Saturday, March 28, 2009

Joe's Shanghai

Joe's Shanghai in NYC is no Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant in Hong Kong, but I'll settle for less here in the States. You simply just can't get the same yummy soup dumplings (小籠包) here compared to Nanxiang, which I wrote about months ago from my HK trip. That place is seriously authentic and good. The original location is in Shanghai, and they (luckily for me) expanded to HK. Even Tony Bourdain was blown away by the one in Shanghai.

Where do I start about Joe's? It's the most packed place packed that most tables are shared by total strangers. All the tourists in the world follow their travel guidebooks and crowd it up for lunch and dinner. Soup dumplings are such a novelty to them compared to the usual American Chinese food. I especially love non-locals looking around to see what the locals are having and pointing to their servers that's what they want.

Okay, down to the serious business - Joe's soup dumplings. There are two types of soup dumplings offered there - pork, and pork & crab. I find most pork dumplings too porky, and I love seafood, so I prefer the pork & crab variety.

Yes, they are flavorful, and they come piping hot. That's why I like them. But there's one big reason why I like, not love, Joe's - I saw crab, but I didn't taste it at all (but I did at Nanxiang!).

Joe's broth inside the dumplings was very sticky...gelatinous. This wasn't what I had in Hong Kong. I'm not saying Joe's is better or worse based on the gelatinous quality. I simply appreciate it - if a broth is made with bones, it is more intense and has a gelatinous quality. There's this other restaurant I'm looking to try out - Shanghai Cuisine. According to Ming Tsai, they have the best soup noodles in Chinatown. We'll see about that.

Oh, when you're at Joe's, try out their Shanghai Fried Flat Noodle. Trust me, it's good!

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