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Sep 30, 2009 12:32 PM

Shangri-la in Belmont -- what to order?

I know that Shangri-la in Belmont is very popular on this board. I live nearby and I love Chinese food so I want to like it. However, I have eaten there twice in the past two years and had what I thought was mediocre food (fish, tofu, chicken). I want to give it another chance as I would love to have easy take-out or a place to bring friends from my house. My question -- what to order for dinner that is really good and unique to Shangri-la? We do love hot and spicy food, too. Thanks.

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  1. Tea smoked boneless duck
    Yu shang eggplant (nicely spicy)
    Twice cooked roast beef (spicy)
    Ginger Chicken casserole
    Hot and sour soup
    pork and preserved vegetable soup
    Egg drop soup (the large home style version)
    jumbo meat ball
    Chinese watercress
    sauteed sprout of snow pea
    Dry Scallop (or shrimp) with Napa
    Black Mushroom with chinese veg
    Any string bean dish
    Shredded beef with Peking sauce
    peking special meat sauce noodle
    pork and mustard noodle soup

    1. Turnip cake appetizer. I don't even like turnips, but I love these (and the delicious, spicy dip they come with.)

      5 Replies
        1. re: Stride

          Turnip Cake
          Wonton with Spicy Sauce
          Beancurd skin roll
          Homestyle Eggdrop Soup
          Beef with Chinese Celery in Spicy Sauce
          Jumbo Meatball
          Chicken with Spinach in Garlic Sauce
          Crispy Shrimp with Spiced Salt
          Shredded Beef with Peking Sauce
          Pork & Dried Beancurd with Chives & Red Pepper
          Taiwanese Stir Fried Noodle

          1. re: BJK

            I'm grateful for this thread, because I now find myself looking for dinner in Watertown or Belmont every Tuesday night and Shangri-La has been one of the places I've tried a few times. However, I've had extremely mixed luck - some great dishes and some complete duds. Since I'm eating alone before dance practice, I can usually only order one dish per meal, so it's kind of important that I coose well!

            In particular, I had the Taiwanese stir fried noodle(s) and found them hugely disappointing. I had high hopes based on the English menu name, but they were just plain veggie lo mein. Not my favorite dinner ever.

            However, I'll be making a list of the recommended dishes and using it for future reference, particularly now that the weather's cooling down and I want a slightly more solid dinner beforehand. (For pre-practice dinners over the summer I discovered the joys of Fordee's on Mt. Auburn Street instead!)

            1. re: BJK

              Based on prior recommendations from chowhound, my standard shangri-la meal is turnip cake, homestyle egg drop soup and boneless tea smoked duck. This is actually enough food for three meals at least, but I can't ever figure out which one of the three to cut. Everything is good as leftovers anyway.

              The bean sprout appetizer is really good as well.

              I agree that the menu is somewhat hit or miss, but the hits are all homeruns.

              1. re: tdaaa

                My basic guide at Shangri-La is to stay FAR AWAY from anything that reeks of Americanized Chinese. If you do that, you are generally okay.

          2. Good and different that I love: The green bean starch & cucumber or the bean sprout appetizer (flavors are similar). That egg drop soup home style (a huge bowl). Ginger chicken casserole (3-cup chicken). Fish with dry bean sauce. Shredded pork w/cabbage in bean sauce isn't all that different but I like it. I remember people raving about the fried oysters w/spice salt, and I'd be up for the pork (belly) with preserved mustard (remembering GretchenS's description). Nothing i've tried from the "house special" menu has been memorable (have NOT tried the boneless duck). I do like the (vegetarian) Taiwanese noodles--no they're not all that different but they are nicely done. The cellophane noodle w/minced pork is the only really spicy thing I've had--when I'm up for really spicy, Shangri-La is not where I go.

            1. I like the S&P pork there, it's these large bone-in chunks that are deep fried (like the "golden pork chops" at Shanghai Gate) and then dusted with 5-spice salt.

              The one dish I would recommend not getting is the fu qi fei pian, it's a really lame de-Sichuanized version that uses tough meat and has more peanut than chili flavor.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Luther

                For those of us who can't translate phonetic Mandarin into the English menu item, ;-) any chance you could tell us the menu description for the dish?

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  It's the classic Sichuan dish "husband and wife lung slices" or "offal slices" or something like that. It's usually written in English around here as "ox and tripe in chili sauce" or something like that... I don't remember what it's called exactly there

              2. at the weekend dim sum brunch, two excellent options are:
                * taiwanese pork bun with pickle
                * 5-spice beef in crispy sesame bun
                both are consistently delicious.