Sunday, February 07, 2016

Shan Shan Noodles, Parsippany, New Jersey

Shan Shan Noodles is my kind of place. It's small, it's homey, friendly, fun and unpretentious, serving good, inexpensive ethnic food. The menus come in several versions, of which the photo menu is most helpful to Chinese food gringos to decide amongst the tempting offerings.

Picture menu
The room is relatively small and cozy. We were first brought a complimentary small dish of cold, lightly dressed sesame oil cucumbers, as well as the first of seemingly endless pots of hot tea. (Lipton's, you know?)

We started with an outstanding cold appetizer, Sliced Pig's Ears in Spicy Sauce. This had the near perfect balance of crunch and zesty sauce, spiked with both chili and Sichuan Pepper.

Our next course brought a bamboo steamer containing six Xiao Long Bao soup dumplings. Each steamed dumpling carries a morsel of meat and a soup spoonful of hot consommé. These were just average, but decent. They are eaten by picking one up in a deep-bowled Chinese soup spoon, then biting a notch in the dumpling's skin, slurping out the hot consommé, then eating the morsel of pork within, as well as the delicate dumpling wrapper.

The XLB were accompanied by a small dish of tasty dipping sauce in which fresh ginger dominated.

Bamboo steamer 
Xiao Long Bao
Choosing our main, noodle-bearing dish was challenging. We finally decided on a big bowl of Spicy Shredded Pork with "Paper" (?) Noodles.

While we waited, we watched through a large window the chef swing and stretch noodles for each order that came to the kitchen. This is an amazing skill which I'd only seen before on Internet videos, but THIS WAS THE REAL DEAL.

See the slide show for maximum effect.

The Shredded Spicy Pork Noodles arrived. They were quite good, although not our favorite dish o the day. The noodle component was very good, of superior texture. We  did enjoy every bite, especially after kicking up the spice level a notch with some Hot Red Oil provided on the table.

An order of four Fried Pork Dumplings then arrived, and we happily polished them off. A few drops of black vinegar, soy sauce and hot red oil, from jars on the table made them even more enjoyable. I prefer those more browned and crisp on the bottom, but, who's complaining?

Satiated, we called for the check. (Major credit cards are accepted. (There's a $15 minimum for credit card use.)

The total was amazingly low. All of the above, plus a can of Coke™, for $25.68, plus a generous tip. The check, please.

We'll return to Shan Shan Noodles as soon as we can.

RATINGS are graded on a 1 to 10 scale; 1 being dismally deficient and 10, a rarely attained award.

Food: 8

Service: 7. Friendly, energetic, enthusiastic waitstaff, although could be more attentive in wiping up spills on the table, of which there were several. English is a second language for several staffers, so be patient.

Ambience: Simple and cozy.

Cost: Inexpensive.

Restroom: Clean and serviceable

Parking: Free, in front.

Hours: Closed Mondays. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Booze: No alcoholic beverage license.

Keywords: "Use your noodle. Eat at Shan Shan soon."

Location: Shan Shan Noodles
333 Route 46, Parsippany, NJ, United States

Contact Info: Freephone: +1 9732877399
Telephone: +1 9732877399
Fax: +1 9732877399

NEW: Just added, a video of the chef pulling noodles!


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