Shanghai Gate, an unassuming little place in Allston that serves terrific, authentic Shanghai food, is getting a lot of love on the boards. Scoffing at someone who’d gone to a pricey Chinese joint, teezeetoo says Shanghai Gate is “half the price, and twice or three times as good. If you want to pay for the furnishings and the location, be my guest.” Oooh, burn!
teezeetoo went on to confess being “smitten” with Shanghai Gate: “Every time I go in I have a good, inexpensive meal that seems to me to be made with taste and creativity.” kimfair1 agrees, saying it’s the best Chinese food he’s had in Boston.
What to order? Try the pickled radishes, any soup with the “startlingly good” noodles, and the steamed pork buns, which teezeetoo says are the “best in Boston.” BarmyFotheringayPhipps says the lion’s head meatball was swell. When it was set before him, “I gazed upon it with a look that said ‘Hello, old friend.’” The Paradise Mountain Chicken, stir-fried with peppers, the diced spicy chicken with peas, the spicy sizzling beef plate, and the xiao long bao (soup dumplings) are all flavor-packed. Avoid the spring rolls, however, which according to kimfair1 are “undercooked and not very tasty.”
Fish lovers should also check out the braised fish tail, says barleywino, which is called “fish in brown sauce” on the menu. “On a good day it’s really tender,” says barleywino, who adds that the rich brown sauce calls for an extra order of rice to soak up.
Service is swift, maybe even a little too swift: kimfair1 complained of feeling rushed at one meal. But others spoke up for the friendly, efficient servers, who bring delicious dishes and then whisk them away smoothly and bring more.
Shanghai Gate [Allston]
204 Harvard Avenue, Boston