Instead of trekking to New York City for authentic dim sum, Shanghai 46 in northern New Jersey has your cravings covered. Only a 10-minute drive from Willowbrook Mall, the restaurant is great on a Sunday afternoon before some retail therapy. We recommend ordering several plates and sharing so everyone at the table can try more of the menu and get their “eat, pray, love” on.
I attended a Dim Sum Brunch with the ladies of Diaz Schloss Communications and my friend Melissa. We started our unforgettable meal with the fried breadstick and sweet wheat gluten. The crunchy breadstick had a slight flakiness and was very light; it reminded us of wontons. The sweet wheat gluten was served cold and along with the fried breadstick, a great choice for vegetarians. An interesting choice on the menu was the fried pumpkin with salted egg yolk. An all-year-round dish, the fried pumpkin was a completely different type of pumpkin dish than I’ve ever tasted. Before being fried, the pumpkin is prepared by being soaked in a salt water and egg mixture for a month. The pumpkin was crispy and warm; it reminded me of comfort food.
Next we enjoyed the traditional meatballs topped with green onions. They come in large portions and are great to split. Some other great items on the menu we had were the pork buns, sliced beef, sliced chicken with chestnuts, and the traditional fish filet with wine sauce. My favorite plates were the soup dumplings and the shrimp and broccoli. The doughy dumplings filled with broth and beef were nicely seasoned and is a great dish to warm you up. The shrimp was fresh and balanced equally well with the steamed broccoli.
For dessert we had the red bean paste pancake and sesame rice ball soup. They don’t sound like your typical dessert options, nor did they taste like it, but they were full of flavor. The red bean pancake was sweet and reminded us of a warm pop tart. The soup is something I’ve never had before, especially for dessert. Made with rice and sesame paste filled balls, the thick soup is savory and filling. The rice balls reminded us of dough-like tapioca balls.
Shanghai 46 is BYOB and only serves dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays, so plan your weekend accordingly. Their menu is affordable with plates ranging from $2-$26. It’s definitely a great place to try new foods, so grab a group of your friends and head on over.
14 US Highway 46
Fairfield, NJ 07004
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Tatiana in Wonderland: Brunch at Shanghai 46: Photographs courtesy of Tatiana Stec