Joe’s Shanghai

Joe’s Shanghai
9 Pell St.
New York, NY 10013

It’s probably been 12-15 years since I’ve been to Joe’s Shanghai.  It was probably the first time I had xiao long bao and the first time I ate at a restaurant that forced you to share a round table with multiple separate parties.  I think that aspect of the experience was more memorable than the famous dumplings itself.  I remember them being good, but I tend to remember things better post food blog circa 2010.  Wait What, a NYC resident of many years, obliged my request to dine at Joe’s Shanghai.  He even hiked it to the original Chinatown location for us even though there is one right around the corner from where he lives in Flushing.

Pork Xiao Long Bao
Pork & Crab Xiao Long Bao
They basically look the same, but one has a crab.  Duh!  First off, they are MUCH bigger than I remember.  I could have sworn they were maybe 30% smaller 12-15 years ago.  They are also MUCH soupier than I remember.  It felt like it was half meat and half soup, while the Din Tai Fung XLB are maybe like 75/25?  Tastewise, the filling was good but certainly not as tasty as Din Tai Fung.  As you may remember, Crystal Jade & Koi Palace have the best XLB in my opinion.  But I did like their chewy thicker dumpling skins.  The Din Tai Fung ones do run on the thinner side.  DSC03776

Scallion Pancake
The Annoyer loves his scallion pancake.  These were crispy and chewy and made even more delicious by the sweet vinegar dipping sauce.  Wait What certainly agreed.DSC03777

Pan Fried Noodles
Thanks to Wait What’s Chinese literacy, we ordered the right noodles.  I really like this style of pan fried noodles, but I would have liked chewier noodles.DSC03778

Garlic Eggplant
This is a favorite dish for The Annoyer and me.  He liked how fresh the eggplant tasted.  They definitely were not a mush pile like they typically can be at some Chinese restaurants.  The pork was meaty and plentiful.  Flavor wise, I thought the dish ran a little sweeter than I would have preferred.  Overall, not bad.DSC03779

To be honest, Joe’s Shanghai was not what I remembered.  Maybe the quality was not able to withstand the decade.  But more likely, my tastebuds have become more discerning and better versions of xiao long bao are out there.  I think this is probably the best soup dumpling you’ll find in NYC.  West Coasters, or anyone that lives near a Crystal Jade, Koi Palace, or Din Tai Fung, should probably skip this one.


10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here

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