*** Update: Shanghai City has closed.
When I mention to people that I enjoy eating at Shanghai City, I get some weird stares. I guess it's because most think of the American Chinese Food on the menu, or the $5.99 Lunch Buffet. Not necessarily great Chinese Food, though I do enjoy the Buffet once in a while.
Today we decided to order the Wine Marinated Chicken ($3.75):
In the most basic form, this cold dish is prepared by rubbing a chicken with salt and letting stand and drain for 6 hours or so. The chicken is then steamed, and cooled, and cut into large pieces which are marinated in a combination of chicken stock and Shao-sing wine overnight. This gives the meat a dense, brined texture, with a taste reminiscent of ham. Because of the wine, the first bite of this mild looking dish can really catch you off guard, but you'll soon be munching away at piece after piece of this dish.
The main reason we visit Shanghai City is the Niu Rou Mein ($4.25):
I'm positively addicted to Chinese Beef Noodle soup, there are several versions, but my favorite is the numbing-spicy Sichuan style soup. Unlike pho' this is a dark, beef broth, flavored with star anise, soy sauce, sugar, wine, chili pepper, garlic, among other things. The meat is usually a stewing cut like beef shank with some tendon and fat. When cooked well, the meat is tender and holds it's flavor. The soup is usually garnished with cilantro, green onions, and a green vegetable, in this case bok choy, though I use spinach in my homemade version. The broth here at Shanghai City can vary wildly, but the noodles are superb. The noodles have a great "handmade" texture, doughy with elasticity. A large portion of noodles is always included at Shanghai City. Today, the soup was good, not great, but mildly rich and beefy, really spicy, but the noodles were great as always. On a great day this dish is really delici-yoso!!!
We also usually order the Xiao Long Bao ($5.95), those ever popular "soup-dumplings".
Shanghai City is one of the few places where you can get XLB in San Diego. These dumplings are filled with a pork based filling, along with alot of "juice", thus the name soup dumplings. The way to eat them are to place some sauce in the spoon, then place the dumpling in the spoon (do not break the dumpling) and eat in one perfect bite. Today the wrappers on these were a bit on the "dry" side, though filled with delish slightly sweet, salty, "soup".
Shanghai City does a decent rendition of many dishes, like Smoked Fish (Su Shih Hsun Yuu - $4.75), not really smoked, but actually a fried than marinated dish, that gives the fish a smoked look, The Tea Smoked Duck here has also been good on occaision ($7.95). Most dishes are are between $4.75 to $8.95, so the prices here are not too bad.
3860 Convoy St
San Diego,CA 92111
We've done a revisit post on Shanghai City on 12/17/06, it can be found here.