100 Mott St, New York, NY | Directions 1001340.717383 -73.997430
11:30 am-9 pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Chinatown
WORST SERVICE IN THE WORLD – This is the worst service in the world. I could not be more displeased. They require a minimum order of $3 per person and they hover over you when you eat. They give you the check before you are done eating, fine, most places in chinatown do that, but they tried to collect the bill multiple times before we were ready to leave. It's like they wanted to kick us out even though the restaurant was mostly empty. Due to their poor services, we decided to leave a less than 10% tip (which was more than enough considering their poor services) and they argued with us to try and get us to give them 15%. I told them 15% gratuity was "gratuity- to thank you for your good services" and they tried arguing for it. We would not give in and they told my friends and I never to come back. Fine! There are plenty of other restaurants in Chinatown that have better services and better food for just as cheap!
nice and cheap – I know there's a debate about who's soup dumplings are better, shanghai cafe or Joe's shanghai - in my book its shanghai cafe, I think the ones at Joe's are a little to soft and break apart to easily but that's just my opinion. another fav dish of mine is the beef lo mein, the thick noodles are great. gimme those 2 dishes and I'm set for the night with the bill only coming to $10
Good Food, Nice Staff – I never have an issue at this place. The food is good and the staff is always nice. The soup dumplings are tasty and the mango green tea smoothie is to die for. Always a good performer in Chinatown for inexpensive eats. I don't have a problem recommending this to anyone.
customer service is in the eye of the beholder – The complaints in customer service can be attributed to differences in cultural expectations. Chinese restaurant workers think they are providing good service when it is fast and efficient (i.e., dishes come out quickly). Chatting is kept to a minimum, and I've never seen flirting done in Chinese restaurants with waitstaff as it happens in Western restaurants. If you want your teapot refilled, just leave the lid off or up. And if you get a check in the middle of your meal, that's great, no need to wait around for one or bother asking for the check. It's when I have to ask for my teapot to be refilled or for the check that the service is considered poor and inefficient. You will definitely appreciate a place like Shanghai Cafe if you're there during lunch hour on a busy working weekday.
I love their xiao long bao! (soup dumplings) – The service is basically terrible here all the time, but for the price and value of the food, it's definitely worth it. I find their soup dumplings not as salty or greasy as Joe's Shanghai and they're the perfect size. They don't take very long and I usually eat their other dishes while waiting. For example, their eggplant in garlic sauce is not too greasy, always piping hot and fresh, and their veggie dishes are always great, such as the green beans one. Otherwise, I recommend the beef noodle soup and chow fun. The scallion pancakes were terrible.
When I come here with my Chinese friends, they know the more traditional dishes to order but the more mainstream, familiar dishes are good and reliable.
Bad Service / Funky Decor – The service here is whack to the nth degree. I can't enjoy myself when they're at my side trying to grind me out for tips. The food is good (on occasion) but limited compared to the other Shanghainese places around the city.
Go for the Dim Sum – It's juicy. There's a huge selection. Their shrimp fried rice is incredible. Huge, juicy shrimp. I went there on a weekend night my first time. Huge mistake. I was with a group, and they were completely packed, so the service was icky. But it was funny. They were so unhappy and it seemed that they were annoyed that we were eating there. When we didn't tip them 15% they actually stopped us at the door and asked for more. It was hilarious and would have been frustrated if it wasn't so comical. Sometimes they have offnights with their bubble tea, so don't go for it. But the second time I went the service was good. The food comes out very quickly. INCREDIBLY quickly, even. They didn't have to ask for more tip then. Yeah, go here, but not during peak business hours. Food is yummy.
this place is very average. i like the atmosphere because it looks clean and the waitstaff is efficient. the food is average though. the shanghai dumplings (aka xiao long bao) are juicy, but the skin is kind of thick. the flavor of the shanghai noodles (aka lo mein) is too heavy on the mushrooms. the scallion pancakes are a little too thin. if you can take going to a slightly dirtier place though for better food, go to green bow.
Love their food! – Typical nonchalant chinese service in 'chinatown'. I always order the same dishes and they come out so fast! Their crab soup buns are the best I've had, their scallion pancakes are cooked to perfection, and their shanghainese thick noodles are so good! Go for the food, not the service. Very inexpensive too.
Horrible Customer Service!!!!! – I've eaten there twice and both times the customer service was terrible! After the first time, I thought, maybe the waitstaff was just having a bad day. But after having eaten there again and being treated in such an outrageous fashion, I think the waitstaff is just plain rude in general. It wasn't even busy and they were rushing us to finish and talking to us like we were a nuisance. The steamed pork and crab buns(their signature dish) were also not that good--alot of flour but not alot of meat inside. As for price, there are plenty of Shanghai restaurants in Chinatown that are just as inexpensive with better food and without a doubt much better customer service.
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