Wednesday, I met Nastassia @ Shangri-La, located on Cass in Midtown. Moderately priced with a trendy, hip feel, this restaurant is not your typical red-carpeted, dragon decorated Chinese place. Known for the best dim sum in Detroit, we decided to see what all the hype was about.
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites
Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites
Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites
Service: 3.5 out of 5 bites
Wow Factor: 4 out of bites bites (unique and extensive menu)
We started with Spicy Softshell Crab appetizer with a recommendation for our server: Lightly battered and fried softshell crab served with a mix of onions and peppers. The batter was airy and delicious. I got more heat from the onion than I did the peppers, but the fresh veggie salad paired well with the rich crab.
Dim Sum: noun. a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savory dumplings containing various fillings, served as a snack or main course.
Shark Fin: Tender steamed dumpling filled with shark fin. The shark had a subtle seafood flavor, with a little chew.
Eggplant: Shrimp stuffed eggplant. The eggplant was tender and the fried shrimp was huge!
Garlic & Chive Pan Cake: With ginger. As soon as you took a bite, you tasted the ginger and garlic. The dumpling was the perfect combination of crispy and tender.
Pan Fried Corn Cake with Shrimp Paste: Delicious! This didn’t taste like authentic Asian at all, but I’m not complaining. It was the perfect fried corn fritter. The outside of the corn cake was crispy and filled with tender shrimp and fresh corn.
Incredible Hulk (on left): Cucumber, asparagus, and avocado topped with seaweed salad. Tempura roll. This roll was huge and pretty good for a veggie roll. The crunchy veggies and creamy avocado balanced out the fried tempura.
Tony Montana (on right): Inside: White tuna and cucumber. Outside: White tuna, bonito flakes, scallions, and ponzu sauce. The bonito flakes sparked our curiosity, but curiosity killed the cat. I wasn’t a fan of this roll. The bonito flakes were smokey, fishy, airy flakes which I didn’t care for. The whole roll didn’t really have much flavor and the scallions and ponzu sauce were non existent. It would’ve been nice to have something to balance out the white tuna and bonito flakes.
Overall, our experience was a success; I got to try dim sum for the first time. Although I wasn’t fond of everything we ordered, Shangri-La definitely gets points for making some of the most unique and different dim sum in the area. Service was good, but our server forgot to put in one of our orders of dim sum which was removed from our check. If you’re looking for a popular place to try dim sum or even just to enjoy Chinese favorites, try Shangri-La next time you’re out.