South Bay: Shanghai Garden

I was kind of dreading meeting up with my grandparents over winter break.  I'm a bad granddaughter, I know.  But I went through with it in the end, so my filial duty was fulfilled, albeit grudgingly.

My paternal grandparents hail from Shanghai, so not only are they always on the lookout for Shanghainese restaurants, they're also very, very critical about the food.

Shanghai Garden opened near my house while I was away at school.  My mom figured we could take my grandparents there and see if they like it:


As usual, my sister and I sat back as my grandfather perused the menu.  We ultimately took the easy way out by ordering the $58 four-person family dinner (for lunch) and adding a few appetizers, the first of which being this smoked fish:


Very sweet and definitely my favorite appetizer.

My grandpa also ordered the drunken chicken:


It wasn't all that great.

And the salted duck:


Good, but overshadowed by the smoked fish.

The family dinner started off with the seafood deluxe soup:


Thick, goopy, and quite tasty.

Then came the rice with veggies and salted pork in a clay pot:


Once you have this, you'll never go back to white rice again.  Okay, that's a lie.  I love white rice.  But this stuff is AWESOME.

There was the Wuxi style spare ribs:


While the spare ribs were good, the sauce was kinda intense.  Very sweet and very salty at the same time.  It actually tasted best over the blanched greens lining the plate.

According to our server, this veggie is unique to Shanghai.  Don't ask me to repeat the name.  My grandparents and the server were conversing in Shanghainese, which I do not understand at all.  The most I got from the exchange was that Shanghai Garden gets this veggie shipped directly from Shanghai:


Tasted like your average Chinese green, which means it was delicious.

The "flaming" shrimp took a little too much work for me:


The sauce was good, don't get me wrong.  And while the name of the dish is quite interesting to say the least, I'm not going to question it.  I'm just...lazy.  So while I enjoy shrimp as much as the next person, I don't particularly find it worth the effort.

But if shrimp (flaming or not) tasted like this next dish, then I would do whatever it takes to get it into my mouth:


The server was nice enough to let us substitute the original fish dish on the family dinner set (fish belly in brown sauce) for this braised fish tail.  The fish was succulent and juicy and OMYGAWD I WANT SOME NOW.

To finish off the meal, we were brought a red bean pancake:


Crispy crepe, super hot red bean filling, oh so very good in my belly.

I was actually very impressed with Shanghai Garden.  The four-person family dinner included more than enough food for the five of us.   And boy, was the food legit (minus the drunken chicken).  I definitely would not mind going back again.

Unexpected reward for fulfilling a filial duty.  Score!


Shanghai Garden
1701 Lundy Ave
San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 437-5789

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