Pudong on Market -- in the old Mecca space, with the old Shanghai 1930 kitchen crew
My friends and I finally went here on Saturday night, on the late side (arrived at 10).
This place has all kinds of problems, but none of them are with the food.
If they could catch on, they'd be fine, but I fear they will not.
It was here for months before I even caught wind that anything was open there, because there's no steret apeal. The windows are dark, and there's no lighting on the sign. I think there are issues preventing them from just fixing that easily.
And so the place was near empty.
Which is a shame, because they're open later than most on weekends (kitchen til 11), it's a great space/room, and more importantly, the food is really good.
The menu is also in flux, I think -- an earlier thread said they were chinese/french, but there's no sign of french. We asked about spare ribs (which were great at shanghai 1930) but they said they were on the Pudong menu once, but were removed because they were not selling.
So I think they have some real practical and identity issues.
I love the food. It has the same things good about it that Shanghai 1930 had (no surprise).
Great flavors, I'm guessing not "real genuine chinese" like some chinatown places, but for me I like chinese food that's more for the western palate. A holdover from my NYC-in-the-60s-and-70s roots.
Okay, we ordered:
-- potstickers --> great
-- dumplings in broth --> great
-- chicken in endive leaves --> great
-- shanghai spring rolls --> good, nothing special
-- steamed shao lung bao --> yum! (I know people discuss these a lot and I'm not an expert, this is the only time I've had the ones with broth in the middle that explodes in your mouth, I loved 'em)
-- pumpkin wonton soup --> didn't taste, seemed like blasphemy
-- crabmeat corn soup --> lovely
-- jade and ebony (bok choy and black mushroom) --> to me, bland. But one person at the table said it was their favorite, describing it as 'clean'
-- fish on the vine --> fantastic, my favorite
-- garlic prawns on noodles --> very nice
-- mongolian beef --> disappointing
-- basil chciken --> nice, I like it spicier though
-- egg white fried rice --> I wanted the yang chow which would have had meats in it, this sounded boring and was, but it was well executed nonetheless
This place will not replace Red Jade around the corner for me, but I will definitely be going back.
Pudong is pricier (but not overpriced) and does not deliver, so there's that.
But they do have that full bar, some dishes that sing, some more refined dishes, and a great atmosphere.
I will definitely take my parents here, and return on my own.
Show these guys some love people, I don't think they're doing well at getting the word out...
Sad, but not completely surprising. They had high ambitions for the menu only to realize during the pre-opening friends-and-family dinners that the kitchen was inadequate for what they were trying to do. Seems like they never really figured out where to go after that. A pity. I miss Shanghai 1930 and was hoping that Pudong could become some form of partial replacement. The space, once you got inside, was quite nice, too.