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[personal profile] thisisarestaurantblog
In April of 2008, I took a break from Taiwan to go see my lovely boyfriend here in Vancouver. I flew in and out of Seattle because flying in and out of YVR costs anything from an arm to a firstborn child.

On the way back, my boyfriend went with me, as he had not been to Seattle for some time, and I had never actually gotten to see the city. Despite the fact that I was soon returning to Taiwan, I developed a craving for xiaolongbao (小籠包 a soup dumpling originally from Shanghai) and had to have some OMG now.

My boyfriend, who loves Chinese food even if he can't speak a word of Chinese, was game. We were in the International District (or ID as the cool Seattle locals call it), checking out a bookstore. I picked up a book whose cover claimed it to be a guide to Seattle dining and flipped to the back to look at the cuisines. Under "Chinese" was a listing for "Shanghai Garden". I figured with that name, they had to have xiaolongbao. I flipped to the actual blurb in the book and it claimed that the restaurant not only served authentic xiaolongbao but also was known for wheatgrass daoxiaomian (刀削麵 knife-shaved noodles).

This was a cute coincidence because I had just had my first ever shot of wheatgrass juice that trip in Pike Place Market (I loved it; I'm planning on doing a mega-review of all the places we hit there sometime). Not only that, but the restaurant was not two blocks from where we were standing. Who were we to fight fate? We walked over.

The book was not lying when it said the food was authentic. This is a good restaurant to visit if you have a stereotype of Chinese food being greasy, salty and unhealthy because the food here was fresh and light. The food was so amazing that I said "Shoot! I forgot to take a picture of that!" both after our appetizers (xiaolongbao) and our soup (egg drop for me, hot and sour for him, IIRC) had disappeared down our gullets.

But, by the main course I was ready by God. Here you can see their "barley green" (from the leaves of the barley plant, basically the same thing flavor and nutrition-wise as wheat grass) daoxiaomian with beef. The light, almost gravy-like sauce was mostly absorbed into the noodles, which had just the right amount of resistance to the teeth.

The waitress had a very cute personality and chatted with me about Taiwan. She attentively made sure our tea pot was always full. The food came out fast, but at a Chinese restaurant I expect that.

The restaurant had nice high ceilings which gave it a rather airy feeling, which I found refreshing on the spring day. I also liked the large tropical fish tanks they used as decoration.

Our meal ended with fortune cookies, which I don't eat (I'm not a sugar cookie person) but my boyfriend happily munched on.

Daoxiaomian seems to be a type of Chinese cuisine many Westerners aren't familiar with, so if that's the case for you, I highly recommend you try it, and Shanghai Garden does it perfectly. Daoxiaomian is made by scraping noodles off a block of dough directly into the boiling water. This results in a thick, chewy texture that is unlike any other kind of Chinese noodle.

My grandfather (a German-American who loved to cook) used to make noodles the same exact way, holding the dough over a big pot of soup and slicing them right in. So my first time trying daoxiaomian in Taiwan was strangely nostalgic. "These are Baba's noodles!" I exclaimed. Yep, my brother and I called our grandfather Baba, which you might know is the Chinese word for "daddy". Maybe he was more Chinese than he knew! :3

Name: Shanghai Garden
Location: 524 6th Ave S Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 625-1689
Prices: $13-20; serves beer and wine
Service: Prompt, attentive and smiling. Nice clean restroom.
Food: Fantastic, healthy Chinese food in Shanghai-style. Don't miss their xiaolongbao or barleygreen daoxiaomian.
Recommended?: Emphatically!

Shanghai Garden on Urbanspoon

Urbanspoon - your first post is up

Date: 2009-07-21 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Your first posts just appeared on Urbanspoon! Check it out:

You can also add a picture for your blog. This blog photo shows up next to your posts wherever they appear on Urbanspoon. Just head on over to your blog page on Urbanspoon to claim it:

You'll find some interesting badges and widgets there. Let me know if you have any questions.

p.s. I have to say Shanghai Garden is one of my favorite Asian restaurants and reading this made me resolve to go back soon for some more barleygreen noodles!


thisisarestaurantblog: cute cartoon picture of food such as fortune cookies, soda bottle, etc (Default)

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