ShangHai 1 is a little restaurant on the right-hand side Chinatown’s main street, if you’re approaching from Jefferson Station. Look for the sign with an enthusiastic-looking steamed bun wearing a chef’s hat. The bun’s expression captures the vibe of the restaurant—delicious food and enthusiastic eaters.
My roommate Arya said ShangHai 1 is her favorite restaurant in Chinatown. I soon found out why. When Arya and I arrived, the narrow dining room was nearly full. Vintage photographs of Shanghai decorate the walls, and delicious smells waft from the kitchen in the back.
Arya’s favorite dish is a chewy rice cake stir-fried with bamboo shoots, greens, and spices. It was fantastic, as was every other dish we ordered. We sampled the eggplant with garlic sauce and house-made steamed vegetable dumplings. The sauces at Shang Hai 1 were especially delectable. Their combination of flavors was not overpowering, lending a perfect balance to each bite.
*ShangHai 1 will omit meat from dishes if you are vegetarian.