Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ji Shi - Review

Ji Shi (aka Jesse) - Recommended
41 Tianping Road, Shanghai, China
Phone: 86-(0)21-6282-9260

Went to the Chow boards to figure out where else to go in Shanghai and everyone resoundingly recommends Ji Shi. This is a really tiny joint that was filled with all Chinese people although most were tourists from Hong Kong or Taiwan. The waiter was extremely helpful as he ordered all the dishes for us and the food was generally pretty good. Now, I’m not sure what the chowhounders were eating since the food was good, but not mind blowing like everyone was saying. Still recommended though.

Our Menu
Ji Shi Salt Cured Chicken *
Your standard Chinese salt cured chicken recipe. These had good chicken flavor, but was nothing really to rave about. Meat was not tender, but when it's cured they rarely are. Good with rice.

Tofu Skin and Vegetable **

A perfect home style dish with a great combination of texture and flavors. The tofu skin had some slight chew which paired well with the soft vegetable (maybe spinach?). Nice and light flavors which was a great change of pace from the Cantonese vegetables cooked with chicken stock.

Tofu Skin in Chili Oil **
My favorite dish from this place. Again perfect tofu skin texture that is sitting in this chili oil that surprisingly isn’t too heavy and isn’t too oily. The tofu skin takes on the floral perfume from the chili and is so damn good to eat with rice.

Vegetable Fried Rice **
My wife loves her some fried rice, so we had to order this dish. Basically some Chinese sausage and some wilted greens cooked in. Like most fried rice we've had on this trip, the vegetable flavor permeates every single rice kernel which is so damn fun to eat.

Drunken Shrimp
We had to send this dish back since it was a little too intense for us - the waiter ordered for us. Basically raw tiny shrimp doused in Chinese rice wine and marinating for a long ars time. The wine was so boozy that it was hard to eat. The game is to put the whole bugger in your mouth and start chewing to extract the flavor out. Crunchy and you get a little ama ebi sweet thang going on, but it ends up being way too boozy.

Chili Crab and Shrimp *

Pieces of crab and shrimp were battered and deep fried covered with chilis and peanuts. The crab and shrimp had great flavor taking on the chili’s perfectly, but both the crab and shrimp were overcooked. The flavor was so good though, that it didn’t matter that much and went perfectly with the rice. The interesting thing is the shrimp skin was fried crispy so it actually became edible and was like a shrimp chip.

Rating System
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way

Closing Comments
The food is definitely pretty fun and comforting, but I don't get it in term of the internets raving about this place. Any who pretty solid and I would check it out if you're in the neighborhood.


porthos said...

that drunken chicken looked pretty yummy. one of my favorite dishes...

you mentioned the chicken was tough...
was it so tough you couldn't chew and felt like you were chewing on rubber bands?
or did it just have some texture you're not used to because chicken here in America is a joke. (the color of the meat looks pretty awesome dude. it clearly shows a bird that was running around and not locked up in pens it's whole life)
the (99%)farmers here try to breed flavorless soft tissue meat that is pretty atrocious.
an insult to everyone really.

Aramis said...

Flavor was very good, but the texture was like well done steak. I remember having mountain chicken outside of taiwan that had huge flavor and wasn't as tough as this and definitely had a more pleasant texture - not soft, but still appealing.

porthos said...

so probably over boiled then...

just wish this dish was as popular as orange chicken here in the states.

through trial and error, people would get really damn good at making it.

Hainan Ji is the ultimate flash boiled chicken dish with a la minute marinade sauce.
but i'd settle for a nice tsong you ji as well.
oh man, want me some NOW.