Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Not the Same Old Chinese Food

Thinking outside the Chinese food take-out box...

It’s odd to me that with a Chinese food take-out establishment on every other corner, there really are very few good quality sit-down Chinese food restaurants in our area. It seems that with the more recent Japanese dining obsession that Chinese food has taken a back seat.

It’s too bad, as I learned recently at Ala Shanghai in Latham, as Chinese food is as varied as the many regions that make up this expansive country. In other words, if you think lo-mein and wonton soup are the extent of Chinese cuisine, you are sadly under-informed. The good news is that getting a Chinese food education is a delicious and adventurous experience. Are you ready to learn?

My first lesson came recently when friend and fellow foodie, Frank, and I visited Ala Shanghai in Latham on a Friday night. The parking lot was absolutely packed, and there was a line out the door. Apparently many of you have already learned what the regional food of the Shanghai area has to offer. (Reservations on a Friday or Saturday night are obviously recommended).
Once we nudged our way inside it was only a five-minute wait. We were seated in the back of one of the two main rooms, nicely out of the way of the hustle and bustle of the hungry hoards. The space was a nice balance - the d├ęcor was casual, yet the white linen tablecloths and shiny black chopsticks made it feel special.
Read the full article here...