Monday, December 13, 2010

Shanghai Tide

One of the best things about colder weather is the food. Comfort food to be exact. And one of the best things to eat when it's cold outside is hot pot! What's even better is all you can eat hot pot. Oh yeah! A nice hot steaming pot of broth boiling in front on you just waiting for delicious meats, seafoods, and veggies to be cooked. And you cook everything to order by yourself. What you want, when you want it. Sound good enough yet? Then read on about Shanghai Tide in Flushing.

First thing first, it's $26 for dinner for all you can eat and all you can drink Budweiser beer. Otherwise, I do believe it's BYOB. Now on to the food, when seated you'll get a menu with a list of several meats, seafoods, veggies, and apps to choose from. Pick anything and everything that you want. Once the waitress takes your order, get up and make your sauce. I'm simple so I only do soy sauce, garlic, and scallions. There's a plethora of other sauces though like sesame oil, hoisin, hot sauce, raw egg, peanut sauce, etc.

Next up, the broth. They'll bring over a large pot of water split spicy and regular if you want. I'm hoping you can guess which side is the spicy in the below picture. They'll turn on the table top stove and wait to boil.
And the plethora of orders flow in. Here's a mish mash of thinly sliced beef, pork, and lamb. Can't really tell one from the other. Who cares! Time to eat! Just take a piece of meat with your chopsticks and dunk it in the broth. Don't let go! It'll cook in a matter of seconds! Take out, dip in sauce, eat. Repeat, repeat, repeat! If you're chopstick handicapped, then use the mesh basket that they provide (see below right hand corner). You can even bend the stick part to hang off the pot. Genius!
Here's our other dish filled with veggies, mushrooms, fish balls, and noodles.
Along with the raw hot pot ingredients, we also ordered some cooked appetizers. These are pan fried meat filled buns. They have nice crispy bottom while the top remains soft and chewy. Also, the meat inside gets hot and juicy. The better the filling, the better the bun. These were mediocre but we ate them up anyway. Why? Because it's all you can eat!
Our second meat helping was a little odd. More beef, naturally. Some noodles, veggies, and liver?! You ordered that? No one took the blame. And no one ate it either.
Some more cooked apps. This is a scallion pancake. This wasn't very good because it didn't have any scallion flavor. It was just fried dough. I guess that's okay but still...I wanted scallions!
Ah, and the most popular appetizer that night: soup dumplings (xiao long baos). These little tiny morsels of goodness are steam to order. Inside, you'd find a filling of meat and soup. By soup, I really mean au jus. Lots of it. You have to be careful not to burn yourself. There's a whole method of eating it. Take one and place it in your soup spoon. Then nibble a tiny hole in the skin for the steam to escape. Carefully suck up any soup that you can. Be careful! It's scalding hot at times. When cooled off slightly, pop the whole thing in your mouth. You'll get a mouthful of dough plus pork plus juice. One bite wonders! We ate so many of these. So comforting.
On one of our last orders, we tried to be a little more adventurous and were sorely disappointed. Here's some fatty pork belly. We though it would be bacon but it was uncured. Boiling uncured pork belly isn't very appetizing. Pass. And the crab. Oh silly me for thinking it might be real crab. Imitation crab meat was presented. Really? Really? Pass again. And that damn liver! We asked for dumplings specifically but we keep getting liver over and over again. Yeah, no more dumplings/liver please.
All in all, it was a very good time. Lots of food, lots of beer that turned into a beer tower., and lots of good times with friends. What a good night! I would definitely come back here. The hot pot ingredients aren't the best quality, the service is spotty, and the restaurant is kind of grungy. However, it's $26 all you can eat and drink. You can't beat that! Even a triple cigarette smoking homeless man wouldn't deter us from coming back!

Shanghai Tide
13520 40th Rd # 1
NY 11354-5394
(718) 661-0900

1 comment:

  1. Yea, boo to the pork dumplings = liver. And the siu mei was horrid since you have to cook it yourself. The pan fried buns weren't good. The soup dumplings were decent so I kept ordering them... :P

    Great deal at $26.

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