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Monmouth County birthday dinner suggestions please.

  • e

We are willing to travel for good food. We are not into fancy, but really want good food. We love Shirin,Wonderland Seafood, Ming Ying Chinese take out in Long Branch, NIkkos Taverna, As you can see my preference is ethnic cooking. I do not like Indian, or spicy foods. Suggestions much appreciated. Seafood would also be great.

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  1. Pho Le, Broad Street, Red Bank, for Vietnamese?

    1. Taka in Asbury Park would be my recommendation:


        1. re: Tapas52

          Tapas - Excellent suggestion. I have to keep reminding myself to get back to this fabulous restaurant.

          1. re: bgut1

            b., If you are thinking of going to Shirin, give me a shout. It's been ages since Mr. R. and I have been there, and we'd love to go with you. :)

            Btw, the o.p. mentioned that s/he loves Shirin.


          1. re: maryanne06

            maryanne06 - Fish .... really? Both mine and other Hound's reviews were less than stellar.


            1. re: Angelina

              +1 on Via 45. Not asian, but ethnically mediteranean instead. More and more if we are not going to Nicholas we find ourselves at Via 45.

              1. re: seal

                Seal - On your recommendation alone I am making an effort to try Via 45. I tried to get in this past weekend but they were booked. I must however admit to having some low expectations as I was not impressed with the chef's prior restaurant Vivere. We shall see.

                1. re: bgut1

                  Looking forward to your review. Enjoy your meal.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    I find it hard to believe that there's actually an Italian restaurant in the area that's serving stellar food. But if Angelina and seal think so, I'm putting it on my pathetically short NJ "go to" list.


              2. Much thanks! Great suggestions! I really appreciate your help.

                1. Have you been to ShangHai Bun in Matawan? If you don't mind dives, it's a great place for a birthday party. Super delicious and inexpensive. I'd say it's one of the "musts" in Monmouth county when it comes to ethnic food.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: joonjoon

                    hey joon..I finally tried ShangHai Bun this past weekend for my daughters birthday, She loves Chinese food and we weren't disappointed...in the food anyways! At one point I truly felt like I was in a Seinfeld skit. Having said that, I would definatley reomend the food here...but most importantly an instruction sheet on what and where. First off, we went for dinner...6 persons, given 3 lunch menus and 3 forks,,,more like just dropped off casually at the table. Second,,,for any condiment or beverage it is self serve. Kinda figured this out via observation. Third, communication barrior. The food delivered...everything at once including Dim Sum and appetizers...kinda overwhelming. I will say however that each dish was amazing, Scallion pancake, right on..crisp flaky and chewy all at once. Standard Chinese dishes above par like those at NEMO in Keyport. The steamed buns were amazing, caution however that the inside had piping hot broth inside, so hot in fact I wore most of it on my shirt! lol Noodle bowl if Spicy Beef a little heavy on the five spice but definatley a great thing for a chlly December night. Would I eat there again? Sure for lunch...but for takeout definately will be back.

                    1. re: foodislove1958

                      It's definitely not your average restaurant, that's for sure...glad you enjoyed it! Service isn't always the friendliest though. lol

                      Keep in mind they have 2 menus at SHB, one has the typical American fare, and the other has the "authentic" dishes.

                      1. re: joonjoon

                        We found the SOP at Shanghai Bun is to grab a menu from the counter when you walk in (Making sure as Joon pointed out, to get the "good one"), take a seat at a table and circle the items you wish to order. Then hand the menu to one of the servers as they hustle by...

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          Re: Shanghai Bun

                          I've been to Shanghai Bun only once so I admit to being a neophyte. Can you make some recommendations for a newbie? I enjoy vegetarian fare, but am not averse to meat selections on occasion. Thanks for your consideration!

                          1. re: tomwocat

                            We ended up at Nemo where the Sushi eaters were thrilled and I enjoyed Chinese. Via would have been my choice but I got out voted. I have been there before much thanks to this board, and really liked it, but forgot about it.
                            Now, about Shanghai Bun! I like that but did not know there are two menus. Are they both in English? Is the good one in Chinese and English? And I loved the comment " if you don't mind dives". I am a food snob! All I care about is good food!
                            I would even go to a fancy place of the food were great!! Much thanks for all your help. I am enjoying discovering Monmouth County! We are new to NJ and I am finding good food thanks to reading here and I am really grateful for your suggestions.

                            1. re: EL7

                              EL, both menus at SHB are in English, and almost everything on the other menu is excellent, you really can't go wrong. Where in Monmouth county are you located?

                              1. re: joonjoon

                                Hi Joonjoon, thanks for your help. We are in Farmingdale. We are willing to travel for good food ! I like trying new restaurants and really appreciate the suggestions. We went to SHB once and thought it was pretty good but that was years ago. So I look forward to going again and this time knowing what to do and enjoying the improvements!

                            2. re: tomwocat

                              Hey tomwocat, there're lots of good recommendations in this thread: