Shanghi Bun is the type of joint you go to because you trust your friend-of-a-friend’s-mother’s-brother-in-law’s opinion of his favorite go-to spot and not because of the hype on Facebook with teaser buzz feed videos that make you salivate. The Shanghi Bun owners are actually so uninvolved with social media that we had to show them what Instagram was and told them they’re missing out on their loads of positive feedback with all of the “tags”. These old school places will always remain the best freakin’ restaurants in the world.
This little hole in the wall is located deep inside of a shopping center in Matawan and if you blink when glancing at the store fronts, you’ll miss it. There are about 9 tables and an unwritten rule that you go up to take your own menus (and tea). It almost feels like you’re at home, somewhere in Asia, and that you’re supposed to go help out in the kitchen. Shit, I should have!
We ordered about 30 kinds of dumplings. There were 3 of us. We also ordered the Sha Cha Beef Noodles recommended by our waitress and the Shanghai Rice Cakes to bring us back to Chinatown in NYC, except this time we wanted to feel our mouths.
Everything was awesome! The Sha Cha noodles were almost like dry rubbed with cinnamon and other spices. They were so unique. I crave this dish daily. The rice cake dish was exactly what we wanted, moist noodle/rice hybrid bites with beef and a scarce amount of other veggies. The soup dumplings were delicate and wonderful and we enjoyed the highly anticipated experience of the soup pouring into our mouths with the first bite. The steamed shrimp and chIve dumplings were packed with flavor. The fried “triple meat” dumplings couldn’t have been more delicious. The one dish that wasn’t our favorite was the Beef Shoa Mai. It had a little too much meat to noodle ratio. It was almost like there was a meatball in there. They were the biggest shoa mai dumplings we’d ever seen.
We ate until we had dumps like a truck. We literally wanted to roll out of the place without saying our shoa bais. And the best part that the bill was only $40! Who wants to come next time!?