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Little Shanghai

 1906 Pike Place
Seattle, WA
 

New York Style Chinese food

Having moved back here from NYC five years ago, I was very dissapoined when I couldn’t find any really good and inexpensive Chinese food in this city. For any of you Sienfeld fans, you may know how important Chinese food is to the avarage New Yorker….

I myself ate Chinese food on almost ever day of my life, usually from a what we call a “takeout kitchen”. These types of small, very limited seating Chinese resturants can be found almost every two square blocks in NYC.

The fact that they are usually very small means less square footage and cheap rent = inexpensive food. Additionally High tunover = fresh meat and/or veggies. These types of “kitchens” also usully sport more than 100 items on the menu and most all of them have the same traditional items on the menu allthough ingredients sometimes vary somewhat.

I found Little Shanghai by accident one day a few years back and was completely floored when I read the large menu of standard fair…. Dishes that I had been eating for over 18 years. My mouth began to water with nostalgic anticipation as I eyed the paper take-out menu (designed so you can order from home and pick-up on the go). I had been craving proper lo mein for over a year since I had arrived in Seattle and had burned through a couple of hundred dollars trying different places arround town trying to get my fix…. To no avail. So, I decided to take a chance and order the “house special Lo mein” ( a misnomer as it is the same dish at all chinese “kitchens” in NYC).

“House Special Lo Mein”: This dish is made with soft boiled long “spaghetti” noodles (not chrunchy chow mein) wok fried with fresh chicken, thinly sliced pre-roasted pork, fresh shrimp, the occasional paper thin mushroom slice and the secret salted black bean (only two or three tiny beans added for a subliminal fermented “umame” flavor) and shredded letuce in a light sauce that has a slightly smoked chicken/ to earthy mushroom flavor.

I was so happy when I took the first bite I almost cried. This WAS the food I grew up with….. The best!

Since my first emotional reunion with real (New York) Chinese food I have returned to Little Shanghai on several occasions and have tried many of the other dishes that I was quite familiar with in my past. I am happy to report that all of the items I have tried at this place are SPOT ON THE MONEY!

This is not, however the place to “dine out” on a date. It looks like a “hole in the wall” but if you want good Chinese food in Seattle, why not try “dinning in” with Little Shanghai instead.

Lo-Mein

“House Special Lo Mein”: This dish is made with soft boiled long “spaghetti” noodles (not chrunchy chow mein) wok fried with fresh chicken, thinly sliced pre-roasted pork, fresh shrimp, the occasional paper thin mushroom slice and the secret salted black bean (only two or three tiny beans added for a subliminal fermented “umame” flavor) and shredded letuce in a light sauce that has a slightly smoked chicken/ to earthy mushroom flavor.

HINT: I always order a small order intead of a large with this dish…. It just “comes out” better in the wok, as some light searing of the noodles is desirable. However, the large order I tried was also good.

Hint 2: A little chili oil is good on this dish if you like spice. it is available on request and is free, comming in a small lidded container on the side. Go easy on this stuff as a little goes a long way. You may use just the oil at the top or the pepper flakes at the bottom for a more nutty/ slightly bitter flavor.

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