456 Shanghai Cuisine

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75 Solid

A Shanghainese restaurant that’s popular for its xiao long bao.

69 Mott St., New York, NY, 10013

212-964-0003

Known For

The lowdown

It’s surprising to walk into a Chinese restaurant on Mott Street and not find it filled with large round tables topped with lazy Susans. But it’s a pleasant discovery at 456 Shanghai, where you’re more likely to get a two-top than a communal table with tourists using knives to eat their xiao long bao. Speaking of those Shanghainese soup dumplings, they’re a must-order here. Choose from pork or a funky pork-crab-meat version. Either way you’ll be receive eight, smallish thin-skinned beauties. Don’t trade them in for an order of fried tiny buns, a similar dish where the chewy wrappers are replaced with puffy bao clouds that are topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and grounded with a good crunchy sear on their bottom. It’s imperative to order both. Cold sesame noodles are glossed with a peanut-sesame sauce that’s well balanced with a vinegar-y bite. Grab a couple of dishes for the table to share by honing in on the “chef specialties” section of the menu. There you’ll find spicy Tai-Chien chicken that’s littered with chunks of meaty, smoked mushrooms and steak Chinese style, an unctuous plate of brown-gravy-sauced meat that’s fork-tender. There’s no dessert here, leaving you with two choices: head back to the dim sum menu for an order of red-bean stuffed pancakes … or sprint around the corner to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory quickly, before it closes for the night.

What you need to know

Recommended DishesSteamed juicy buns; fried tiny buns; cold noodles in sesame sauce; spice Tai-Chien chicken; steak Chinese style.

DrinksBeer & Wine Only

Noise LevelCivilized