Healthy and Sane

Shanghai Gate in Allston

January 29th, 2010 · 10 Comments · Boston, restaurant reviews

I’m writing this post as I wait for Adam to get back from work so we can hit the gym together. This time he is actually the one motivating me to go. I’m not in the mood, but I know if I don’t go then he won’t and I can’t let my laziness impact the health of both of us. I’m sure I’ll get into it once I’m there. :)

For now, let’s get into this post! As promised, I wanted to share with you guys the dinner that Adam and I had last night. Since we started the construction of our kitchen two weeks ago, we’ve been eating out a lot more than usual. I do think I’ve done a pretty decent job of balancing that with some simple meals I can still make in our makeshift kitchen or right at work. With that said, last night I was craving some real Chinese food! So after checking out the tile store, we went to check out Shanghai Gate in Allston, known for some authentic Chinese food outside of Boston’s China town.

The decor was pretty simple, but also much cleaner than the “hole in the wall” I was expecting.

Hi, Adam! 😀

Upon being seated, we were immediately served some warm tea. Perfect on such a cold and snowy evening!

I wanted something very Asian. So often when we got out for Chinese food (which happens rarely, btw), I go for the “American” Chinese food (read: orange chicken, general gau’s chicken, or some other battered, fried, and lathered with sauce chicken). I weirdly like that stuff and since we go so rarely, that’s what I crave. Well not tonight! I wanted something light… maybe a noodle or a dumpling soup? Some flavorful veggies? Adam, quick do some research and figure out what people say is good here!

Here is what we ordered for the table based on online recommendations (thank you, iPhone! 😉 )

Sauteed rice cake – diced rice cake sauteed with chicken (sounded simple yet different)

Oh that kind of rice cake! I was first introduced to it on our very first night in Hong Kong. They called it “gluttonous rice cake” in HK but it actually looks and tastes like a big noodle, chopped up, not rice. The textures are often different – this one was hard, almost rubbery.

I found the “rice cakes” to be a little too tough but Adam LOVED them! I really enjoyed the sauce, the tiny chicken pieces, shrimp (which was a surprise because it wasn’t on the description but I was cool with it :) ) and especially the peppers.

Next up: paradise mountain chicken, stir-fried with chili peppers

+ some steamed rice

and string beans in garlic sauce

Let’s dig in!

My portion (I picked on more straight from the serving plates, especially the string beans!)

The paradise chicken was too fried for me (I know I said I like that fried stuff usually but I just wasn’t in the mood for it today) but the sauce was great! Later we found some Asian black beans, which are just awesome! Have you had Asian black beans before? They are not the typical (Latin) black beans – they are fermented soybeans. SO flavorful!!! I picked a bunch of them out and ate them straight up! 😉

The green beans really hit the spot for me! Like I said, I was looking for something lighter for dinner. These were hearty yet saucy – not the sticky goopy sauce, just a subtle flavor. I probably ate 1/2 of the platter and finished the rest as soon as we got home!

Oh and we finally got the appetizer. These little guys took a while to make, I guess.

Steamed pork buns

They had some broth inside them which you had to slurp after biting in. So fun!

Great dinner. I mostly liked the veggies and the sauces but Adam was in heaven and I know we will be back to Shanghai Gate! The service was really friendly and attentive too, despite the fact that our waitress clearly spoke limited English.

Can’t wait for my next Chinese meal. What’s your favorite Asian dish?
For other restaurant reviews, check out my Restaurant Reviews page.

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Meghan@traveleatlove

    I love kimchi, I could eat it all day long! And anything at Myers + Chang! I will have to try Shanghai Gate; I don’t know of too many Chinese restaurants in the area.

  • #2 - Jenny

    I don’t really have a favorite Chinese food. I’m Chinese and whatever my mom makes for dinner, I just eat. I do particularly like Ma Po Tofu and this pickled vegetable dish. Oh by the way, the steamed pork buns are called Little Dragon Buns (???) in translation in Chinese. I love the soup in it as well!

    You should come here to LA one day [: and try all the authentic Chinese food you want.

  • #3 - Jenny

    Haha the three question marks in parentheses don’t mean a thing. I tried to type Chinese characters but I guess it doesn’t show.

  • #4 - Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat)

    Glutinous rice cakes are really popular in Korea but I never liked them. Part of it was the look, part was the texture. Meh.

  • #5 - Gina

    i wish i had a place like that near me! i don’t think we have anything similar on long island. those steamed pork buns look delicious, like little dumplings mmmm

  • #6 - Jenna

    Food looks great!

  • #7 - A new friend from Brazil + my first poll

    […] Shanghai Gate in Allston […]

  • #8 - Liz

    That looks awesome and unlike any Chinese restaurant I’ve ever been to. We tend to frequent the little hole in the wall places… there aren’t many alternatives here lol

    I’m pretty boring when we go for Chinese, I typically order my standard Chicken with Broccoli, made spicy. I’m not a big fan of the fried dishes, and broccoli is my favorite veggie so it’s a little boring, but I love it. Mostly, I like my Chinese food to be on the salty side and have a kick to it – nothing sweet.

  • #9 - sarah (the SHU box)

    steamed pork buns make me happy :) i also love anything with eggplant!

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