Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Shanghai Ding Sheng : Milpitas

This was more of a social dinner, so I've no pictures. But this place is a must try. Shanghai Ding Sheng is a very authentic Shanghai-style Chinese restaurant. The two folk I went with were classmates originally from the Shanghai area and the refrain, "wow, I can't believe they serve this here!" became quite common throughout our meal.

I must warn people though, that this place will be intimidating for non-Chinese folk. When I first entered, they instinctively spoke to me in Mandarin Chinese and my Chinese is only barely passable in conversation. Seriously. I think I mistakenly mentioned at one point that "I'd be waiting in a foreign country" to the host.

And looking around while dining, there were only Mandarin speaking Chinese folk eating.

But look, if you're committed to trying out authentic Shanghai style dishes, these are the trials that you'll have to face. And fortunately, the menu has a lot of pictures on it to help you along. To assist you further, we ordered:
1) A "sampler" appetizer - drunken chicken (very tender and very tasty), 5-spice beef shin(?) and something else
2) Shanghai style eel - the eel is cut up into strips, so you don't even realize what you're eating. Topped with a pleasant sauce.
3) Some random vegetable (Ong cai ?) with garlic - pretty standard Chinese vegetable.

You also get a dessert, which apparently is made with the remainder rice nibblet leftovers when making rice wine. (Apparently this was from one particular region near Shanghai where they make the wine)

Anyways, if you're in the area and have some guts, give this a shot. Or even better find someone who is a native Chinese. It'll be worth your while.

Shanghai Ding Sheng
686 Barber Ln Milpitas, CA 95035 (map)
(It's in the plaza *past* the plaza with the 99 Ranch Supermarket)
(408) 943-8786
Yelp | Chowhound
($Chinese, $Recommended, $San Jose)

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