Restaurant Review: Uncle Cheung's

In the spirit of more positive thoughts on food, I have this review on Uncle Cheung's.

Uncle Cheung's cooks up Shanghai-style dishes. The maitre d' speaks Shanghainese and Mandarin, and she is very nice and friendly. I do not claim to be an expert on Shanghainese food. I only know that this cuisine is what pleases my palate the most among the different Chinese reginal cuisines. I first tasted their food at their other branch China Ting in Ashland, MA. It was about 1-hour drive to get there for weekend brunch -- it had better be damn good to worth the drive on an empty stomach! Now China Ting is closed, and Uncle Cheung is a little closer -- in Framingham, about a 30-40 minute drive. The restaurant is very roomy. I never had to wait to be seated. Do not be fooled by many tables serving up Americanized Chinese food to unknowing customers, the chef can produce the real stuff.

Brunches there have been worthwhile for the following items: pork moon cake -- juicy ground pork filling inside a Chinese-style flaky pastry, made to order. The pastry is excellently made, with tons of layers and without any greasy taste. The meat is so juicy that you have to bite down with caution so that the hot juices don't burn off your mouth. Their wonton soup is made well too, with proper ratio of filling to wrapper, with all the appropriate condiments: shrimp skins, pickeled mustard green, strips of fried egg and seaweed. Drunken chicken retains the tight muscle texture while the flavor penetrates all the way through. The famous Shanghainese little pork buns (non-soupy), however, are not very good. The skin breaks easily and just has a bad texture. But it's not horrible. Stir-fried rice cake is great as well.

Dinner fare is pretty good. The fish in red cooked sauce (or brown sauce...I don't remember the exact English name) is excellently made. The flesh is cooked to perfection and is ever-so-tender. With the famous Shanghai style brown sauce, this dish alone draws me back again and again. Another dish that's well done is chicken strips with silver sprouts in chili oil. They actually take the time to pinch off the heads and tails of bean sprouts so they truly are "silver" sprouts. This dish also has lots of Chinese chives. Very appetizing and aromatic. Their crystal shrimp is also very good. They actually use medium sized shrimp and they are cooked just to the right tenderness. Although this dish was supposed to use river shrimp, I can try to ignore that fact. Avoid the seaweed battered fish strips -- too much batter. You can get a better version at Shanghai Gate. Dessert rice cake in fermented rice sauce was very very good. You can really taste the vinegry rice and smell the fragrance.

One more great thing for you drinkers out there -- they have a full bar.

Uncle Cheung's
266 Worcester Rd.
Framingham, MA 01702


charles said…
yup, the authentic shanghainese crystal shrimp should use river shrimps. they taste much more delicious and delicate than sea shrimps. even for fishes, i prefer river fishes over sea fishes, but i read in your other post that you think river fishes are too muddy, which is a typical complaint. to me, i'd rather take the muddy taste than the strong fish smell of the sea fishes. plus, i love freshly killed fishes, so river all the way!

oh, and for the 19.99 you paid for that crappy piece of tilapia, you can have 3 dishes + soup + soupy pork buns in flushing, all authentic and delicious. whenever i think of that, i tell myself that the overpriced housing in nyc is worth every fucking single penny.
Albertitto said…
I think river fish are probably not too bad. It's usually fish in more still water like lakes that eat a lot of algae and accumulate substances tasting like mud. There are live fish to buy in Chinese markets here but they are always too cramped inside the smallest tanks full of disgustingly cloudy water, not visually appealing enough to buy. And I don't have the patience to go grocery shopping during the weekday. So I hardly ever cook fish at home.

I'm going to flushing again next time when I'm in NYC! I can't wait to eat at those restaurants!!!
Erica said…
Yum, I am tempted to do reviews of restaurants in Shanghai now, really miss some of the food back home. Next time you go back to Taiwan, maybe you should make a side trip to Shanghai and have some real authentic Shanghai food =)
Albertitto said…
Oh, you gotta tell me which ones are good! I'll be in Shanghai in early September! I can't wait to eat all the food!!
Erica said…
I am so envious, although it's still HOT there early in September, get ready for some heat! Also I think it might be a bit too early for the famous Shanghai crabs, I don't know if you like crabs, if you do, next time go around November time frame, perfect weather and good crabs. I will gather some of my favorite restaurants and leave you a note later =) Plus some bars for you to check out too.

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