Okay, so I finally got over to NGB with a small group, and yes, I have to agree that it is one of the better places in Ctown.
Taking the advice of Jim and others, I ordered the crispy eel, the obligatory xiao long bao, the Shanghai kar fu (sp?), yellow fish in dry seaweed, the pork shoulder in brown sauce, salted baked squid, and some chinese greens. That crispy eel was fabulous. I'm not sure I've seen that dish at the other Shanghai restaurants. The fried yellowfish was quite good, but supplied nothing near the epiphany of the eel dish. I've had the fried fish dish at Shanghai Cuisine (on Bayard/Mulberry) and a similar treatment but with oysters at Joe's Shanghai. (Can anyone comment on the comparison of this dish at the Shanghai places around town?) I have to say that the oysters at Joe's won for me, as I'm a big fan of kaki-furai (fried oysters) from japanese cuisine. I can see that this dish can turn out disastrous if the batter is too thick or the oil is not to temperature when fried.
Besides the crispy eel, everything else was good quality, but unsurpassing the other Shanghai places. I'm not ready to rave about it yet, but perhaps after a couple more visits I could be aboard the bandwagon. I do urge c'hounds to try the other Shanghai places for comparative assessments, in particular Shanghai Cuisine, which I find NGB's equal, except a bit pricier and with better ambience.
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