By Amy McCarthy
By Scott Reitz
By Scott Reitz
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Alice Laussade
By City of Ate
Also served in pieces is the crispy baby chicken, a whole bird with its appendages hacked off and its body carved into slices. Served in a bland light brown sauce, the meat was dry, though the skin was crisp and greaseless.
Wine service at Shanghai is crude, which isn't surprising since the place doesn't have a liquor license and you can drink only what you've brought. Glasses, with a thick gold band around the rim and a gold pinstripe a few millimeters below that, arrived wet and smeared with fingerprints. The server lined up the glasses on the lazy Susan, counted the number of white and red requests, poured the requisite number of each and turned the Susan in front of the diners, inviting them to pick one. This procedure heightens the velocity of the wine-service ritual.
Since Shanghai cuisine is dominated by the red cooking process and its reliance on a heavy, sweet sauce, white wines such as those that work well with spicier Asian cuisines (Riesling, Gewürztraminer) could work, but even heavily oaked California or Australian chardonnays might work (unctuous to unctuous). Reds can stand up, too, since the meat dishes are generally not overly spiced.
12817 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230
Region: North Dallas
Mongolian beef with onions and scallions contained juicy pieces of tender beef in a smooth brown sauce with just a slight spice prick.
Minced fish with pine nuts was another bland collection. A dune of fish, chopped into tiny cubes, was studded with peas, pine nuts and scallions. Thin and faded tomato slices ringed the plate--slices that were just as bland as the center of the plate.
Eight-treasure rice pudding was the Shanghai endgame--a glistening bowl of glutinous rice stained rust in spots by dashes of sweetened red bean paste. This must be an acquired taste, because we couldn't get the Elmer's visuals out of our heads. But at least it didn't have bones.
12817 Preston Road, No. 132, 972-239-1400. Open 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday & Saturday. $$