On a recent lunch date with my wife and son my wife suggested we try Shang Hai. It is right across the street from my favorite Vietnamese joint. (Pho Vietnam) I had seen the place many times but had never had the pleasure of stopping in. She doesn’t work very far from there and she had been quite a few times. I’m not sure at all what the building used to be. It looks like the Starbucks on Poplar/White Station used to look before they remodeled. I’m sure someone out there could help me with that as it was most likely a chain location. Anyway, back to my story.
The sign out front says that they serve Thai and Vietnamese food. Personally, I’m down with both so I knew I couldn’t go wrong here. When we walked in and sat down I looked around and I immediately picked up on the family vibe. There were several people eating there for lunch. (Always a good sign) The owner came over and handed us some menus and took out drink orders. She was extremely nice. I could see that it is truly a family owned and oriented type business. They knew many of their regulars by name.
We saw many things on the menu that would like to try but we kept it fairly basic for my first trip. We ordered the house combo fried rice. My wife ordered the house combo noodles. I ordered the Moo Goo Beef which came with fried rice and an egg roll. While waiting on our food everyone in the restaurant was visited by a little girl, presumably a grand-daughter of the owner, named Madison. Of course everyone contributed “Awwww’s” and “How cute’s”. This was further testament to the family atmosphere of the restaurant.
Our food came out fairly quickly to my relief. I was pretty hungry!! We all sampled each others dishes and I will say I was very impressed with it all. I had never had moo goo beef before (sheltered I know) and I must say it was great. The rock star of the lunch though was the fried egg roll. It was big, fried, and full of stuff. It had the clear noodles typically inside Vietnamese spring rolls. It also had lots of vegetables and plenty of ground pork. Looking back I might have just ordered a dozen or so of those bad boys and I would have been very content.
All in all I’m very glad my wife suggested Shang Hai. I’m glad to add it to my list of favorites for Memphis eateries. I’m also dying to go back and try the beef noodle soup for lunch. I highly recommend this place to anyone who loves great Asian food.