We had an excellent lunch at Old Shanghai Deluxe on Saturday.
The pork xiao long bao were tip-top (see the photo, the skins were very thin - you can tell by the number of pleats - and the filling loose and luscious). Since they were also very very good the last time we had them there a few weeks before, they may have a new dumpling maker.
The sheng jian bao were tasty and the bottoms nice and crisp, with that particular frying oil smell that transports you to China.
The mao dou bai ye (fresh soybeans with pickled vegetable and bean curd skin strips) were expertly done, rich in salty, tangy umami (or zhu wei, bigjeff, if you're listening).
The casserole of chicken with chestnuts was also very savory and blisteringly hot, bubbling when it reached the table.
But the real standout was the pork with jiao bai, described as wild rice shoots on the menu, that has a tangy, almondy smell and taste and a texture between a bamboo shoot and a lotus root. This dish is unusual in NYC and a real treat. (A little info on the vegetable here: http://bigboyskitchen.blogspot.com/20... although there is no XO sauce in this dish.)
With 4 Tsingtaos and a good tip the meal cost around $80.00.
Service is friendly and the ambiance pleasant.
This place has been discussed desultorily and somewhat dismissively here but I really think that it now deserves close consideration as one of the best Shanghainese restaurants in the city.
We have spent a good amount of time in Shanghai and Jiangsu in general for professional reasons and love the cuisine, which we have been seeking everywhere since the glory days of the Chu Feng Yuan(s) and the Sui Yuan in Taipei when we lived there.
The food here holds its own with many restaurants in Jiangsu.
Old Shanghai Deluxe
50 Mott St, New York, NY 10013