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“Nice little place for Chinese food”

Little Shanghai Restaurant
Ranked #38 of 450 Restaurants in San Mateo
Price range: US$10 - US$15
Cuisines: Chinese
Restaurant details
Reviewed June 29, 2016

I went here on the recommendation of a friend. We decided to try a variety of items. They were all deliver fairly quick even though it was extremely busy. The sweet and sour chicken was excellent. The meatballs were very good. They were larger than a normal american meatball with a thick rich sauce. I enjoyed the fried rice because it was mostly rice and meat without a bunch of vegetables as filler. We also had a shrimp dish with stir fried shrimp and a sauce that was very similar to malt vinegar that was very unique. The more I ate the more I liked it. As busy as it was on a Tuesday I would imagine that it is extremely busy on weekends.

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Thank ROBERT2448
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 14 of 34 reviews

Reviewed April 16, 2016

This is a tiny eatery that takes us 30 minutes standing to get our seat at lunchtime on a Sunday. Having been missing Shanghai food for many years, I am glad that my Shanghainese friend in Berkeley introduces this place to me. Based on his memory, this place has been in business for more than 10 years. The business is thriving.

They serve typical Shanghai style family breakfast and snacks. Here are what we have: Cifantuan (粢饭团), Soy milk(甜豆浆), Soup Dumpling (小笼包), Pan-fried Steamed Bun (生煎馒头), Baked wheat gluten (烤麸),Bacon Vegetable Rice(咸肉菜饭) and Braised Meatball in brown sauce (红烧狮子头). Local people gather here and seriously enjoy their delicacies.

It's a bit challenging to find a parking spot around the restaurant. You may want to avoid lunchtime as the wait can be very long. Try to come in after 1:30PM on Sunday.

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1  Thank Phil Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 15, 2015

I love this little always crowded restaurant. I have learn to go early or late because parking can be crazy....and seating is hard to come by during the lunch or dinner rush. Most of the food is very good. Always a favorite with my relatives from China. Love the fried eel with the glazed sauce. They have some special desserts that is suppose to be authentic to China although I am not crazy about it. Some kind of fried sweet rice thing and fried pancake stuff with bean paste. All their dumplings items such as potstickers are all delicious.

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1  Thank bzbeehive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed October 1, 2015

Ate here twice. Best mongolian beef I've ever had. When you walk into a Chinese restaurant and its nothing but local Chinese eating there, you know its the real deal. Service is so-so but you're there for the food. If you are near by, do not pass this place up. Food is also very modestly priced especially for the portions.

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1  Thank kuhnflyfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 30, 2015

One of the first rules of finding a good restaurant is to look where all the locals eat. In my opinion if you want real Chinese food Little Shanghai Restaurant is the real deal. While I had made the decision to experiment with something so authentic that I had to step outside of my comfort zone because I was the only person here that did not speak some dialect of Chinese as a primary language they made me feel quite welcome. The service was attentive and very good. The tables were prepared with nice linen and glassware, so opposite of the experience at the average Chinese restaurant found on every Main St. in America.

The menu was primarily printed in Chinese but provided English translations. Many of the dishes included ingredients normally found in Asian markets that I have yet to figure out what to do with so this was a great opportunity to try something different. The flavors and preparations were original (to my experience); for example the baked steamed rice with pork and vegetables was served in pottery that it was cooked in. While large spoons were provided to serve each dish, the only utensils to eat with were chop sticks (I did not ask for a fork). What I discovered was that it was easier to eat using chop sticks when the rice or noodles were cooked properly. What I also noted about the food was the delicate balance of seasonings and no heavy sauces.

When seated they provide a small pot of tea that I found much better than any I've had in a long while. They also offer a small serving of salted/spiced red peanuts to eat while waiting. Although I started to use my fingers I noted that everyone else used their chop sticks to pick up peanuts, which I discovered wasn't all that difficult. I've learned that in Chinese culture everyone at a table shares. There were some large round tables with big lazy Suzan's used to accommodate sharing around the table.

This is the Chinese flavor and preparation that I've always imagined. I would definitely return. Keep in mind they are only open limited hours for lunch, then close until they reopen for dinner from 5 to 9p.

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1  Thank Boomerang025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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