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Apr 25, 2011 12:03 PM

Old Shanghai Deluxe, Mott at Bayard, Chinatown - exciting Shanghai specialties

We had an excellent lunch at Old Shanghai Deluxe on Saturday.
The pork xiao long bao were tip-top (see the photo, the skins were very thin - you can tell by the number of pleats - and the filling loose and luscious). Since they were also very very good the last time we had them there a few weeks before, they may have a new dumpling maker.
The sheng jian bao were tasty and the bottoms nice and crisp, with that particular frying oil smell that transports you to China.
The mao dou bai ye (fresh soybeans with pickled vegetable and bean curd skin strips) were expertly done, rich in salty, tangy umami (or zhu wei, bigjeff, if you're listening).
The casserole of chicken with chestnuts was also very savory and blisteringly hot, bubbling when it reached the table.
But the real standout was the pork with jiao bai, described as wild rice shoots on the menu, that has a tangy, almondy smell and taste and a texture between a bamboo shoot and a lotus root. This dish is unusual in NYC and a real treat. (A little info on the vegetable here: although there is no XO sauce in this dish.)
With 4 Tsingtaos and a good tip the meal cost around $80.00.
Service is friendly and the ambiance pleasant.
This place has been discussed desultorily and somewhat dismissively here but I really think that it now deserves close consideration as one of the best Shanghainese restaurants in the city.
We have spent a good amount of time in Shanghai and Jiangsu in general for professional reasons and love the cuisine, which we have been seeking everywhere since the glory days of the Chu Feng Yuan(s) and the Sui Yuan in Taipei when we lived there.
The food here holds its own with many restaurants in Jiangsu.

Old Shanghai Deluxe
50 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. do they do the pork belly\tofu skin hongshao style and the beef\smoked tofu\hot peppers stir fry

    5 Replies
      1. re: buttertart

        interesting, i would be interested to see how these dishes measure up to the versions at shanghai cafe, which had gone significantly downhill in my last visit since they translated their chinese menu

        1. re: AubWah

          We ate at Shanghai Café once and didn't enjoy it at all.

          1. re: buttertart

            what did you order? the 2 above mentioned dishes along with xlb and spicy cabbage have provided me with many excellent meals

            1. re: AubWah

              It was several years ago. Xiao long bao definitely, the other dishes do not stick out in memory.

    1. Many thanks! The pork and rice shoots sounds divine! Is this on the English menu?

      1 Reply
      1. re: erica

        Yes it is, they recently changed menu formats to a laminated thingy - it's under Shanghai or chef's specialties I think. ID'd in part as wild rice shoots in English.

      2. goodness, that all looks wonderful. i'm looking you up next time we're in NYC for a chowdown :)

        1 Reply