                                            i found those little eels inedible

                                                            1. p
                                                              Peter Cherches RE: Lau Mar 8, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                              I had the qi cai fish soup at this place. They have a lot of dishes with qi cai (a leaf) on the menu, but I can't figure out what exactly it is. It looks like something in the cilantro/parsley family, but has a kind of smoky flavor. Who can enlighten me?

                                                              I had a less than spectacular meal there. One dish was a waste because somebody insisted despite my protests on ordering eggplant with garlic sauce. The yellow fish with pine nuts had one of those sticky sweet/sour sauces I hate. The fried tiny fish (cold dish) weren't the crunchy little things but breaded lightly battered long fish that were small (big smelts?), but not tiny, and not especially tasty (a little murky tasting). The cold cucumber in with garlic was flavorless and didn't seem to have any garlic. The nian gow (rice cakes) were mushy. The soup was the only thing I enjoyed.

                                                              http://petercherches.blogspot.com

                                                              24 Replies
                                                              1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                                l
                                                                Lau RE: Peter Cherches Mar 8, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                If you can, go back at try the blue crab (i prefer the dry sauce version, but the soupy one is good as well) and the pork shoulder...those are the reason to go. the scallion pancake with beef is good as well

                                                                the shanghainese places always serve that sweet sauce that i am not much of a fan of either.

                                                                1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                                  buttertart RE: Peter Cherches Mar 8, 2010 09:51 AM

                                                                  I know the fish with pine nuts is a famous Jiangnan specialty - I've had it in China as well as various places in the US - and dislike it strongly too. I think it's really meant to be a singel dish in a big banquet so you only get a little taste as a contrast to the other stuff (which you would really rather eat anyway).

                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                    bigjeff RE: buttertart Mar 8, 2010 10:23 AM

                                                                    ya that dish, at all the shanghainese places I been to, is always just that. you order it thinking its a deeper thing, but it isn't.

                                                                    1. re: bigjeff
                                                                      buttertart RE: bigjeff Mar 8, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                                      Even in Suzhou and Shanghai. Not delicious. Now Xihu cuyu is a whole nother story, on the lookout for a really good one of those here.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                        l
                                                                        Lau RE: buttertart Mar 8, 2010 11:30 AM

                                                                        west lake vinegar fish? never had it, whats it prepared like?

                                                                        ive never been much of a fan of shanghainese fish b/c i generally don't like the type of fresh water fish they use and the sweet sauces, but i'm not expert on the subject by any means, so i might just not have enough experience ordering them, but i'm always looking for something good that i don't know about (i do like their smoked fish though)

                                                                        btw now that we're talking about this place, one of us should really try the san huang ji, i'm dying to find out if its good or not

                                                                        1. re: Lau
                                                                          buttertart RE: Lau Mar 8, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                                          Fresh water fish (grass carp or yellow fish, yellow fish is better) poached or steamed, sauced with zhenjiang vinegar, poaching liquid, wine, soy, bit of sugar, lightly thickened - much tangier than sweet - slivered scallion/ginger garnish. Really good with a really fresh fish. I don't like fried stuff in sauce in general, much less if sweet.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                            p
                                                                            Peter Cherches RE: buttertart Mar 8, 2010 12:48 PM

                                                                            I think I prefer yellow fish as boneless lightly battered "fish fingers" without any sauce.

                                                                            1. re: Peter Cherches
                                                                              buttertart RE: Peter Cherches Mar 8, 2010 01:00 PM

                                                                              I love that dish too - when it's done well it's killer. Add some seaweed powder, mmm.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                l
                                                                                Lau RE: buttertart Mar 8, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                oh yah those are super good

                                                                  2. re: Peter Cherches
                                                                    j
                                                                    Jerome RE: Peter Cherches Mar 10, 2010 12:03 AM

                                                                    hmmm i wonder, ... it could be shepherd's purse or water shield.
                                                                    this is shepherd's purse - 薺菜
                                                                    mostly in northern food... lake taihu water shield ismore comon in jiangnan food, but I think it's shepherd's purse.
                                                                    I love as previously stated, the bits of rubbed rice-granule size sole (longli) with pinenuts. It's very mild, but then so are the shrimp with longjing tea leaves.
                                                                    For bigger fish - go for "squirrel fish" and have them pour the sauce on at table so it chatters.
                                                                    it's available in shanghai although it comes from further north.
                                                                    picture at
                                                                    http://china.chinaa2z.com/china/html/...
                                                                    .

                                                                    1. re: Jerome
                                                                      buttertart RE: Jerome Mar 10, 2010 05:20 AM

                                                                      Haven't seen the minced fish with pine nuts on any Jiangzhe menus here in NY, it is a wonderful dish and I hope someone will offer it soon (oh dear Suzhou De Yue Lou, when will I see you again?). The fish with pine nuts here is the dish also known as Mandarin or squirrel fish, slashed and deep-fried with sweet and sour-type sauce and pine nut garnish. I don't like it whether presauced or sauced at the table.
                                                                      Shrimp with longjing (or better, biluochun) leaves is also very uncommon on menus here, I now know of one place in Chinatown that has it - the new Yeah Shanghai - but when I inquired about it at Tang Pavilion they said they had had it on their menu but it wasn't popular. (The Chinese cuisines featuring more delicate flavors are not as popular in NY as Sichuan and Hunan cuisines are.)
                                                                      Don't recall seeing watershield in restaurants here either (it's tightly-furled green leaves in a sort of needle-shape and has a somewhat gelatinous coating, may not have seen it because I don't particularly like it and don't seek it out) - have seen it in bottles in shops.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                        l
                                                                        Lau RE: buttertart Mar 10, 2010 05:29 AM

                                                                        is tang pavilion any good?

                                                                        1. re: Lau
                                                                          buttertart RE: Lau Mar 10, 2010 05:33 AM

                                                                          We love it. I posted on it this week - had a wonderful meal on Saturday. Go and talk to the brothers who run it - they're from Taipei.

                                                                          1. re: Lau
                                                                            buttertart RE: Lau Mar 10, 2010 05:40 AM

                                                                            PS the nian gao dish was great.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                              l
                                                                              Lau RE: buttertart Mar 10, 2010 07:12 AM

                                                                              yah i've always wanted to go back, i went there once a long time ago when i first came to NY with my mom and i remember thinking it was pretty decent, but that was a while ago

                                                                              what specific dishes do you like over there?

                                                                              1. re: Lau
                                                                                buttertart RE: Lau Mar 10, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                                                Chicken with yellow leeks, beancurd skin with fresh soybeans and pork, scallops with bamboo shoot and pickled vegetable, lion's head, asparagus with lily bud, West Lake vinegar fish (not like having it in Hangzhou but what is?), for example as well as the New Year's specials we just had. The winter melon and ham soup is not specifically SH in origin but is wonderful, great broth. We've been going there since they opened and have not had a bad dish (some so-so ones when friends ordered more American-Chinese dishes).

                                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                                            bigjeff RE: buttertart Mar 10, 2010 12:20 PM

                                                                            buttertart; yes my understanding of squirrel fish/pine nut is the same: whole deep-fried prep; the pine nut thing is just with some pine nuts on top.

                                                                            1. re: bigjeff
                                                                              buttertart RE: bigjeff Mar 10, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                                              Ever had the minced fish one? Out of this world good. One of the best things I've ever eaten.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                bigjeff RE: buttertart Mar 10, 2010 08:58 PM

                                                                                never have but . . . . sounds amazing!

                                                                                1. re: bigjeff
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  Jerome RE: bigjeff Mar 11, 2010 10:36 PM

                                                                                  come to LA (or rather monterey park). It's closer. and they do a good job with it.

                                                                                  1. re: Jerome
                                                                                    Chandavkl RE: Jerome Mar 14, 2010 09:55 PM

                                                                                    Yeah, I'm surprised it doesn't show up in New York. While not all of the San Gabriel Valley Shanghai restaurants have it, enough of them do such that I assumed it was a common Shanghai dish.

                                                                                    1. re: Chandavkl
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      Jerome RE: Chandavkl Mar 14, 2010 10:54 PM

                                                                                      I'm also surprised how hard it is to find huaiyang and fujian places in flushing. There are a few but I wouldhave expected more.

                                                                                      getting ready for the flames.

                                                                                      squirrel fish with the pine nuts isn't that hard to come by, is it?

                                                                                      1. re: Jerome
                                                                                        Chandavkl RE: Jerome Mar 15, 2010 09:33 AM

                                                                                        Well we're spoiled by the diversity of Chinese food in LA except for Fujian and Xian and a couple of other styles. Fujianese residents are concentrated in the eastern part of Manhattan Chinatown since a lot of them are just transitorily in the area, plus that's a much lower cost area of the world.

                                                                                        1. re: Chandavkl
                                                                                          p
                                                                                          Peter Cherches RE: Chandavkl Mar 18, 2010 12:40 PM

                                                                                          There are a bunch of Fujianese places in Sunset Park.

                                                                      2. daffyduck RE: Lau Aug 20, 2010 09:45 AM

                                                                        i went here last night. i was with a large group so we had the pork shoulder in brown sauce, blue crab with scallion sauce, shanghainese pork chop, pork soup dumplings, scallion pancakes with beef and shredded beef with peppers noodle soup.
                                                                        the scallion pancakes with beef and soup dumplings i think are better at nan xiang which is a block away. the noodle soup i tried was much weaker than ones i've had at noodletown. the shanghaiese pork chop was on par with the ones i've tried in chinatown.
                                                                        now on with the very good. i really liked the blue crab with scallion sauce, i'm not the biggest fan of seafood but i had a good experience with this dish. the pork shoulder in brown sauce was delicious! i remember telling my friends that the meat was so tender and falling off the bone and when i lifted piece that had bone with my chopsticks the meat did fall off the bone. i was very impressed with this dish, imo it blows away the St. Canut Farm Cochon de Lait at EMP.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: daffyduck
                                                                          l
                                                                          Lau RE: daffyduck Aug 20, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                                          yah their soup dumplings are mediocre (nan xiang is much better in that arena), i havent tried their noodle soups, but i generally stay away from noodle soups unless the places are specialists

                                                                          interesting that you had the blue crab in scallion sauce, i didnt see that on the menu, how did they prepare it? I've had it spicy twice, once the "dry style" that is more of a sauce and once the "soup" style that was basically a spicy crab stew in a big clay pot, both are excellent, but the "dry" version is better. The pork shoulder is very good as well.

                                                                          generally i've found their shanghainese dishes to be very good and some of their more xiao chi (appetizer) type dishes to be weaker (stuff like soup dumplings)

                                                                          1. re: Lau
                                                                            buttertart RE: Lau Aug 20, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                            Their sheng jian bao are lousy.

                                                                            1. re: Lau
                                                                              daffyduck RE: Lau Aug 20, 2010 12:33 PM

                                                                              it's on the menu under seafood i believe it's near the spicy blue crab. it's not soupy it's exactly like your description of the other spicy blue crab "blue crab chopped into pieces sauteed in a dry sauce of oil, fermented black beans, peppers, scallions, green onions and maybe one or two other things. Really good, meat was sweet and tender, the sauce was spicy, but not overly spicy...it was also a bit sweet." is exactly like the blue crab with scallion except there were no black beans and the sauce wasnt spicy. i actually wanted the spicy crab since i was sharing with everyone in my party many didn't want anything spicy.

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