Shanghai China Restaurant....it's the deliveriest
Food delivery, it's the lifeblood of the lazy. It also comes in handy for those that are busy, working late, don't cook, have too many roommates, haven't gone grocery shopping and whatever excuse, sorry, reason you can come up with to just lay on the couch and order in. Wait, I think that goes back to lazy so I'm gonna own it. Don't get me wrong, me and the SO do enjoy fixing things, but sometimes what is (or usually isn't) in the fridge doesn't seem appealing and that's where delivery becomes our crutch to lean on for getting fed.
Fortunately for those of us who live in the Bay Area, food delivery services are as prevalent as tech start-up failures, some of which were also created to get food to people from their offices to their homes. Amazon, Caviar, UberEats, Eat24, GrubHub--there does seem to be an endless way to log on and eat. These days, GrubHub has been my place of choice as they seem to have a fair number of affordable spots and low to zero delivery fees. The problem I run into is they are awash with choices usually of the Chinese or pizza variety. Two options you could call the original grande dames of food delivery.
But how do you know which one is good? Sure, there are ratings of the restaurants but sometimes these can based on petty things like, "they were five minutes late", "they forget the plasticware," "I didn't like the delivery guy." Lots of obtuse reasons to give a place bad ratings that really have nothing to do with the actual food. Which is why I decided to toss out a spot I came across by accident on GrubHub and have ordered from on more than I probably should have occasions--Shanghai China Restaurant. (I've ordered so much recently even the delivery guy recognizes me now. Sad or helpful? I'm still trying to figure out.)
Evidently the restaurant is down in The Mission somewhere, but even after all my ordering, I haven't set foot in the place and would be hard pressed to tell you where they are without Google mapping them. Still, I wanted to highlight them for a couple reasons that can sometimes be hard to come by with delivery.
First would be time of delivery. Sometimes with GrubHub the estimates are all over the place and what you think might take 40 minutes becomes more than an hour. But so far, Shanghai has been right in the 35 to 40 minutes time frame. Remarkable when you consider prep time and the ridiculousness of traffic in town.
Second would be food consistency. Most everything we have gotten as been cooked to order and still hot and fresh in their containers. Which can be difficult when order things which are fried like the vegetable tempura appetizer.
For $6.50 you get a big serving of lightly battered and deep fried veggies like green beans, broccoli and what I am pretty sure is yam. They look like french fries but I think they are yams because the consistency and flavor is more like something between a potato and yucca. I've ordered this up several times and things do come mostly crisp and I can feel like I'm eating healthy and getting my veggies, even though they are fried. The trick is to just skip the bright red sweet and sour sauce you get for dipping, it is like pure sugar.
Also in the deep fried vein was General Gau's Chicken which really amounted to chunks of chicken battered with ground water chestnuts then fried and covered in what tasted like sweet teriyaki garlic sauce. I will say, most of the sauce settles at the bottom of the container so the chicken remained a little crisp which was nice. Can't say I was the biggest fan of the sauce but I did like the fact these weren't flour batter fried and were all tender white meat. Kind of like a fancy chicken nugget.
Third, I liked the way the vegetables in all the dishes we got seemed green, crisp and fresh.
Sure, the above are really just variations on a theme with the vegetables and the white sauce, but they were plentiful with both the green veggies and the meat. I mean, how many times do you order a shrimp dish at a Chinese spot and get like four pieces? Plus, they were not full of those cheap filler veggies such as onion or cabbage. In fact, there were none to be found, which was a pleasant surprise. Even some of their more unusual entree offerings are bursting with meat and vegetables.
Honestly, I ordered the above two dishes because I was intrigued by their name and the menu descriptions were somewhat vague. Seriously, how could I pass up strangely flavored chicken? Okay, I could but I had to know. Turns out it was chicken and mixed vegetables but in a sauce that was somewhere between tomato sauce and tikka masala mixed with a little teriyaki and, weirdly, cilantro. It was a tad on the sweet side and yes, I will say a bit strange for a Chinese dish. Didn't hate, but didn't love it either. Delight of 3 turned out to be shrimp, chicken and beef with mixed veggies in a brown sauce. Not bad and again, more shrimp than I thought we'd get.
Finally, their pricing is still in the affordable range. $4 to $6 for apps and $8 to $10 for entrees. Prices that what Chinese delivery seemed to be about five or six years ago. I mean we also got three spring rolls for $4.50, six potstickers for $5.95 and even their various fried rices are still in the $5.95 range. Some places I see online are up to $9.95! For rice!
In the end, these things added up for me to make Shanghai China Restaurant a more than decent delivery option. Since this is the week between Christmas and New Years, I figure you might need a spot to order up from for a bite in between all the other things you have going on. Either that or you are binge watching the new "Black Mirror" episodes and just don't want to be distracted. Now you also won't have to think about where to get some food, just log on, order up and sit back. Nothing wrong with being a little lazy this time of year. I'm the last person to judge!