Shanghai Garden – San Jose, CA

1701 Lundy Ave Ste 10

San Jose, CA 95131

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

Located in a fairly Asian-saturated neighborhood of San Jose, Shanghai Garden serves up various Shanghainese dishes in the South Bay. The narrow restaurant had quite a few open tables around when we arrived. We were quickly seated by staff and were provided with menus and tea. After ordering, we were also provided with table boiled peanuts and soy-ginger vinegar.

Today, we decided to order the small wonton clay pot, Shanghai chow mein, Shanghai style steaming dumpling (xiaolongbao), and Shanghai Style fried pork buns (shen jian bao). I was not a fan of the plain table peanuts because they tasted soggy. The wonton clay pot came first in a nice presentation. The wontons were very small, but tasted fresh. The soup also included seaweed and tiny shrimp. The soup had hints of seaweed flavor, but was fairly plain. The wonton filling did not have much flavor at all, causing the entire dish to be quite bland. The Shanghai chow mein had a savory and sweet sauce coating. The noodles were very large and came mixed with spinach, cabbage, onion, and pork. There was not much pork in the dish at all, which made the dish very noodle-heavy. As a whole, the chow mein was flavorful, but lacked meat. The xiaolongbao came in a simple steamer after the first two dishes. The wrapper for the dumplings was unusually thick, which made the dumpling quite chewy. The soup that came out of the dumpling tasted extremely fatty and oily. There was a decent amount of meat inside, but the meat was not that flavorful, even when dipped in the soy-ginger vinegar. The shen jian bao was very greasy and had thick outsides. The dumpling was quite heavy to eat and did not have a lot of flavor. In the end, a complimentary egg-drop rice-cake soup was served, but I was not a fan of the sweet rice wine flavor.

Overall, Shanghai Garden serves up various authentic Shanghai dishes, but the flavor and quality was not there. Service was quick and ample with free peanuts and dessert provided. Prices are higher than expected for the lack of quality and quantity of food. I would strongly recommend eating elsewhere if possible. The xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fun blow these away and are actually cheaper and higher quality. If you are craving for Asian food, there are tons of other options in the area.

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