It’s not your parent’s Cantonese Chinese restaurant. Chow Mein isn’t even on the menu.
But if you’ve got a yen for an authentic Chinatown experience that’s worth the visit, eat at Joe’s. Joe’s Shanghai located at 9 Pell Street just off the Bowery, and a few blocks south of Canal Street, will have you coming back for more.
Exploring Chinatown is an adventure in itself and the rule of thumb is you can’t have a bad meal in any of the seemingly hundreds of places to eat. But Joe’s Shanghai has been packing the crowds in with delicious food and one interesting dining experience.
Hopefully you won’t have too long a wait outside. No reservations are taken. If the weather isn’t cooperating, squeeze in and stand alongside the huge fish tank and watch the dining show until one of the friendly green shirted hosts or hostesses point you to one of the tables.
Be prepared to share your table with another group of diners. You never know who will be joining you and whether or not you’ll all speak the same language but one thing you’ll all agree on, the food is good!
Your waiter will bring you hot tea. You’ll probably want to say, “Pork Boiled Dumplings.” At under $5 for a wooden basket of eight, this is how you want to start your Joe’s Shanghai experience.
Each delicate cloud-like dumpling is filled with meat and hot soup. There’s a knack for eating each tender dumpling. It takes practice not to spill the soup onto the Chinese cabbage that acts as a bed under your dumplings. You want to gently use the tongs to lift a dumpling onto your plastic spoon, add some of the flavorful soy sauce and take a tiny bite at the edge of the dumpling to release the soup into your mouth. Again, it’s hot so you must be careful.
You could make a satisfying meal of the dumplings but look around and you’ll see a variety show of flavorful, authentic Chinese dishes. The Bean Curd on a bed of Spinach is a tasty and popular special. There are lots of noodle and vegetarian options as well. Beef fans will find favorites including Beef with String Beans.
And just in case, you want some of your parent’s good ‘ol Chinese dining, you can order a flavorful big portion of Pork, Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Lo Mein.
When the check arrives, you’ll like what you see. A low price total and to make it easy on your calculation, the check includes a gratuity in the form of a 15% service charge. Feel free to leave a bit more if you want. Cash only, no credit cards.
Joe’s Shanghai has multi-locations including Flushing, midtown Manhattan and even Tokyo, Japan.
But the noisy, packed and popular Chinatown Joe’s will definitely give your chopsticks a delicious workout.