And how can I go to Ala Shanghai without ordering the scallion pancakes? I can’t. We got two orders ($2 each). So crispy, flaky, and chewy all at once! Little Miss Fussy really liked them and kept clamoring for “More, please!”
When I went to pay, I had to compliment Ala Shanghai on the progression of their soup dumplings, and the owner explained to me that they had made them intentionally non-very-soupy in the first place. Why? Liability! So people up here would get used to what they were and not burn themselves! So they’ve gradually increased the amount of soup in each dumpling the longer they have been open. Ah ha – mystery explained.
Also cool to know – he brought all of the staff up here from NYC. Everyone knows what they’re doing in the front and back of house, chefs and servers alike. He said he wanted to do it right up here, and I think they’re off to a great start.
We ordered the Shanghai lo mein noodles ($8). It had pork, chicken, and beef in it, plus some veggies.
The noodles were made in house! Ala makes their noodles from scratch about twice a week. The noodles were soft, and picked up a good amount of charred flavor. In Chinese cooking the char in stir fries is a good thing – it adds a little smoky flavor. If you don’t taste the char, the wok wasn’t hot enough to sear the ingredients!
Still, these noodles were quite tasty.
Heads up – if you’ve got an Entertainment book, Ala Shanghai has a 20% off coupon you can print out once a month. Our total for this visit was a very affordable $22 after that coupon!
They brought some heart shaped jelly bean candies before we left. I tried the green one, but we had other places to head to:
SOME SWEETS! HAHAHA. Little Miss Fussy and I saw some other things that caught our eye.
And holy moly. I know the whole point of the free sample was over how you don’t need transfat based ingredients to make a good buttercream icing, but the cake is what stood out most to me. The icing didn’t really taste buttery to me but was plenty smooth, fluffy, and light. But the cake. Oh mama. It was SO incredibly moist. It was like a pudding cupcake. I usually think of the cake part of cupcakes as being vehicles for icing, but man, this vanilla cupcake alone made me think “Hmm, maybe cupcakes don’t need icing,”
THESE THINGS DON’T HAPPEN!! EVER!
Ok, so I have to say, Sweet Temptations has the best vanilla cake I’ve ever tasted. I will definitely be back for one. Maybe one without icing, even (but probably not. Hello, icing!).
Perhaps I wouldn’t have felt this urge if both Little Miss Fussy and I had not immediately set eyes upon these Hello Kitty decorated cookies upon walking in. At least I was slightly more reserved and didn’t yell “KITTY!” when we saw them. Well, that loudly…
At $2.75, it was a bit on the higher end, but hello, Hello Kitty. And it was probably more icing than cookie, so it wins out in the Albany Jane frosting : item frosted ratio of things. The sugar cookie underneath all of that frosting was moist and just a bit chewy in the best of ways.
Man, I feel like their goods don’t even need icing. When’s the last time you ran across a baked good like that? My head’s ready to explode at the very idea: doesn’t need icing. Pshh, since when?!
We managed to polish off about a third of the cookie (and cover ourselves in frosting). Dan also got a red velvet cupcake for $2.50. He liked the vanilla more, but I thought the red velvet was good, too. Solid cream cheese frosting (not too sweet or gloppy). I’d eat it again.
And get this – they also don’t bake JUST CUPCAKES. A good amount of their display case was cupcakes, but as you can see we also managed to sample a cookie, and they had some danishes for sale, too. And probably other things, but at this point I am off the walls filled with a sugar and XLB happiness high!