Matawan Shanghai Bun

All day long I was dreaming of lamb in black paper sauce and pan fried dumplings. Hauled my tush out in this cold. Dumplings (not soup) were cold and not fried enough. lamb ? Not like I remembered it. Place was packed, half with Asians and half with people like me. They also ruined the take out experience by
Adding fried noodles to the takeout because I also ordered hot and sour soup - all from the Chinese menu. I wonder if Asians get the fried noodles or something else ? - there simply is no good Chinese food around here - there use to be when holmdel bell labs had 6000 people and many Asians - now that semi empty building is used for indoor drone races as per ESPN2.

My experience there last week was quite good. I was in there around 3pm with no one in the place other than the kitchen staff eventually filtering out to one of the large tables to share their early dinner.

My shredded beef in noodle soup with hot peppers was a beautiful bowl of unique goodness. That’s real shit. Also ordered the steamed pork buns & mapou tofu with pork and had them put on wheels for later that evening. Wife got home at 4 and we delved into the buns which were spicy nice chock full of flavor. And I love that tofu/pork dish.

I’m still heading to this place whenever wifey will get into the car with me for eating out (she prefers take out unless we head into LS to Little Szechuan). For me? Matawan’s not too far a run for great chinese food. And whenever I’m in the area, which isn’t often, there are mouth watering choices of this place or good pie from Esposito’s for their sesame crust margarhita or Denino’s for just about any configuration that they do (this is the only place I ever order a buffalo chicken pie).

Hang in there JL. Look at it this way, it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on, unless it’s Jennifer Lawrence doing the latter. :wink:

Yes, Denino’s love the clams and shrimp pies ! Maybe the Shang Hai was too busy last night all tables filled and the phone kept ringing. First I asked for beef in black pepper sauce and the lady threw the American Menu at me, I wanted beef, but I wanted it prepared like they do the lamb in black pepper sauce, but she couldn’t understand that I wanted it more authentic, so I settled for the lamb. My wife had a lamb as a pet when she was a kid and now I really don’t enjoy lamb anymore when I think of it … Need to try Espositos, thanks for the tip. Little Szechuan use to be (so many years ago), the place to go - they also had one on Rt 33 about 30 years ago. But now an overpriced americanized fancy fancy place. I make map tofu with ground turkey, don’t laugh - it tastes good. Oh and I also found fortune cookies in the take out bag, another insult …

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I remember the Asian Diner on Rt 35 Hazlet (next to Boston Market). The place lasted about a year but it had a buffet that featured Cantonese dishes that you wouldn’t see elsewhere like steamed pork (homestyle meatloaf), pickled mustard greens, oily rice. I think the owner was from Malaysia. He charged $5 for lunch and it included soda. I guess he wasn’t making much money so he closed the Diner and opened a place in Matawan which was targeting a different crowd (not Bell Labees).:disappointed:

I loved that place - it morphed into Sulton Wok - a most horrible local chain of places. The Sulton Wok in Matwan use to be the second restaurant of Ruby Palace also on Rt 35. How is it possible I know these things ???

I would say your experience was an anomaly. As for the fried noodles, we don’t get handed those there (though we do at Sichuan Cottage even when we order from the Chinese menu), but both Shanghai Bun and Sichuan Cottage tend to give us these odd metal implements with four sticks at the end … forks! That’s what they’re called. :slight_smile:

Probably they just put a standard set of stuff in a take-out order to be on the safe side.

Actually the poor service is not an anomaly.
Usually the food is better. I find the woman behind the counter to be arrogant and I find the man (I assume the co owner) to be pleasant -
Wish they had an online menu that would also include the specials. When I suggested that a few visits ago they looked at me as if I was from Mars.

@eleeper That description of a fork reminded me of “The Little Mermaid” movie where Ariel calls a fork a digglehopper!

As for Shanghi Bun, we have been going for probably about 6ish years. I swear our credit card was stolen there twice. I can’t prove it, but I rarely use that card and now only use cash when we go. I have never gotten fried noodles when ordering from them. Every once in a while a fortune cookie makes its way into the bag.

@KoolBreeze and @junkliss Denino’s - I just got so frustrated with the scene there. It is always madness with a staff that doesn’t care. Now, I make my own or go to Esposito’s. LOVE that sesame crust. YUM.

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The poor service is just their attempt to provide you with an authentic Chinese dining experience. :grin:

Be real if she was really the Chinese version of “Al Yeganeh” - she would have blurted out “no soup for you!” Come to think of it maybe that is what she said in Mandarin ???

Yikes !!! Remind me not to order the secret sauce there…

It’s called “fawk yu gwa lo” in Cantonese.

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Too funny @VikingKaj

I love Shanghai bun. Their Pork with Hot Bean Sauce Noodles is one of my top three dishes in Monmouth Co. The other two being the garlic hot wings at Jack’s and those crispy gnocchi they make at Nicholas in the spring. I’ve never been anything but happy with the food and the service and I certainly don’t see the staff as racist.

How dare they ruin your food by giving you free fried noodles! :wink:

For people wondering I’m pretty sure the fried noodles come with the hot n sour soup, not because anyone was white or yellow.

What hasn’t been said about this place already? I mean it’s just a fantastic Chinese dive. If half the pizza and sushi places shut down and just 2 more like Bun opened in its place our area would be doing way better. Still gotta take @CurlzNJ one of these days. I agree with Ycf, their service is definitely authentic Chinese. They’re not the friendiest people (I think the woman is actually just shy) but they warm up to you eventually. Recently went and had an epic meal and enjoying their white board menu additions. Cumin lamb is excellent, and the spicy beef hot pot is perfect in cold weather.

@seal Have you had the Korean version of that noodle dish? Looks something like this.

Also love the gnocci at Nicholas. When they make it right it’s magical.

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I didn’t use the word racist - but there is a difference in treatment that varies from restaurant to restaurant some much worse than others. Non Asians will be given fried noodles instead of peanuts or pickled veggies for example in the more authentic places. In previous posts I discussed disparity in pricing, but I did not identify Shang Hai Bun in that category. All im saying is, is I was disappointed last night. No doubt we need more places like this and that too is why I am lamenting. I no longer shop at the Asian market on 18 in East Brunswick because I feel unwelcomed on the other hand at H Mart on Rt27 I feel very comfortable.

Who can forget Mr. Grumpy at Island Taste in Marlboro. Good Chinatown style dishes if you can accept the robotic service from the owner. He treated everyone with the same warm and hospitality regardless of your ethnicity.:no_mouth:

I could walk to Mr. Grumpy from where I live and spent so much $ there - he knew me for years. One day i took a menu and wrote on it what I wanted and he yelled at me for wasting a menu. That was my last visit to Mr. Grumpy (whose English name I believe was David). Until today, I thought it was just me :), kidding of course. But his place was clean and the food was excellent, and he had a faux authentic menu. He had a partner who couldn’t speak English, that was extremely nice. So no more Mr. Grumpy, but now a below average replacement. That strip mall has seen better days. Carvel use to be better and there was a fast food fish place (Dinos ?), that was quite good. :frowning: At least Marlboro Pizza is hanging in there, I wish they still offered coupons !

Um, YES.

Went for dinner last night. Mrs. Seal had to get the soup dumplings, but I went all for the specials board and got the chicken wings with black beans and the cumin lamb. I’d never had either dish there before and both were really good. The wings were the usual wing and drumette pieces hacked into thirds though, making eating them a bit tricky with all the little pieces of bone. Shame because they were really good. I was surprised that the cumin lamb was as good as the one we like at Sichuan Cottage.

We all need to get here for a hodown one day.

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I think a HOdown would be a great idea as I never get to try anything new whenever I go. Its usually the same order time and time again: soup dumplings, spicy beef noodle soup, pork and radish soup, beef sandwich and maybe a fried pork chop or two (all not for me BTW). I want to try other dishes and the HOdown would give me an excuse to do so. Count me in.