Oliveira's, a few blocks west of Day Sq., East Boston
This is a another branch of the charge-by-the-weight churrasco/Brazilian grill from Everett (same name) that opened about a month or so ago.
An elemental aura of coarse salt haunts the fairly flavourful picanha (a rump sirloin-like cut of beef favoured by Brazilians). Coracon de gallinha (chicken hearts) is succulent, a smooth delightful texture.
Murky, thick feijoada, a reasonable ensemble of earthy flavours; more smokiness would be better. Couve/julienned collard greens have a oily luxuriant finish, but would be better if they were sliced more finely.
Very inexpensive, Happily fed for around $7ish, including a glass of caju/cashew fruit juice.
Camie's Bakery, near Inman Sq., Cambridge
A solid beef pattie, flaky but heavy crusty layers. The tangy spice of a hot sauce was very evident in the smooth pureed filling.
New Shanghai, Chinatown, Boston
A bunch of my Chinese friends ate there a while ago, and our consensus was that the small dishes and appetizers were good deals while the main courses were merely above average.
Nice cut of jellyfish paried with julienned radish for a refreshingly cool and sharp contrast in texture.
Drunken chicken was fine, but a notch below the superlative version at Shanghai Gate, in terms of the smoothness of the meat and the flavour.
A very commendable kao fu/gluten with peanuts, lily buds, flavoured deeply with star anise and other dark spices.
A savoury vegetal flavour from the excellent chive pies, the skins crispy but supple.
Wild vegteables with bean curd was pleasant and light.
Soft shredded turnip make a delicious filling in the turnip pie, pan fried to a good crisp.
Refined technique in the pearl meatball dumplings -- exceptionally fine mincing on the pork filling, coated with glutinous rice and steamed to just the right balance of hard and soft in the rice.
Black vinegar emphasizes the meaty pork fillings in the pork pan fired buns, the bases of the buns well caramelized.
A shiny gloss of flavour and oil coat the slices of chewy rice cakes, dotted with emerald-coloured wild shanghainese vegetable, finely choped, and smooth tender shreds of pork.
Smoky slivers of chinese ham flavour the firm but delicate shreds of yangzhou bean curd, good borth, bright baby vegetables (bai cai).
A robust wine mash is used to flavour slices of fish, complemented by judicious amounts of black fungus and bamboo shoots. Well made, but not as refined as the version at Shanghai Gate.
6 of us feasted for $14 each, and barely finished everything. A remarkable deal for a wonderful Shanghainese meal. Disappointed to see the place so quiet. Shanghainese food isn't easily found around here, I hope they'll stay in business.
P.S. noticed that a Foochow/Fuzhou (cuisine from the northern part of Fujian) place is opening in the old Noodle Alcove spot. Will be interesting to compare with China Gourmet, the other Foochow place in Chinatown. (Ate at China Gourmet a few times but haven't been in a couple of years, anyone been there lately?)
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