This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shang Hai

Best Egg Rolls I Ever Had!

egg rollThe egg rolls at Shang Hai Oriental Restaurant are the best I ever had, although I'm not an expert on Chinese food. However, I have been to many Asian restaurants in Memphis and other parts of the United States (as well as my first visit to a Chinese restaurant, in Florence Italy), and I have never had egg rolls that tasted as good as Shang Hai's. The egg roll, which is slightly bigger than a Twinkie, consists of the typical ingredients including pork and cabbage, but what I like about it is the spicy seasoning used to cook them, which is distinctive. I wish I could describe exactly how it tasted, but trust me, take one bite out of a Shang Hai egg roll and you'll love it.

SIDE NOTE: An expensive way of enjoying Shang Hai's egg rolls is by eating them with Michelina's Chicken Fried Rice that can be bought from the neighboring Kroger on Cleveland and Poplar. At under six dollars, it's a nice inexpensive meal that hits the spot.

As for the other dishes that I had from Shang Hai, they're okay, just not "5-star" good. Upon recommendation from Urbanspoon (and not reading the menu), I tried the Sesame Chicken. I was surprised that this was an appetizer consisting of breaded chicken breast strips coated with sesame seeds. For an appetizer, it was good, especially when dipped in sweet and sour sauce. The texture of the meat was extremely tender, which made chewing easy.
I also tried the Chicken with Cashews, which is my favorite entree at the Mandarin Wok II in Millington, Tennessee. However, Shang Hai's version was a bit underwhelming, and I had to add soy sauce just to liven up the flavor. It might have been better if it had additional ingredients like baby corn and celery. It isn't bad, just decent.
The restaurant's take-out service is pretty convenient, with orders prepared within fifteen minutes after being placed. I recently used it to order Beef Fried Rice, and the order was ready within ten minutes after calling it in. Like most restaurants, Shang Hai uses Styrofoam containers which may not appeal to the environmentally conscious, but I don't mind as long as the food is good. By the way, the Beef Fried Rice is somewhat meaty (much more so than nearby Lucky Star, located across from Alex's Tavern on Jackson Ave.) and spicy due to the onions, but was "dry" (or possibly overcooked; I could be wrong) and lacked flavor. Fortunately, soy sauce and Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce livened the meal well.
In all, Shang Hai is a nice, modestly priced restaurant that serves decent food. Other than the superb egg rolls, the food is decent enough to satisfy the appetite, but it will never be confused with P.F. Chang's. That said, the service is great and I'll definitely visit this place often, especially if I'm craving egg rolls!

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Shang Hai on Urbanspoon

LabelsAsian, Chinese, Midtown, Thai, Vietnamese



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