|6718 Middle Fiskville Rd.
Austin, TX 78752
Many successful Chinese restaurants are often family affairs: and in no case is this more evident than at Shanghai at Middle Fiskville Rd. and N. IH-35 just east of Highland Mall. Founders John and Alice Yim work alongside son and chef Raymond and daughter Becky with daughter Nancy helping out on occasion as well.
On weekends Shanghai is a bustling beehive of activity as it hosts highly popular dim sum brunches from 11am-3pm. But let’s look beyond the dim sum carts today into their regular menu offerings.
Raymond Yim has got an appetizer section that is loaded with traditional favorites done in his inimitable style. Start with the Pan-Fried Pork Dumplings, please! They are plump and tender with that lovely mellow flavor common to the best preparations of this dish. The cabbage is a nice touch as well. They also do a very nice Crab Rangoon which is way above the norm for this dish. And if you’re craving a great vegetable egg roll, Shanghai’s are tasty and lightly crunchy with great balance. And I love their Deluxe Won Ton Soup. The mix of pork, shrimp and chicken along with crisp veggies in a searing beef broth is a delight. Likewise try the Crabmeat with Asparagus Soup. The fresh ingredients and nuanced flavors make this one hard to resisit. And the asparagus doesn’t overwhelm.
There are literally dozens of entrees at Shanghai and let me walk you through some of my favorites. The Sizzling Beef and Scallops utilize the dry stir-frying technique and the stars of this dish arrive surrounded by fresh vegetables and a lovely oyster sauce. The Beef with black Bean Sauce is another favorite. The thin slices of beef are stir-fried with onions, jalapenos and peppers in a spot-on black bean sauce that just rocks.
The Curry Chicken is another favorite. The yellow curry is cooked with carrots, peas, onions and bamboo shoots, and the flavors this imparts to the slice chicen are most interesting. The Salt and Pepper Shrimp are one of Shanghai’s most popular dim sum offerings and I get them off the regular menu as well. The key to this dish are the intricate spices offset by the jalapenos. Muy bueno. And you must try the Clams with black bean sauce. Riveting flavors here from these cherrystone-sized clams and they were borm to go with Ray’s sauce.
You know a CIA-trained chef like Raymond Yim could have gone the big-city restaurant route. That he chose to stay at his family’s restaurant in Austin speaks volumes about the Yim and Shanghai. You want a big city dish? Try the Chef’s Special Tofu. The blend of soft tofu and minced shrimp in a lightly fried batter is one of the best versions of this dish that you’ll find in any city! Another big time dsh with achingly good flavors is the Pepper Steak Flat Noodles with black bean sauce. Ray’s take on this is classic: subtle flavors that don’t quit and not in the least bit oily. And finish things off with the Oyster and Roast Pork Clay Pot. Man, the combination of tastes here is something that is so seamless and integrated that you’ll lament when you’re done!
So while weekends rock at Shanghai, don’t overlook lunches and dinners on weeknights as well. This is one hell of a menu!