We Thought We Were in China!
[EDIT: Joe’s Shanghai in Flushing closed last year. You can visit them in Manhattan and let us know how it is!!]
Our Quest to find the BEST Chinese Restaurant on all of Long Island took us tonight to virgin territories. Our Crusade crossed the veritable dividing line between Nassau County (“Long Island”), and Queens (New York City) deep into the heart of Flushing, NY. We queried various sources, resources, databases, and wikis, and concluded that both Queens (and Brooklyn too for that matter) are geographically connected to the Nassau (and Suffolk) Counties, thus making one VERY Long Island. So, with that technical hurdle overcome, and our conscience cleared we found ourselves in the mecca of Chinese (and other Asian) restaurants.
136-21 37th Avenue
Queens, NY 11354
Mind you, we came on a Monday night, and the restaurant was packed! The lobby was filled with people waiting to be seated. But like the Mee’s parting the Red Sea, we were immediately shown to a lovely round table in the heart of the restaurant. There was no preferential treatment (as we heard a couple say to each other as we passed on our way to our seats, “That’s the key! You have to come as a party of five.”)… we just got lucky. But, our luck was just beginning. Of course, I doubt it was luck, but the master skills of their Chefs dazzled our taste buds and left us wanting more and more. Literally!
This was a real authentic Chinese restaurant. The kind we’ve been looking for. No sugars and sweeteners to go with the tea. No fried noodles to munch on. No spare ribs on the menu (Heaven forbid! What were we to do without our staple for comparative purposes??). Joe’s Shanghai has a few different locations, including one in Chinatown, one in midtown, as well as in China and even Japan. But, it all started at this very location in Flushing, NY.
You wouldn’t believe what we polished off!
First, we started with the soup dumplings (one order of pork, the other crab). Fair warning to anyone who has never eaten soup dumplings before. The contents ARE hot!! Not spicy! Temperature HOT! Joe’s Shanghai is famous for its soup dumplings, and our meal got off to a fabulous start!
There were a few specials posted on the board which caught our eye, and our waiter Jonathan gave the thumbs up to two of their specials, and help us order what amounted to a banquet for our lucky taste buds and bellies.
Our feast consisted of:
- Braised Pork Shoulder
- Soft Shelled Crabs
- Chicken w/Hoisen Sauce
- Water Spinach w/White Bean Sauce
- Scallops & Prawns w/Garlic Sauce
- Scallion Pancakes. And as if SIX entrees weren’t enough for FIVE hungry Mee’s, we ordered a SEVENTH entree,
- Lobster w/Fried Rice Cake. And finally, for dessert, they made us a special dish of
- Fried & Steamed Mini Buns w/Sweet Sauce. YUM!
There wasn’t one drop or morsel of food left when we were done. Some Mee’s were spotted using their fingers to wipe up anything that fell onto the glass-topped table. Another was seen licking the table! The food was THAT good!
Some comments heard coming out from the mouths of satisfied Mee’s:
- “The Real Deal!”
- “I am Full”
- “Cancel the Quest, we have found Nirvana… our Quest should be to come back to Joe’s Shanghai again and again!” (Lest anyone worry, we have selected our next restaurant. We might come back to Joe’s again on our year Anniversary of the Quest (almost to the day, this outing marked the Six-month Anniversary of the birth of The Chinese Quest), but we did promise that continues our goal to find THE best Chinese restaurant on all of Long Island (So who knows? Perhaps we haven’t found it yet!).
Our now for official ratings of Joe’s Shanghai:
As we mentioned it was a real authentic Chinese restaurant, so there were no Fortune Cookies served at the end of the meal. As V. Stoogas said, “The fortune is IN the food!”.