Shanghai Gourmet recently opened it’s doors in Levittown, New York, and is located in a large strip mall anchored by the Tri-County Flea Market at 2993 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown, NY 11756, in the spot formerly occupied by Hunan Dynasty. Under new ownership and management, they did a complete makeover of the restaurant. Only a few things remained the same. Our server, Wei, and the bathrooms. Everything else looked new. Right down to the authentic Chinese food on their menu.
We were a little skeptical walking in, as there were very few patrons there. And even fewer Asians. In fact, there were none. Surprising for not only being a new Chinese restaurant. But, also for one that is serving authentic Chinese food! Our fears were quickly allayed as we were served and amazing assortment of dishes hand selected by Wei, and also Kent. Kent kept pushing the beef dish that we finally relented, and ordered.
Tonight’s special guest was Mee Liu Wee, who we have befriended from Facebook. Mee Liu Wee has quite an interesting background as a restaurant reviewer / food critic in his own right, as well as being a Professional Chef, and aspiring song writer. He truly is a Renaissance Man, and he brought a fresh perspective to our meal. We learned quite a few things from him this evening, and I have implored him to share some of his stories and knowledge in a future article(s) for The Chinese Quest. We can only hope.
Missing from this evening’s festivities was Mee Tsu Yan. We fully expect him to be back with us on our next Quest.
We were pleased to find out that they had Soup Dumplings on their menu. In fact, two kinds. Pork Soup Dumplings, and Crab Soup Dumplings. And, in fact, they were quite good! Though for some of the Mee’s the soup emptied out of their dumplings before they could savor it. This Mee, was quite impressed with their dumplings!
Next, we had our staple. BBQ Spareribs. My goodness, these were meaty and delicious. I really loved these.
From here our meal took a turn to the HOT. Hot as in Szechuan. They really kicked it up with the next few dishes that we had:
Fish Fillet Szechuan – The fish was Red Salmon. The taste was pure Szechuan bliss. This fish was light and quite tasty, and the portion was more than enough for the five of us to have plenty of fish and still have some left over! This was a winning dish!
Shanghai Bok Choy with Black Mushrooms – I must say, the bok choy was out of this world. I’m not one who would ever go out of their way to eat mushrooms. I’m much more likely to sweep them to the edge of the plate, and pretend they are not even there. But, I felt that I must try these black mushrooms. And I’m sure glad I did. These may have made a mushroom convert out of me!
Spicy Tender Beef Szechuan – This was the Chef’s special that Kent was imploring us all night to try. We relented. It wasn’t how I was expecting it to be served. It was served more or less like a soup of sorts. Served in a tea cup. The been was tender, and spicy. The other ingredients didn’t do much for me.
Chicken with Eggplant and Black Bean Sauce – Of all the dishes we had this evening, this was the least memorable to me. I’m not a fan of eggplant, and the chicken didn’t leave much of an impression with me.
Spicy Thai Fried Rice – It wasn’t all that spicy as the name implied. But, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good. Lots of shrimp in the rice, and the rice was quite tasty! Well done!
We also had some brown rice, and white rice, for those who preferred their rice processed. Dessert was a potpourri of different ice creams (on the house), and of course a fortune cookie for us each.
There was SO much food. I really can’t believe that we ate the whole thing! And, the bill was surprisingly low, as we also had a few beers, wine, and Mai Tai’s. I’m very happy with the new ownership. And as the scores below would indicate, Shanghai Gourmet is a big improvement over the prior establishment, Hunan Dynasty.
First, our fortune cookies (for some reason, I can’t find two of the fortunes):
You totally destroyed that cookie!
To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
It does not matter how slowly you go if you get to the top.
And, now, the bottom line. Our rating of Shanghai Gourmet:
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)