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Feb 19, 2011 07:10 PM

TJ's Shanghai Dumpling [Suburban Detroit]

Wow, If you are looking for dumplings... this may not be the place. A bunch of friends went on Fri and their selection was as limited as I have seen. We really didn't have many Chinese dumpings but our fried chicken wing/pancake selection got a lot of comments. They didn't have poutin(e) either. What a disappointment. I hear they have good ice cream but we didn't stay for that.

I only hope they improve their ambiance and opening hours. Otherwise, I am ready for them to emerge as the John R. dumpling mecca. Especially because of their company name. Lastly, they are not Mezza dumplings no matter what the sign says.

27312 John R., Madison Hts, MI

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  1. > We really didn't have many Chinese dumpings

    I went for their dumpling "platter." Meh.

    I was let down, so much so, that I trekked to Shangrila Midtown on Saturday for a dumpling do-over.
    They had a soup dumpling "special" at ShangriLa Midtown on Saturday that was simply divine.

    > chicken wing/pancake

    That was you? I'm the idiot that bumped your table with my wheelchair, twice. I apologize.
    Tough to maneuver in the cramped environ.

    > good ice cream

    The flavor choices were certainly, um, odd. Red bean paste? Tofu? No thank you.

    1. Will someone please tell me what they gave us ketchup?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JanPrimus

        The ketchup was for my grilled cheese. I think it was house-made. Grilled American "cheese" on white with tiny slivers of truffle. It was such a pleasant surprise to find it on such a limited menu, and as it is my favorite dish, I simply had to order it. I was not disappointed.

        TJ's FTW.


        1. re: missmind

          OK, I'm confused. What exactly is on their menu ????? Red bean ice cream can be pretty good though, you should've given it a try.

      2. Ah, but you folks are *completely* missing out if you're not having the dessert at TJ's. Their bologna/whipped cream soufflé is just divine!

        1. I live nearby and have been waiting on this place for months. Ive never seen a person inside the store. If you need your dumpling fix, head to the asian market across the street. The have frozen soup dumplings in the freezer aisle that are pretty tasty. Plus, that market is an experience in and of itself.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mhblue

            It is by appointment only. I have been twice now and they just have the oddest fusions of any place I have ever tried. The greek Dumplings were not that bad. Lamb, Feta and some Olive.... The coney sauce on the side was not needed at all and was a bit odd.

            1. re: mhblue

              If you look closely, SianJen is tending the bar. Knock twice if you're lonely. Knock once if you live alone. ( ad lib from Beatles reference) But, the peanut butter dumplings are an asian=fusion=bomb+MSG> exp;losion. You won't know until it's gone.

              We all tried the poolaid but it wasn't that good in January. SEAsonal you know.

              And as BoagMan says: "Dessert is the bomb"

            2. WTF is up with this place? I've been M.I.A. from chow for a while, so I may have popped in to this discussion a bit late... but what's going on with this place?

              It's actually open now? But by appointment only?!?! If it *is* by appointment only, then rainsux and goatgolfer just both happened to make appointments for the same day and time?!?!

              And what exactly is on the menu? Fried chicken wings and pancakes -- Asian style? Or just regular American fried chicken and pancakes? All the food that everyone has mentioned here sounds like a joke. Red bean and tofu ice cream makes sense at an Asian place, but none of the other stuff. Can someone explain what this place is all about?

              7 Replies
              1. re: jjspw

                > Can someone explain what this place is all about?

                Fusion cooking; primarily Asian & Redneck. Much better than it sounds.

                1. re: jjspw

                  > then rainsux and goatgolfer just both happened to make appointments for the
                  > same day and time?!?!

                  It was not the coincidence it seems. At the XBL outing; GoatGolfer and I learned that we
                  were both incarcerated at the same institution in Flint. I completed my obligation about
                  the same time he was admitted. Both of us were there for their popular five year work-release
                  "deal." We're proof that rehabilitation works!

                  Turns out we both spent significant time in the same segregation unit ... and we had a
                  lot of catching-up to do ... so we decided to-do lunch at TJ's.

                  1. re: rainsux

                    As a PE I can tell you that the weather is clearing up. Rehab has improved and RSux is right. We had a party of 13 and TJ's was always on the menu.

                  2. re: jjspw

                    JJ, the easiest way I can put it is this: Chicago has its Schwa, and Detroit has its TJ's.

                    They're doing some *extremely different* stuff here, like the lima bean/peppermint/red currant/bacon fat dumpling which just has to be experienced to be believed! I'm not sure that I want to pony up the extra $3.50 for the housemade white chocolate sauce alongside, but still...

                    1. re: boagman

                      So I am both extremely intrigued and extremely weirded-out at the same time.

                      Combining lima bean, peppermint, red currant, and bacon fat ... especially with white chocolate sauce, seems like very elevated food. But the place looks like a dive. I'm confused, yet so fascinated.

                      How do I try this? How do I make an appointment? This seems more like a doctor's visit than a restaurant. Are they available at all hours, or are there certain days of the week and/or times that they won't take appointments?

                      1. re: boagman

                        Dumpling: I think it was the Cantonese/Hantonese/ dumping. I'm pretty sure VTB would agree to it's being a truly original dish... It was the one with the onion/swiss onion/french onion/green onion/ oniony dressing..It was the cheese that was most bothersome. Swiss or Gruyere

                        S/G ?? How to tell?

                        Oppsie had another opinion (and a terrfic fried onion) and will reply when she can. Boag??