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Posted by tapiocachick on 10/29/2009
With a few exceptions, I don't think you can expect good service when you eat in Chinatown. This is, unfortunately, not one of the exceptions. The waiters here are rude, rude, rude, but the soup dumplings and Shanghai lo mein are so fantastic, I keep coming back. Not to mention the great prices. I recently ate here with 4 people, and the total bill came out to just under $40. Can't beat that! Also, if you like mock dock, it is delicious here, stuffed with shiitake mushrooms. It is a cold dish, though. Might be even better if they served it warm. I have brought a ton of different people here (of all different ethnic backgrounds), and every single one of them has loved it, esp. the soup dumplings and Shanghai lo mein. I have never had lo mein of that consistency anywhere else. Yum! So worth the trek downtown.
Posted by Jason from Philly on 09/24/2009
Best soup dumplings I've had in years, being from Philly I get pretty good Chinese food, but this is definitely a nice find. Quick service and hot food is what I got. From a Chinese guys perspective this is one of Chinatowns best for roast duck wontons
Posted by anonymous on 08/23/2009
The most unbelievably bad customer service---I actually felt insulted. The servers were rude and obnoxious. They did not even look at us when they served the food, They walked by, dropped the food on our table, and kept on walking- even when we tried to get their attention. They gave us the wrong dishes, and it took a while to get their attention for that too. The only time they bothered to pay attention to us on their own will was when we were contemplating paying our bill with a credit card. One of the servers came straight to our table, blurted "NO CREDIT CARD" and walked away again. I don't expect fancy service when I go to Chinatown, but this was just upsetting. Who cares if the food was amazing (even though it wasn't)? The tip was absolutely a waste of my money. I gave 10% because I was annoyed, and they just looked at us when we walked out- and didn't have the decency to say "bye".
Posted by Notjonathon on 04/27/2009
So, after reading numerous reviews below about how great the dishes are, but how awful the waitstaff can be, my companion and I approached Shanghai Cafe with the understanding that we might have to fight our way through unhelpful servers to get a decent meal. But despite everything that's been said, I not only had great service, I had *the best service I've ever had in Chinatown*. Our waitress greeted us with a big smile, very patiently clarified a few items on the menu we were confused about, served the food promptly, and even voluntarily appropriated another empty table to help contain all the dishes we ordered. People that eat in that area on a regular basis know what they're getting into. It's not exactly a hotbed for courteous, friendly servers. The trade off for most (hopefully) is in the value and quality of the food. Our experience at Shanghai Cafe proved to be both completely delicious (the soup dumplings really are as good as people say, flavorful, juicy, not too greasy) and refreshingly friendly and easy going. There was no trade off-- it was just a good experience all around.
Posted by Bora on 04/14/2009
For the people complaining about the service, it is literally 5$ a plate!!!! For the price of the food, I don't care if the service is bad. Plus they bring you the food so fast, that's all I care about
Posted by Kimberly on 02/20/2009
I've been going to this restaurant since my friend took me there in high school. I'm almost graduating college now and I still consider it one of my most favorite restaurants ever. I completely agree that the staff there is rude; service is very rushed. Once, one of the waitresses actually ran after my friends and I to ask for more tip. But COME ON, people! This is Chinatown and I'm sorry to say that that kind of treatment is not uncommon. You don't have to go there ever again if it bothers you that much but at the end of the day, they have great food for excellent prices. Personally, I like Shanghai Cafe's xiao long bao better than Joe's Shanghai, which is also another popular spot. I definitely recommend this place for the food but it's not for those who can't stomach a little rudeness.
Posted by David Lee on 02/12/2009
I was having dinner with my wife tonight at this restaurant at around 9pm. I'm a big fan of Shanghai cuisine and was curious to have them entertain my tastebuds. We ordered plenty of food between the both of us (2 pork bun, 2 dumplings, and a bowl of udon noodle soup). Half way through the pork buns, my wife and I ran out of tea, but nobody came over to refill our drinks. I finally had to flag a waitress to come over to our table and requested some more drinks. She came back with a tea pot and began filling my wife's cup with tea before proceeding to fill my cup with tea as well. I quickly stopped her and politely asked if I could have some water instead. She then scoffed at me, grabbed my cup, left the table, came back with her hands around the rim of my glass of water, and kind of slammed it down on the table. Needless to say, I did not drink the water after that. But most importantly, I do not think my wife and I will be returning to this place to eat, due to their poor quality of service and especially when there are so many other Shanghai restaurants in this area such as Joe's Shanghai, Goodies, etc., that appreciate having business.