Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Best Chinese in town


I am so lucky. I live near one of the best (in my opinion) breakfast places in town (see review of Sunrise below) and one of the best Chinese (that serves dim sum which is one of my all time favorite things).

For those of you not in the know, dim sum is a Chinese lunch time meal of small plates of various things. Things like (steamed) shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, and many other kinds of dumplings, shu mai, spring rolls, shrimp rolls, duck, onion pancakes, chicken feet and on and on. There are probably 40 things on the menu. You are supposed to drink tea with it although you can pretty much get anything you want to drink.

Oh wait, I guess I better tell you what restaurant I am talking about. Shanghai Lil's is the restaurant. It is located across 82nd street from the main entrance to the Fashion Mall. (Conveniently close to Sunrise). One of the things I was really worried about missing was dim sum when we moved here from San Fran. But luckily, shortly after arriving, we discovered this place, which was serving dim sum on the weekends at the time. It has since expanded to serving it every day for lunch. It is getting more and more popular each time we go which makes me very happy (although you still don't have to wait for a table). They cook it to order, which is unusual to someone used to the huge dim sum places in S.F. and Oakland, where they follow the traditional method of rolling carts around with various things on them for you to choose from. But hey, at least you know it is warm and fresh.

We also recently went for dinner and were very happy with that as well. Several people had highly recommended the basil chicken to me so we decided to try it (be sure and ask even if you don't see it on your menu, as I had one that had been misprinted and that item had been cut off!). It is so worth it! Delicious. Seriously. We also had a lamb dish which was good, but nowhere near as good as the chicken. We also had dumplings in hot chili oil that are amazing as well. Hubby likes crab puffs (their version of crab Rangoon) which generally isn't my fave but was done very well.

Sometimes, particularly at lunch, I find the service a bit gruff, but who cares really when the dumplings are this good?

They also have a full Japanese menu with sushi and all--haven't ventured there, but I did eat at the sister restaurant, Mikado, downtown, and it was quite good. It is a more Japanese focus.

My advice, skip the huge lines and noise at the massive chain Chinese across the road, and hit Shanghai Lil's. You won't be disappointed.

Shanghai Lil's


  1. I've been to Shanghai Lil's once, never again. It was among my bottom five meals ever. The steamed dumplings were so like the frozen dim-sum at Saraga that I walked out swearing they were opening boxes in the back, same once frozen crust, and the other dishes were mediocre at best. Great Garden has declined in quality a bit over the past year, but it's still the best dim sum in town by a wide margin.

  2. wow, where do you buy your frozen dim sum?