In the pink

Thursday, May 24th, 2007 | All Things, Eats

Shanghai Café opened in 2003, in the wake of the late 1990s New York City soup dumpling craze.

Shanghai Cafe

The outwardly unassuming restaurant is located on Mott Street, on the north (formerly: Little Italy) side of Canal Street. The interior design is trendier than most, or at least what passes for “trendy” in Chinatown, i.e., circa-1985 peach and mauve walls, roomy wooden booths, metal mesh chairs, black t-shirt clad waitstaff, and swirls of pick and blue lights projected onto the ceiling overhead. The left wall of the restaurant where we were seated this afternoon was lined with translucent plastic panels, behind which glowed hot pink neon bulbs that cast a sci-fi-y tinge over our entire table. See?

pink soup dumplings

Designers tout the soft, warm glow of pink lighting as the most flattering to human skin tones, but at this intensity, not so much. I was amused to read that Lancashire, England police flood high crime areas with pink lights as a teenage crime deterrent; it seems that when turned bright, the hue highlights their acne, which many young offenders want to avoid at all costs.

The Village Voice‘s food critic has praised Shanghai Cafe for its exceptional soup dumplings, which were indeed delightful (and blemish-free), and a great improvement over the ones we ordered at New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe three weeks ago; for starters, they arrived hot, and on the traditional bed of napa cabbage, not on paper as NYSD’s did. The dumplings themselves had a rich, flavorful soupy pork filling; the doughy skins, however, were slightly thicker, and therefore less delicately tender, than the ones at New Green Bo. Small quibbles, though: I was satisfied. I’ll be back for the crab version next time.

There's 1 comment so far ... In the pink

June 9, 2007

I bet you can taste the crab!

Go for it ...