Shanghai Kitchen is an affordable (Indianized) Chinese restaurant near the Al Hanaa Center on Street 35 in Satwa. Owned and run by a Nepalese family, this often overlooked, modest little eatery has been serving some of the best Chindian food in town for the past two decades. Its interior is will not win any interior design awards but it’s cosy, clean and blissfully cool.
Because the restaurant is Nepalese owned (and the chef and the staff in the kitchen are all Nepalese too), I knew the momos were going to be good, so I started my order with a portion of steamed chicken momos. I added to these some veg spring rolls and went straight on to our mains. By popular demand I ordered both Chowmein and Hakka noodles, a Beef Oyster Broccoli, Chicken Cashew and a Mixed Fried Rice.
I tried to pass the momos off as the Nepalese version of xiao long bao dumplings, which my daughter loves, but she took one bite and said they tasted like they were curried. True enough, when I tried them, they did have a distinct masala taste; not bad, just different. Little Miss Finicky turned her attention to the Chowmein, which she really went to town on. I think we all preferred the Chowmein to the Hakka noodles. I personally liked the beef oyster broccoli more than the chicken, the sauce of which I felt was too starchy. All in all, the food was good Chindian but not remotely authentic. If you have grown up in Dubai, you will love the food here.
Service is family friendly and bend-over-backwards accommodating and attentive. It’s one of those places where you are treated like a returning regular from your first visit. I loved this little place and think you will too. If you’re in the Satwa area, consider it over Chin Chin and Mini Chinese if you are looking for Chindian (Indianized Chinese). If, however, you want something more authentic there’s Tang Palace, Noodle Bowl, Chuan Fu and Spicy Me.
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