New Name, Different Taste in Fairfield

Shanghai 46, recently sold, has reopened as Tsing Tao with a different menu and an offal lot for adventurous eaters to love.

This restaurant has had many names. Years ago it was Hunan Cottage, which could be identified from the panda statue out  front. more recently it was bought by Kevin Lin, owner of the highly regarded Szechuan restaurant ChengDu 23 in Wayne. Lin changed the name to Shanghai 46 and introduced a largely Shanghai menu. But shuttling between the two restaurants proved problematical, and Lin sold Shanghai 46 last spring.

Now it is Tsingdao (the name printed on the take out menu) or Tsing Tao, the name on our credit card receipt and the sign outside the restaurant.

Little Juicy Pork Buns were the juiciest soup dumpling we have ever tasted. Served with a soy/vinegar sauce topped with slivers of pungent ginger this was a good start to our meal. Dry fried string beans were a vibrant green, large portion, and so good that the next day I was eating them cold right from the carton. Parsley With Pork Bellies was disappointing as the pork was tough and tasted and looked as if it had been boiled. The parsley, which had their stems, was bitter. We did not receive rice with this dish but did see rice being brought to other tables.

Noodles described on the menu as having sliced pork, egg, wood ear and other mushrooms had minute slivers of pork and no mushrooms. The waitstaff spoke very little English and this is when the language problems became hilarious. When I asked the waitress why the noodle dish described on the menu was different than what we were given, she told me that the Chinese to English translations were not accurate and that they were out of the dish we ordered. When I pushed the issue, as we did not know what we were eating at this point, she went to ask the chef, then came back to the table and took our bowl and said that they made a mistake. A full bowl of noodles was brought to our table with long slices of pork, wood ear and oyster mushrooms. In any case, the sauce was bland and uninteresting.

Adventurous eaters would be in offal heaven here with items that include dry fried intestines, pork kidney, chicken feet, pig ears and tripe along with some puzzling items listed as “five colors big leather” and “sea jelly Qingdao.”

Be forewarned that half of the bill was in English and the other half in Chinese making it hard to know if what you ordered is what you were served.

Tsing Tao
14 Rt 46 East
Fairfield, NJ 07004
973-808-5888

rosie 1
Dry fried string beans
Photo courtesy of Lowell Saferstein
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