Joe’s Shanghai, Lower East Side, New York
New York City… absolute food heaven! What a treat it was to be in this city for a food wannabe like me. Every meal I had over this oh-so-short week delivered something magical, memorable and lots of inspiration for future cooking and dining. For an outstanding meal with some inspiration from the east, we headed to Joe’s Shanghai – the branch in Chinatown. The best soup dumplings, but other dishes were just as impressive.
I had been super worried about the wait times for restaurants in New York City. If this was anything like London, or Melbourne – you could be standing for an hour outside or not even get a table at all. There wasn’t too much issue with that at our experience with Joe’s Shanghai. There’s a bit of a weird ticket system that you have to battle the maître d for. Once you get there, you can take a seat and hope your number gets called soon. The numbers themselves are a bit random as it’s based on group sizes and which seats become available.
Soup dumplings for you?
The wait isn’t so bad – because – the tables are all shared! It’s a bit of a quirky system, which means you might make some friends over the dinner table. Or some enemies. As were dining as a group of four we had our own table which was a bit more cosy. And the first thing that you get asked upon sitting is what xiao long bao (soup dumplings) you want. Joe’s Shanghai is famous for this (and after sampling this – I’d say deservedly so) so the answer should be a yes.
When something is super hyped up, you do expand grand things… but my expectations were met. The best soup dumplings I’ve had – golden, salty, rich broth encased in fillings with a twisty top and hard to spill. Soup dumplings at their best.
So much nom
We were also really impressed with the other items we ordered – the scallion (spring onion) pancakes, the veges, noodles and General Tso’s chicken. I had been dying to try the latter, if only because it was another fried meat thing that I hadn’t had before. And it was so good, it flew off the table and right into our mouths. Salty, sour, fried and mega crispy.
Joe’s Shanghai isn’t a costly affair and we all walked out with the meal being easy on our pockets. It’s best to come in a reasonably sized group so you get a sample of the very large menu. And the soup dumplings – legendary and unmissable.