I hit the new Fortune Cookie restaurant last night for a quick dinner with colleagues.
First off, I know it sounds pretty crazy to think that American Chinese food had any place in, y’know, China, but after years of eating through the different regional and local cuisines of China, learning from Fuschia, Fiona and Carolyn, and more than a few Chinese history books, I can totally appreciate American Chinese Food as a cultural concept. The devil is in the details, of course, and I worried a bit that we’d see Nuclear Orange Panda Express syle Orange chicken in kitschy digs with some puns on the menu.
well there is Orange Chicken, the place is a bit kitschy, and there are some puns / jokes on the menu, but all in all, I think Fortune Cookie is a place to admire. The place strikes balance between acknowledging every american’s childhood memories of American Chinese restaurants and channeling the actual American Chinese culture and experience, where generations of families developed a new style of Chinese Cuisine that stands on its own and should command its own respect. We met the co-owners while we were there; we got the impression that this is generally their mission, which is awesome.
The space has some elements of the old Chinese diner chic, but the place looks good. They have Mai Tais, and the Mai Tai was really good. We had Beef & Broccoli, Orange Chicken & Their Ribs. All of it was really, really good. Especially those ribs. I will be back for those. The Orange chicken was definitely not the Nuclear Orange variety, did not look deadly, and was really good. The orange flavor didn’t quite come through, but hey — it’s their soft opening.
Highly recommended, and someone tell me how the Dragon Bowl cocktail (enough for 5!) goes down.
I loved Bai’s before the apocalypse.
Bai’s is really quite a little place. It’s down a little alleyway across from the aging ballroom dancers at the tip of Xujiahui park, and it hasn’t been there for too long — maybe nine months, judging by the freshness of the sign, and the paint.
Continue reading Bai's Old Shanghai Restaurant – Death of a young classic
I’ve waxed poetically before about this exceedingly popular Xinjiang restaurant, and this time around I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend’s birthday party at Yershari, and they had pre-ordered the whole roasted lamb, which taunts you from the menu when you eat in smaller groups.
Continue reading Yershari Whole Lamb & disappointing new location
I’ve heard whispers about Southern Barbarian since arriving in Shanghai, rumors about a stocked beer fridge hiding delicious favorites like Brother Thelonious and my now missed Rogue brews, innuendo about deep fried honey bees and Yunnan Goat Cheese. There have been more than one botched attempt to dine there.
Continue reading Southern Barbarian-Yunnan food and Belgian beer?
Our neighborhood has a lot of dining options, from alleyway noodle shops to (the only) Applebees. Beyond a really exceptional Euro/American breakfast place, we’ve got at least one of everything. We’re lucky. Our current favorite spot is Yeshari. Yeshari’s walls are covered in pictures of, and murals depicting the Northwestern province of Xinjiang.We eat here a lot for a few reasons: the yogurt here is fuckng amazing, and made in house. The yogurt here is in half a roasted pumpkin. Hell fucking yes. That noodle dish in the foreground? Noodles Xingjiang with smoky tomatoes, garlic scapes, beef and what might be just one loooooong noodle. Around dinner time they’re making the noodles fresh too. That dish to the upper left? Oven roasted eggplant in a spicy, oily delicious. On the right? Uigher Lamb Wontons and Xinjiang beef and potatoes, both so inundated with cumin and coriander they dance as you chew. Throw in that pot of Milk Tea. Boy are we happy we learned how to ask for the sweet (tián) kind, not the salty (xián). Not pictured, my favorite thing about this place, and Xinjiang in general–Sinkiang Black beer, the best beer made in China I’ve had so far.
I’m partial to other dishes there that aren’t in the photo, such as the mutton puffs; girlie loves the lamb kebabs on rods of red willow. Also awesome: we’ve yet to be punished by the promised belly dancing. I guess we don’t eat at peak hours.
Yeshari Xinjiang Restaurant
147 Nandan lu (near Xujiahui station)
Xujiahui, Shanghai, PRC.