I hadn’t been back to New Shanghai, nor Chinatown, for nearly eight years as I was mourning the departure of Chef C.K. Sau from New Shanghai. He’d been the chef there forever, I’d put him on public radio several times, and tried, oh well, to get him investors to move out. I got $750,000 as backing, but the management in NYC wanted $1.2 million “in escrow” so the deal fell through. Next thing you know C.K.’s in Wellesley: Mansions, etc. I still love C.K. and the restaurant in exemplary, best in Boston, but I found myself in Chinatown last night, pre-gaming Lauryn Hill at the Wilbur.
So many places, none of interest.
I turned to Chowhound. A good paragraph on New Shanghai led me in.
The room is the same: Bland, but with white table clothes. The music is changed: Hip-hop. You tell me.
The service: Efficient, non-English speaking, pleasant, a drove of folks.
And the food? It’s no longer Shanghai-style. No more heavy sauces! It’s really delicious:
Fresh bamboo shoots sliced thinly with a light, red pepper sauce
Pork and leek dumplings
Noodles, spaghetti, really, with garlic and chopped pork
Cashew chicken: Look, we had someone in the group who ordered this. Don’t blame me. It was good, but it wasn’t Sichuan
Bok choy in vinegar
Thinly sliced pork with capsicum
On the whole, this restaurant is worth your time and money. It weighed out to $13 per person. Is it as good as Sichuan Garden? Not on the food, which had less depth here, but still everything was a cut above, really delicious, and the service trumped other places like it. Certainly better than most other Sichuan places in any city.
The name? Well, think of Sabra, owned by a Lebanese couple, in Harvard Square. Here the name tells you nothing about the food, but it is reminiscent of what was there.
For sure, I’ll be back.