Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Chinese in Dalston

We seem to be spending more and more time in and around Kingsland Road these days. Well cash is tight and you can eat great food around here for next to nothing. Bonus.
After quite a few visits to Mangal 1 and realising that maybe we don’t really need to try any more Turkish restaurants as none of the ones we’ve tried seem to match up to the dizzy heights that the original Mangal have reached.
I am tempted to try number 2, but it just looks a tad posher without the vibe of the original. So maybe not.
I’d seen and wandered past Shanghai on many an occasion, mainly after coming from somewhere else for lunch or dinner. It always seemed to be on the wrong side of a dinner date.
When I hear one person bleating on about a restaurant I kinda take it with a pinch of salt, but when I hear half a dozen or more folks from different groups telling me how great a place is, I pay a little bit more attention. For some reason within the last two weeks I have been told about the virtues of Shanghai from 5 different people. Maybe I should hold off and eat there.
A recent trip to a small Brasilian shop on Kingsland Road to buy some Guascas for a Xmas Eve Ajiaco (more on that at a later date) brought Shanghai to the front.
We had three or four choices for dinner. 1. Shanghai. 2. Puji Puji, a small Malaysian place that we tried and failed to eat at a week or so ago. 3. Thai Corner Café, where we endured a new mother breast-feeding her baby whilst we were eating. Or 4. The Snooty Fox, which was gonna be their speciality of Chicken and Chips. Yum yum.
As we were so close to Shanghai, and the snow just starting to come down. We headed to this Chinese restaurant. Well it was so close.
It’s kinda trippy when you enter. It immediately reminded me of an old Pie n Mash shop, which I later found out was exactly what it used to be, but it kinda fits as a Chinese restaurant now. Those wooden benches were meant to be sat at whilst eating good Chinese nosh.
We weren’t actually that hungry, but needed something warm and comforting. As it was after dark on a cold Monday night. Their Dim Sum was out the window. I’ve not tried too much dim sum in my life but eating it at night just doesn’t feel right.
So after looking through the menu we ordered just two dishes; Shanghai Beef and Double Cooked Pork Belly. Neither were amazing, but both were cooked well. The pork belly was soft and the fat melted in my mouth. So good.
The beef was nice and juicy and the sauce had a slight piquancy to it. Pretty nice. The only downside really on the food was the quantity of large diced onions in both dishes. Way too many. Thankfully they were cooked and had just a slight bite to them, not like other places I’ve eaten at where they are raw and have been mixed in at the last minute. Yuck.
Too be honest the food did not go below my expectations. For where it is, and for the price I’d say this place is a bit of a star. It’s not gonna win any prizes of culinary highs, but well worth eating at if you are in the area and haven’t eaten at Mangals yet. 

Shanghai on Urbanspoon


Mr Noodles said...

Glad you enjoyed it, as I've heard conflicting reports about this place. It's on my list for dim sum but Dalston is a bit of a schlep for me, so may wait when 'til the weather is better.

Mzungu said...

Am hoping to try their dim sum pretty soon. But yeah heading out to Dalston is a pain in the arse as going to Brentford.