The Chinese Quest came to celebrate Chinese New Year at Shanghai Dumpling in Little Neck, NY. Shanghai Dumpling opened a mere six weeks ago. Converted by the owner of the Grain House, which occupied this space, he maintained a 30% ownership in this new venture.
This is the Year of the Pig. A pig is also a very social creature – if they have a mud puddle, they want to share it with the whole neighborhood – the more diverse group the better. And people will come because they know the Pig can be trusted and makes an ideal friend. We managed to entice three old and new friends to join us this evening in celebration. We had a party of 8, a very lucky number to the Chinese. Was this going to be our lucky night?
Joining us this evening was Mee Mah Thoo, a frequent guest of the Quest (who is always welcomed, especially since he always brings us some mighty fine wine and/or Tequila), Sweet Lou (who also brought some wine), and Jeff (who brought some great stories… ask him about going to the same Chinese restaurant in Chinatown for over 47 years and running! Perhaps the Quest will have to join him the next time he goes to Chinatown!). Lou and Jeff will have to be given some Mee names soon. I’m open to suggestions!
Shanghai Dumpling is located at 249-11 Northern Blvd., Little Neck, NY 11362. Parking can be problematic at times. I’ve been lucky the first two times I have come here. There is a large Stop and Shop across the street with an inviting amount of free parking available. Not that I am endorsing parking there, it is quite enticing to say the least. Would our dinner be as enticing? Let’s find out!
The restaurant was packed upon our arrival. Despite the fact that we had a reservation, we had to wait about 20 minutes for our table to become available. We took advantage of the wait and wished our fellow diners a very happy Gung Hay Fat Choy! (Happy New Year in Chinese).
As soon as we were seated we quickly blurted out what we wanted to start with:
Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings – THREE orders! The Soup Dumplings had been ordained as the best Soup Dumplings that Mini Mee, The Dumpling King, had ever eaten. So, how could we not indulge? The dumplings were filled with piping hot soup. Despite the warning to some our guests, we nearly lost two tongues. Luckily we had some nice cold wine to soothe the burns.
Wuxi Spareribs – which may be called Stewed Pork Ribs in Brown Sauce on the menu. Either way, these were the ribs that the pork just fell of the bone and melted in to our mouths. They were quite sweet and succulent. We are off to a flying start!
Fish Head with Vermicelli Soup – The soup didn’t have a lot of flavor or presence to me. The broth was just ok. Honestly, all I was waiting for with this dish was to watch Mee Tsu Yan suck the fish head. Alas, I was let down twice by this dish, as there was no heading sucking to be seen this evening.
Pork Shoulder – One of the House Specials, the pork (gosh we ate a lot of pork this evening) served with bok choy (and a lot of bok choy too!) was, if not a little fatty, very yummy.
Snow Pea Leaves with Mushrooms – We really should order more than just one vegetable dish (and perhaps some other proteins as well aside from pork!), because nothing beats vegetables made the Chinese way!
Udon Noodles with Bok Choy – Being Chinese New Year, we needed a noodle dish with the longest noodles they had. For eating long noodles on Chinese New Year will help you to live a long life. It also helps to have great friends to share dinners, and along with great food, and laughter, these are all the keys to living a long and happy life.
For dessert we were given (read that to be “On the house”, also known as FREE) Peanut Crusted Mochi with Black Sesame Paste. I’ve never found too many Chinese desserts to the kind of dessert as I deem dessert to be, these were quite good! And, I highly recommend you try them when you dine in at Shanghai Dumpling!
While we didn’t order a lot of different dishes, we had to order multiples of some so the eight of us could at least get a taste. The nicest surprise at the end of the night. With tax and tip included, the bill was just $22 per person.
The night concluded by submitting our individual rating of Shanghai Dumpling, before we bid each other, and our new found friends a fond adieu. Or, should I say Shalom, I mean 晚安 (pronounced: Wǎn’ān).
Our rating of Shanghai Dumpling:
How did you celebrate Chinese New Year? Please post in the comments below.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Chop! Chop!”)