Joe Shanghai [Click the photo above to go to Joe Shanghai’s website]
24 W 56 Street (between 5 and 6 Avenue) New York, New York 10019
I decided to go for a nice Sunday dinner with my girls Sara and Caryn, but they live in the same building on the Upper East Side, and I live in Murray Hill, so we always try to go for middle of the road, because that’s what friends do. So I mean, we’re definitely doing Chinese, it’s Sunday, and it’s also the weekend of the Golden Globes/premiere of Girls, so let’s make it on the early side…
Final decision: Joe Shanghai in Midtown. a. I have never been b. I want to go c. that’s it.
Spoiler alert: I liked it. It’s not overrated. I’d eat it again (and again), and I liked our waiter.
So here’s how it all went down:
We were supposed to go to dinner at like 7, but I received a phone call at about 6:
“Caryn’s ready to go.”
“Ok, are you cabbing it there, or taking the subway so I know how much time I have.”
“I think I’m going to cab it.”
“If you’re going to cab it, then I’m going to cab it.”
Easy enough, except I was totally focused on Instagram, and didn’t realize that the cab driver dropped me off on 55th Street, and not 56th street.
“Oh, this is perfect. Thanks!” I say like an idiot, until I realize I’m on the wrong street, and have to walk , and guess what? Streets are longer in midtown than downtown. I just want my soup dumplings!
I walk in and tell the hostess my friends are already here, and they act like they have been waiting for the rest of the VIP party to arrive. They walk me up the stairs, through the dining area, to a private room with two empty tables, and a television set.
“Can you turn on the Golden Globe preshow?” we ask a waiter.
But I’m facing the wrong way to watch the television. Luckily though there’s a mirror so I watch the tv through the mirror during dinner.
What could be better? It’s like we were in someone’s living room (just with a lot of Chinese people serving us food – everyone stop acting like that was racist).
We decide on 2 orders of pork soup dumplings, and one order of crispy beef, and one order of tea for the table, oh and my friend ordered hot & sour soup.
Soup dumplings arrive, and our cutie waiter Sam, places one dump on each of our spoons, and does a bow of sort and says enjoy.
So this is what a LEGIT soup dumpling tastes like.
NOT date material, because the exterior of the dumpling is sort of sticky, so we were all licking our lips and the dumpling to make sure it didn’t stick to our face.
“You look weird.”
“What? It’s sticky.”
“Why do you have to make it look sexual?”
“I love slurping the soup. I love that part.”
“The [hot & sour] soup has shrimp in it.”
“Oh, that’s nice.”
Crispy beef arrives.
I’ve had a lot of crispy beef in my lifetime (does that sound sexual? I don’t mean it to be), but this was some of the best crispy beef I’ve ever had.
“What is she wearing?”
“Jessica Alba looks good.”
“Kate Hudson looks amazing.”
“She just seems like a bitch.”
“You guys, when I got dropped off at the wrong spot in the cab I saw the LOVE sign, wanna take a picture after we finish eating?”
“Okay, but who will take it?”
“I don’t know.”
“We’ll ask someone, and then they’ll steal my phone.”
I had a bite. I liked it. It felt like it had more layers than the average soup. I Recommend.
Oh hello dumplings. No one warns you that they’re sticky on the outside, but I guess you look paste it once you bite into a legit soup dumpling. It’s all it’s cracked up to be. The dumpling doesn’t fall apart when you bite it, and there’s soup cradled at the bottom of the dumpling. They are pretty much little bundles of love.
Just the name is delicious, crispy beef. While other people my age are getting married (it’s lovely they’re in love blah blah blah), I’m busy making love to this crispy beef, so it’s pretty much the same thing. Sometimes crispy beef can be hard and crunchy, but this was cooked just right. Love ya crispy beef xoxo.
And here is how I watched the Golden Globes, in a Royal Caribbean t-shirt I got at a vintage store in Wisconsin (that a guy once told me I wore a lot, turns out I do), and through a mirror at a Chinese Restaurant. Too Legit.
Look, my phone didn’t get stolen, and look at the fab tourist photos I got from it!