This page is for archiving comments from 2006 for Shanghai Town.

2006-01-20 17:05:45   Shanghai Town is the best restaurant in Davis, California. By far. - Cheng-Jie Yang. —DavisWikiGnome

2006-01-21 18:07:55   This place has the absolute worst Chinese food in Davis, hands down. The chow mein and fried rice were flavorless and the general chicken was made of dry, chewy dark meat. With the lunch special, you can chose two entrees, however, there were only two entrees to choose from - general chicken and sesame chicken. —JacobOrenberg

2006-01-30 13:31:39   For all of you who do not appreciate the food here, you just dont know what REAL Chinese food is. This place has authentic Shanghainese dishes such as Lion's Head, Stir Fried rice cakes, and various Shanghainese dim sum dishes. They also have a $16.99 for three special on the bottom part of the menu but that's written only in chinese. This is the best Chinese restaurant in Davis by far, if only you know what to order. —KiwiSelina

  • Agreed— lots of restaurants have token items which suck b/c they're not part of the restaurants theme. For instance, the hamburger at Cafe Italia is tragically bad, but that's b/c they're an Italian restaurant, not b/c they generally suck. Likewise, Shanghai Town's food is specialized toward certain varieties of Chinese cooking. General Chicken and Chow Mein are American dishes, and though it would be great if they cooked them well, their ability to cook them properly is about as relevant as their ability to cook a hamburger properly. CraigBrozinsky
  • It's also quite possible that they don't like authentic Chinese food, and prefer the American interpretation of it. "Authentic" does not mean "better". Often the things we grew up eating (which for most people in the United States is American-Chinese food) is what we prefer. There's no "superior" food, just what is to people's tastes. —jw

2006-03-11 13:08:49   Shanghai town has the most authentic mainland chinese food in davis. Their menu is very diverse and affordable. Get the eggplant with pork clay pot and the intestine with pickled cabbage. Both are winners. They also have a wonderful braised tofu with vegetable dish. The staff was also very friendly and the restaurant has a very home-style feel. —BrandonTenn

2006-04-27 16:00:33   I tend to avoid anything under a heat lamp in general, but the menu here is great! I was addicted to this restaurant for a while, going at least once a week for two months, but I think I've gotten over it. The food is great although can have too much salt or oil. I would recommend getting a variety of dishes. I've gotten dinner which consisted of three different things all in a brown sauce and I was not pleased. Also, service is relatively friendly but service is the slowest I've seen in Davis (read: bring a newspaper). Knowing Chinese or bringing a Chinese friend is a plus in order to get some of the good stuff on the menu. When I was an addict, I dedicated a facebook album to them, so check it out here:

I just got back from that place. The service is the worst. The waiter doesn't speak english. They ran out of soy milk and spareribs which were the 2 items that i wanted to order. The food is ok. The soup smells like garbage tho. They don't give out ice water. So, i asked for "ice". They gave me the ice that's used for storing the raw veggie and meat. There's one kid running around. The seats are dirty and the table is not clean. There's a rice left over on our soup bowls. There's a dirt [like a chunk of black soil] in the rice. WORST PLACE for chinese food EVER!.... never go there again. bad experience. I really think that they don't really give a f*** about this business. Compare to Jade Garden, that place is a lot better. — BaaaamBi

  • Go for their food, not for the service. Their wait staff is friendly but too small. If you go in expecting to self serve water, tea, menu, and utensils, I think you will be delighted by the food. Just a tip, ask for less salt! —KiwiSelina
  • Agreed with Kiwi, the service sucks, but is very authentic...if ever the waitresses smile (with teeth) at me in a Chinese restaurant, i know the food won't be very good. The sticky tables, dirty atmosphere, and horrible lighting are all a part of the experience. Who cares if the waiter can't speak English, can you speak Chinese? And, for clarity, Shanghai town isn't a correct moniker for this restaurant, they serve pan-Chinese food... and have many many dishes from the north. The food is the best in Davis, which is why everyone in there is Chinese... if you want dodgy Americanized food with neon red sweet and sour, feel free to head to the other places. —Nothin2Declare

2006-05-13 18:56:05   Today I went there with a Taiwanese friend who is usually pretty leery of eating Chinese food in the States. We both also tend to be pretty critical of the restaurant food we eat. We were both pleasantly suprised by Shanghai Town. True they are slow, and their service is not exactly top notch (but friendly enough) but the food is fairly authentic. We found a lot of dishes that you just don't find in most Americanized places. If you are stuck in Davis and like real Chinese food you will probably like their food. We enjoyed their Chinese fried donuts, green onion pancakes (both expectedly greesy), Steamed baby buns, Shanghai rice cakes, and sweet soy milk (homemade? in a bowl!). —TheodoreSuryapurnama

2006-08-16 17:57:01   I originally set out to get a photo of every dish Shanghai Town made, but I don't think I will be able to finish. Hit me up on facebook if you have some pictures that aren't in the link 3 posts above. I swear that I have nothing to gain except to satiate my own compulsive tendencies. This is my favorite Chinese restaurant in Davis and I actually thought that it might increase their customer base and they would have fresher food and maybe hire some much needed help. I'm not sure if any of that has happened, but I will go one last time this weekend to see. If you go for the first time, I would recommend any of the following: Soybean milk, Green onion pancake, Sliced Radish cakes, Shanghai Rice Cakes, Braised Pork Meat Ball. Ask for less salt. Most of the soups are good, but you will only want them with a party of 4 or more. It's a lot of soup. Also, if you have someone who reads Chinese, almost all of the dishes written in Chinese I would recommend. —WinstonLee

2006-08-22 01:34:44   i would say that this place wins best chinese in davis if you go by taste to price ratio alone. factor in service and it may drop to 2 (behind noodle express , rounding out the top 5 are hometown, davis noodle city, jade garden). 12 shrimp dumplings for 5 bucks is a steal, and their shanghai chow mein and spicy string beans are wonderful, buth their best dish is their Tan Tan noodles (order them extra spicy if you dare :) ). the fish and the squid were cooked perfectly, the fish was tender and the squid was firm and not chewy. Avoid the combination plates that feature americanized dishes under heat lamps (ie. try to order off the dimsum/shanghai menu as much as possible, string beans are on the regular menu though). if you want good americanized chinese try noodle express or jade garden. for a breath of fresh air try this place. —MattHh

2006-08-30 14:00:21   Everything I've had here so far has been delicious. The Lion's Head soup is superb, and the dumplings are fresh and tasty. A few comments have been made about how this is "authentic" mainland Chinese cuisine — does "authentic" Chinese food tend towards the greasy? Many of the dishes here seem to be quite well.. lubricated. My only minor complaint so far is that the dumpling dough is very thick relative to the filling. A slightly thinner dough would really make the dumplings shine. —ChrisLambertus

  • correct me if i am wrong, but i believe shanghai style dumplings usually have a thick dough as compared to other regional styles. If you want the thin dough go with their spicy wantons (which arn't that spicy) —MattHh

2006-09-21 14:58:55   Go for the excellent food, not the service. The Shanghai style rice cakes simply rock and their specialty dishes are amazing as well. My boyfriend and I go there ALL the time and we always end up ordering way too much food b/c we want everything. I don't know what their pre-cooked food is like b/c I've never ordered from there, but my experience from other places tells me that food is always better from the actual menu. If possible, go with someone who reads Chiense so you can order from the wall. BEST Chinese restaurant in Davis. —TiffanyHsieh

2006-12-13 19:09:50   My roommate eats here frequently, but I've yet to learn the trick of how to actually get food from them! Their service is consistently horrendous. I called in an order and was told it would take 20 minutes. I showed up after 20 minutes and had to wait 5 minutes in line, then was told to wait an additional 10-15 minutes. Unbelieveable. Another time I went in to get some of their steam table food and after waiting in line for 5 minutes I was finally acknowledged by the attendant, but as soon as I ordered he ran off to take care of other things. After 5 minutes of waiting for him to come back and fill my order I left. The person behind me left as well, because he'd been waiting ridiculously long as well. This is a frequent occurrence. I usually end up just leaving and going to Chuy's nearby since they will actually serve food. —DanaMace

2006-12-20 22:51:18   I came to learn from observation that some of the service is self-served. When you come in, go to the counter and grab a menu then sit yourself. Make eye contact with the waiter or raise your hand to get his attention. Water is by the counter and it's also self-served. Ask for tea if you want some. The waiter might see that you already have water and won't get you tea. I've also seen other patrons get up and refill their tea pot with hot water themselves using the hot water boiler behind the counter. It's fun to come by for Sunday lunch and see what everyone else is ordering. —ThucNghiNguyen