Holy Godmother of Chinatown for the love of all that is unholy and absurd I am STILL FREAKING STUFFED the morning after this epic meal!
That was the uneasy but all so knowing feeling I have when consuming a fantastic meal which leaves an impression on me the next day. We have such a mixed group of great friends who knows their stuff when it comes to terrific places and hidden gems to dine at here in NYC. It’s a blessing and a curse! Rich Wong and Sally Wong ( not married but have the same last name – boy that will be easy if they marry! ), an Asian couple who are wonderful people and never steer us wrong when it comes to introducing us to eats in Chinatown had a get together a while back at Shanghai Cafe that I still remember to this day. They suggested this spot and we readily agreed to join in. Why would we ever doubt them? Because – HOT DAMN – Sally and Rich know some of the BEST spots to chow down at here! Along the sometimes suspect odorous and shady streets of Chinatown lie some AMAZING places to take a seat and dine at, and this was one of them.
Can I say CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP? The amount of food we devoured and the final bill that was split between about a dozen of us was ridiculous when we realized it was around $20 a person. Cash only here but it didn’t matter. We ate like ravenous wilderbeasts and even brought some home there was so much food to go around.
Here’s just a sampling of Rich and Sally’s menu they picked out for us. FOOD PORN. Oh, we let them do all the ordering since we had little clue what was on the menu, and they are also able to speak the language. It’s called TRUST my friends! Well rewarded trust.
Soup dumplings ( pork and crab meat ), fried tiny buns with pork, scallion pancakes, steamed soup dumplings ( pork ), lo mein Shanghai style w/shrimp, noodles with spicy meat sauce ( kind of like spaghetti bolognese as Sally put it ), rice cake Shanghai style w/shrimp, eggplant with garlic sauce, Chinese cabbage with black mushrooms, stewed beef with brown rice, lions head, pork chops w/ salt & pepper, stewed pork in brown sauce, pork shoulder in brown sauce, squid w/ salt & pepper ( fried calamari ), and even more eats that put us all in a FOOD COMA! The pics don’t lie!
Then, Rich and Sally pulled out a bag full of egg custard pies for each of us! HOLY FREAKING DELICIOUSNESS! These things were still all warm, soft, and flaky as they were fresh from one of the local Asian bakeries nearby.
Also, I was amazed at how BLAZINGLY fast the food came out. It seemed as soon as Sally finished ordering they were piling up the plates on our table. The staff was really helpful and attentive here. Water was always filled and they kept coming by to check on us. The place itself has a lot of seating, clean, and a fun bright look to it. Colorful ceiling lighting too. You can sit here for hours eating and not get tired of it. I like these spots in Chinatown which offer big authentic tastes on a small budget.
I really had a hard time walking after this meal. I felt like my stomach was going to explode like in a scene out of the movie “Alien”. This was an EPIC FEAST for sure. Such a nice group of people to share it with too. I knew most everyone and also met a few new friends. Lots of good conversation and laughs. Gotta hand it to the Double Wongs! Sally and Rich know what they are talking about when it comes to Chinatown spots.
Now we anxiously await the next gathering in Chinatown to discover new taste sensations. Rich? Sally? Call me……..I’m hungry!
Shanghai Cafe – http://shanghaicafenyc.com/