Stepping into Liu’s Shanghai, a ten minute walk from the train on a freezing winter night, I was immediately enveloped in warmth. Not just the heating, though that was helpful too, but the tables full of families eating. The piping hot tea. The friendly servers who didn’t seem to mind a single diner taking up a table.
Despite the weather I couldn’t help but order a cold appetizer, the Shanghainese staple kao fu (braised wheat gluten). Int his version the wheat gluten was softer than others I’ve tried, and a great mix of savory and sweet. Boiled peanuts and large chunks of mushrooms were mixed among the shredded gluten, and I would never have guessed that a large cold shiitake would be one of the best mushroom bites I’ve ever had in my life. And I have eaten a lot of mushrooms.
Above you see the vegetarian mock duck, made with silky sheets of bean curd, served with stir-fried baby bok choy. More mild in flavor than the kao fu it was nevertheless nourishing and tasty, particularly the bok choy. It was way more than one person could eat in one setting, so I took most of it home to eat the next day.
One the way back to the train I stopped by Net Cost, a branch of the Eastern European grocery chain, and then J-Mart, and Asian supermarket. Bath Beach is a neighborhood I don’t know much about, but it seems to have a little but of everything I love. I’ll definitely be back.
Liu’s Shanghai — 1869 Bath Ave