It has been years since I went to Joe's Shanghai, having tried their midtown (food just ok and poor service) and their Chinatown location. But, after trying the soup dim sum at Red Farm, I wanted to go back and see how these restaurants measure up against each other.
We went on a week day and showed up a bit before the opening as, each time we passed by, there was a long line, this restaurant being recommended in a lot of guides. Surprisingly, there was barely anybody, so we got a table right away.
The restaurant filled up slowly, but was not as crowded as expected.
Few minutes after we sat, the waiter came with some tea and asked us if we wanted the dim sum so they could fire them up in the kitchen. We answered affirmatively and proceeded to look at the menu to pick the other dishes we wanted to try.
I could not of course resist ordering the fried quail, a dish that you can buy to go in few locations in Chinatown (or at Whole Foods, uncooked).
There were succulent: a tad crispy, but still moist, that is not that simple as it is easy to overcook them.
Unfortunately for Jodi, they were made with shrimp, that she hates except in shumai. I liked it, but it was not as good as the scallion pancake that followed that was probably one of the best I had so far.
Then came the pork soup dim sum:
They were eight of them, very, very hot. I proceeded to put one in a spoon
And eat it from the top.
The shell was very good, as well as the filling, although I found it way too fatty and prefer the more delicate taste of Red Farm.
Our last dish was braised bean curd with spinach, the same dish we ordered the last time we went.
I admit that I conceded this dish to Jodi, as I am not a big fan of spinach...
The bean curd was very good, smothered on a delicious thick sauce, but I wished they served something else than spinach.
The bill, paid cash only, was light, for a very decent meal. Joe's Shanghai is a good spot for Chinese food, it's Asian crowd proving it. They are precursor of these delicious soup dim sum, but if you really want to try, go to Red Farm: I think they are better there, even if pricier.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!