Joe's Shanghai

Okay this meal actually happened a month ago but I’ve been really busy lately and it got lost in the shuffle. Usually I would just skip it but this was one of my 2008 wish list and I finally got there!! Hooray!

Joe’s Shanghai is a little restaurant in Chinatown that is infamous for its’ soup dumplings. So infamous in fact that it has been featured in many travel food shows, Zagats, Frommers etc. The result? A huge ass line out the door every time we try to go.

However, on a Monday last month, after a great Yankees world series win the night before, Mr. T and I decided to take the day off and go to Joe’s Shanghai for lunch. It was about 2:30 on a Monday and it was still packed. We got the last two seats at a round table with a group of three twenty something tourists and an older solo woman diner.

The soup dumplings are so popular here they ask you if you would like to place an order as they hand out the menus. That’s one of the greatest things about most restaurants in Chinatown. They don’t beat around the bush. Service is always fast and efficient. About 10 minutes later, after some hot tea, our soup dumplings arrived.

Ahhh…I love eating soup dumplings. Taking that first bite off the top of the noodle, letting the hot steam smack you right in the face and then slowly devouring the pork nugget inside while carefully sipping up the soup. There’s really nothing else like it.

These dumplings lived up to the hype as well. The skin was perfectly thin so that the dumpling stayed in tack when I lifted it up but it broke easily upon the first bite. The broth inside was slightly greasy, in a good way, and packed with a ton of porky flavor. These are such a delish comfort food.

Okay don’t laugh, but our second dish for lunch was the General Tso’s chicken. Mr. T was angry with me for ordering such an Americanized dish at an authentic Chinese place but I really wasn’t feeling anything else. We had been up late drinking beers while we watched the game and I needed something pretty easy to settle my stomach.

The General Tso’s was actually really good. It was almost all white meat chicken and the outside was super crispy without that gross layer of fat and filler underneath you sometimes find. The sauce was pleasant enough but after the dumplings we were both too full to even come close to finishing the huge portion of chicken.

We ended up having a great time with the three tourists across from us who had been slightly overzealous in ordering. We watched as plate after plate arrived at the table until there wasn’t even a space for the teacups anymore. They ordered enough food for about 20 people!

I thought Joe’s Shanghai delivered solidly on the dumplings. It’s definitely a bit pricier than some places in Chinatown but still good food at a reasonable cost. Another one to cross off the list (even if it is two years late).

Joes Shanghai


Gar said…
did the tourists share their excessive plates with you two? :)

There's another really good xiao long bao restsaurant in Flushing -Nan Shian Dumpling House. Maybe you should check that out as well. I'm a vegetarian, but heard good things about this dish there.
Tasty Trekker said…
Lol! I wish they had shared their plates with us! They had some good looking stuff!

Thanks for the rec. We were acvtually talking about doing a whole Flushing Chinatown weekend after the holidays. I'll put it on my list to check out.