Note: Jersey Bites was invited to visit Shanghai 46 and our writer received a complimentary meal.
During a recent visit to Shanghai 46 in Fairfield, we feasted on a non-stop parade of beautifully crafted dishes, starting with the famous (and one of my favorites) Steamed Juicy Buns (pork or crab), the delicate Shanghai Shepherd Purse Wonton Soup, and the crispy-outside/moist-inside Shanghai Marinated Duck. We were off to a very good start with these appetizers!
Owner Kevin Lin, who also owns Cheng Du 23 in Wayne, treated us to many courses during the evening. My favorites included the aptly named Lion’s Head meatballs. Fist-sized, these delicious pork and tofu meatballs with oyster sauce were so tender and flavorful. I also loved the pickled mustard greens with pork; the delicate Shanghai udon noodles; roasted garlic chicken; and moo shu pancake with beef. Yes, there was a lot of food!
New Jersey diners have many Asian restaurants to choose from and I think most people are more familiar with Cantonese or Szechuan styles. I asked Lin what makes Shanghai cuisine different from cooking in other parts of China. He told me that it’s much lighter, and with subtle spices. Not overwhelming or heavy. A good example of this was a unique dish that I’ve never seen anywhere else: pumpkin with salted egg yolk. This dish consisted of thinly sliced pumpkin coated with egg yolk and lightly fried. Crispy, delicious, and addictive!
Shanghai 46 also serves some of the dishes that may be more familiar to many patrons of area restaurants, such as General Tso’s chicken and kung pao chicken, along with a few Asian fusion dishes. We sampled the beef with Thai basil from this part of the menu and it was very good. But what you really want here is the authentic Shanghai cuisine. This is where Lin and his team excel.
14 US Highway 46 East
Open 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Dim Sum served Saturday and Sunday