Joe’s Shanghai Restaurant New York
9 Pell St.
between Mott St. and Bowery (Chinatown/Lower Manhattan)
In a tiny little alley between Mott and Bowery street is Joe’s Shanghai. You can tell you’re rapidly approaching this famous Shanghainese restaurant by the large crowds gathered outside the door. Once you’re inside you see quite an eclectic crowd. Joe’s Shanghai is a local favorite but by the large number of dining tourists, it’s evident that Joe’s Shanghai has some definite exposure on some major Japanese and European travel guides. Tourists aside, the food here is the real deal. Their most famous dish Xiao Long Bao is the best I’ve had in New York and not unlike the ones I’ve tried in Shanghai. Xiao Long Bao are dumplings stuffed with a juicy steamed pork meatball. Xiao Long Bao are served in spoons to capture the hot meat juices that ooze / explode out after you take a bite. There are a variety of Xiao Long Bao flavors including vegetarian options. You can add various toppings like hot sauce, soy sauce and or vinegar but I like to eat them plain to get the full flavor. That night Sing and I also ordered a plate of fried rice cakes with chicken and mushrooms. This dish is prepared with individual slices of rice cakes that are fried in a soy based sauce along with tender slices of chicken, and juicy mushrooms topped with fresh scallions. It’s a great filler plate that isn’t too heavy. We finished our meal with a plate of fresh garlic flavored bok choy. I love the Wok flavor you get from Chinese restaurants. The extreme heat of the wok really imparts a fiery, smoky flavor to the dishes. Joe’s Shanghai at the original Pell street location is pretty small so if you are coming with a large group you will want to arrive a little early. If you are just a party of 2, expect to share a large table with others.