The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Get All-You-Can-Eat Hot Pot and Soup Dumplings at Shanghai Tide for $26

This post originally took place on November 6. Hahahaha yeah you are not surprised.


The title of this post is basically all I have to tell people to make them want to eat at Shanghai Tide in Flushing. Whether or not the quality is good is a secondary concern. BECAUSE YOU GET TO STUFF YOURSELF SILLY. So before I address the quality, let me show you what you can get for your $26*. At least, if you're in a group of ten like I was at Tom's 21st birthday dinner.

* I tried looking up other NYC hot pot prices online, but couldn't find much. I suspect $26 is not far off from what other restaurants charge for all-you-can-eat hot pot, but Shanghai Tide earns extra points with the dumplings and drinks.

beefies pork and lamb I think?

Piles of raw thinly sliced meats: beef, pork, and lamb in this case.

broccoli, cabbage, fish balls, baby cuttlefish, taro

Pile of stuff that didn't fit into the "thinly sliced meats" category: broccoli, cabbage, rice cakes, baby cuttlefish, taro, fish balls, and salty fatty pork.

chicken n spinach n stuff

Pile of stuff that we ordered after we finished all the other stuff: spinach, watercress, udon, and chicken.

let's get started

Soup to cook all the stuff in. Our table got three split bowls of spicy and non-spicy soup.

ye get unlimited soup dumplings, hooyeah

Pork soup dumplings, which I thought were quite good, although I'll admit I'm not a very discerning soup dumpling eater. As long as the skin is thin (but not so thin it breaks at the slightest chopstick poke) and contains a decently sized, juicy pork ball swimming in pork juices, I'm happy. Most of the soup dumplings I've eaten in the city fulfill my standards.

scallion pancakes

Scallion pancakes. Crispy, chewy, scallion-specked flatbread. I'd prefer them a bit thicker than this, but I still liked them.

crispy soup buns

Fried soup buns, or sheng jian mantou/bao. I love these things—pork ball-filled buns with crispy bottoms and whose skin is saturated with pork juice. Reading this post at Appetite for China about shengjian bao in Shanghai is making me weep porky tears of crazed bao-lust, and learning that they're a common breakfast item in Shanghai makes me want to throw bricks at American-style breakfasts because a plate of pancakes, eggs, and bacon excites me about as much as finding mouse poop on my kitchen counter. (By the way, mouse poop does not excite me. Also, I've never been to China [INSERT SAD FACE?], and that I have no family or friends there makes any trip in the near future unlikely. Ideally, my next trip to Asia would be to Taipei, where my dad and grandparents currently live.) Methinks I need to go on a sheng jian bao hunt in New York City.

sauces and condiments sauces n stuff

Make-your-own-sauce bar, plus all the chopped scallions you care to mix in. I suck at making my own sauce (I ended up with some sort of sesame oil-soy sauce-peanut sauce concoction that I wouldn't feed to anyone), but I like knowing that I can do whatever I want. Even if all I want is a bowl of MSG. (I didn't want a bowl of MSG.)


All the Budweiser you want. They also had a bunch of soft drinks for the alcohol-intolerant, like me.

MEEAAT flying chopsticks empties

So how's the quality? I don't have much to compare it to, having only eaten hot pot once before in Brooklyn, but I think it's safe to say you're paying for quantity, not quality. But I liked Shanghai Tide enough that I'd go back and recommend it if you want to throw a party. Our waiter was nice, we weren't rushed (we filled the 2-hour limit noted on the menu, mostly because we figured we may as well), and there's no math to do with the bill. AND THERE WAS A SHITTON OF FOOD, in case you missed that part. Perhaps I'm not picky enough, but sometimes I like me a good ol' night of boundless hedonistic face-stuffage for not a buttload of money.

Some of my friends on Twitter have pointed out that the best hot pot is the one you make at home, but I'm totally down with paying $26 for someone else to prepare the ingredients and soup, provide the table setting, and clean up the mess. It let's me focus on having fun with friends, and by "fun" I mean "entering multiple food comas."

(Note: I had a great, super cheap dumpling-centric meat at Shanghai Tide in 2007, in case hot pot isn't your thing.)


Shanghai Tide

13520 40th Rd, NY 11354 (map)


Chris H / December 29, 2010 6:47 PM

Yes! AYCE XLB and hotpot FTW. I used to go there once a month but
A. It got really crowded w/the Manhattan foodie/hipster crowd
B. I was starting to gain a lot of weight.

Angeline / December 29, 2010 7:10 PM

When my family discusses AYCE sushi someone usually says "yeah but that one has free pop/bubble tea", but free beer takes the cake! I'm also intrigued by the unlimited luncheon meat. Luncheon meat hotpot? That's crazy talk.

I hope everyone got a good nap after this meal, hot pot = sleepy time

roboppy / December 30, 2010 12:58 AM

Chris: Whoa, once a month!...that's dedication. :) I forgot to mention that we made a reservation. It was crowded, yuuup.

Angeline: Ah, luncheon meat...I was sort of tempted to get that, hehe. Next time!

Mahar / December 30, 2010 1:48 AM

As much as it's ideal for you to visit your dad and grandparents...

What about us? :P

The Philippines is directly SOUTH of Taiwan. It's, what, a 2 hour flight? 3 hours?

HINT. HINT. HINT. Oh so blatantly.

That said, I always am slightly in fear of hot pots because I feel that I'm doing it wrong. That, and I smell like hot pot afterwards.

Mila / December 30, 2010 9:38 AM

Oh Robyn, come to China! Yes, I'm from the Philippines and I'd vote on having you go there first, but I live in China nowadays, so you do have friends you can visit, and eat with, and look at really ugly cakes with, and try all the dumplings/baos/starchy fried gooey stuff with!
So Philippines and China, come over soon!

Patrick / December 30, 2010 10:06 AM

AHHHHHHHHHH I WANT I WANT I WANT. is there really other hot pots in manhattan w/o the dumplings? WHERE?? perfect weather for hot pot!!!!!! I love AYCE!

Nicholas / December 30, 2010 10:04 PM

YO, don't listen to all those people up there^^

Taiwan's where it's at. I'll probably go for a couple of weeks (if I get a job... at the end of the Summer, otherwise... for the whole Summer!). You should come and we'll go eating and gain tons of weight. It'll be great.

Know those 生煎包 thingers you were talking about? 10 NT per. That's 100 buns for $30.

Danny / December 31, 2010 10:44 AM

mmmm hot pot. yea the value proposition definitely goes up at home, but the problem with doing it at home is buying a burner... and if you don't eat hot pot that often, that burner is kinda useless if you have a stove. but yea... that's a lot of food. also, sheng jian baos are great!

roboppy / December 31, 2010 6:01 PM

Mahar: I'd want a longer-than-a-week vacation to hit up two countries in one go..dunno if I'll have that kind of time for a while. :( THE BLOGGING DON'T STOP.

Mmm hot pot smell!

Mila: OO YAY, I would be happy to go to China!..and..the other stuff! the ugly cakes! :)

Patrick: I tried to find some recs, but it doesn't seem like there are any good places in Manhattan for hot pot. :O Which is why people told me to make it at home. Doooh.

Nicholas: OMG OMG OMG YESPLZZZZZZZ and 100 BUNS OH JEBUS [head explodes]

Danny: Yeah, I figured it wouldn't be worth it for me to buy hot pot tools that I may use...once. Not much cooking goes on in my apartment. :(

Morten / January 1, 2011 2:03 PM

This looks pretty awesome. I'm up for this next time I'm in NYC. The dumplings and budweiser was especially alluring.

Rose / January 3, 2011 4:15 PM

Even though I am an avid reader, is it sad that I only really look (and drool) over your pictures? Well, I do read the captions sometimes; does that count?

teresa / January 4, 2011 9:02 AM

If you ever go to Taiwan, I definitely suggest trying their AYCE shabu shabu/hot pot. I went twice in two weeks. It was AWESOME. So cheap and good. They also include dessert. NOM NOM NOM.

Leslie / January 5, 2011 1:13 AM

Go to Taiwan! There are loads of shengjian bao there, and tons of delicious soup dumplings. Everyone I know gains about 10 pounds when they go to there.

roboppy / January 5, 2011 1:52 AM


Rose: I think I'd do that too if I were reading my blog. Not as me. :)

Serena: I just checked to see if is taken. NOPE! Hmm.

Teresa: Gaawd damn I miss Taiwan. I'm pretty sure I ate a bit of AYCE hot pot when I lived there, but that was over 10 years ago. Fail.

Leslie: But the 10 pounds melt away in the heat, right? I hope so. ;) When I lived in Taiwan for 2 years I was definitely...not as fat as I am now, but I was also a tween so my metabolism was probably really good or something. I mostly ate McDonald's. :(

serena / January 5, 2011 3:09 PM

You should totally buy - just think of the possibilities. Hot Pot, chubby babies, meat-rollups, pudgy manatees...the list goes on.

Albany Jane / January 5, 2011 4:12 PM

Heck yea! It got the Robyn thumbs up - I'mma check it out!

I've been waffling about visiting this place every time I'm in the city, but you've sealed the deal. And the XLB don't hurt either.

roboppy / January 15, 2011 12:26 AM

serena: Chubby baby blog would be popular. Chubby babies of ALL SPECIES!!

Albany Jane: XLB ALL THE WAY! Man I love dumplings.

Buffer Boy: My impression is that most people say the quality is so-so. You're not paying for the best. :[ But I'd eat it again anyhooo.

roboppy / March 9, 2011 12:18 AM

joanne: AHHHHHWAAHHARHAHRH SO HONGRY. I mean. Thanks for the link; I gotta read CNNGo more often. :) NOW I AM SO HONGRY.

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