Shanghai Cafe Deluxe, NYC

Shanghai Cafe Deluxe
Cuisine: Chinese, Shanghainese
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Price: $20 per person
Phone: (212) 966-3988
Address: 100 Mott Street, NYC 10013

In an atypical fashion for this blog, I’m actually writing about two Chinese restaurants, instead of Jen. Hopefully I will do them justice. Shanghai Cafe has been a Chinatown favorite for many years, and I think it might actually be one of the first places I tried when I first moved to New York.  It satiates that visceral desire for MSG that we all know we have once in a while but do not admit to in our health-crazed lives. Located right off Canal in Chinatown, Shanghai Cafe also appeals to gweilos like me, because there is typically more than one there  (but trust me, the food is beloved by Chinese people and gweilos alike). Also keep in mind it fills up quickly (a testament to its quality) and accepts cash only. But as is the case with most Chinese food, the turn around is quick so the wait for a table is rarely long.

My latest visit to Shanghai Cafe was when a friend and I decided to have a Chinese-themed night. We went out to dinner and then visited the MOCA (Museum of Chinese in America) which is a short walk away. We ordered five dishes, which is probably too many for two people, but we are gluttons. So here is our dinner, in its soy-sauced, MSG-ridden, pork fatty glory!

Green Beans
This side dish choice was our red herring. It is supposed to have looked like the green healthy vegetable dish, but is actually cooked with plenty of fatty oils and pork, which makes this dish freaking delicious.

I believe this was a combination of crab and pork served with peanut sauce and topped with chives. These were great, the dough not too thick and the fillings juicy.

Xiao Long Bao
Soup dumplings! How I love these hot little bursts of goodness. We got a serving of them with pork and I managed to eat my half without making a mess all over. Haven’t met a xiao long bao that I haven’t liked yet.  Joe’s Ginger also serves up amazing xiao long bao…

Hot and Sour Soup
The friend with whom I went to Shanghai Cafe actually introduced me to hot and sour soup while we were in Hong Kong. It is an amazing starter. I love the savoriness of the broth and the textures of the tofu and mushrooms in it. The best part is ,of course, the tangy sour flavors that give the soup its name.

Scallion Pancake
I can taste the oil when I eat this, but who cannot love the crispy texture and savory taste of this dish?


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