Fortune Cookie Shanghai: ‘Experience’ nice, food forgettable

Fortune Cookie on 83 Changshu Rd by Julu Rd had received plenty of good reviews, so we tried it.

The idea is American-style Chinese food.

Not being an expert of American-style Chinese food, I can’t comment on the veracity of this claim, yet yanks seem to approve. So it seems to deliver the style that you can expect.

The place is busy, it is well laid-out with each table feeling private, and the service did match the reviews: all staff were friendly and very helpful, and acted as if indeed it was a more ‘family run’ establishment.

So you can go there with a group of people and get generously large portions of relatively-low-cost fried Chinese food.

If you do have an expectation of the food itself – quality-wise – then you may be slightly disappointed.

Even taking the price into account, the fact is that after a few bites, all of the dishes begin to taste the same. This is of course a certain ‘style’ of food. I mean you can’t go to a salad bar and complain that there is too much lettuce. So this food should be a bit oily.

Yet, we ordered the BBQ pork ribs, Orange chicken, Chow ‘mein’, Spicy chicken wings, and Sesame prawn.

The first bite is nice, but after a few, it really doesn’t matter from what plate you choose your next bite. But maybe there really is no other way to do this style rather than this?

I’m being sympathetic to this possibility because this isn’t really a ‘criticism’ of the food there – they clearly have a good idea and are right in emphasising their service and the overall ‘experience’ of the place, with the kitsch-y menus and serving boxes. It’s still a decent option to try and see what you think of the place.

But – if ‘kind of Hong Kong style food’ is something you are after (which I believe that ‘American-style Chinese food’ is similar to), then food-wise, you are still better off going to Cha’s Restaurant, which is at Sinan Rd by Huaihai Rd, and also Xingeng Rd by Tianyaoqiao Rd (downstairs in the kind of ‘plaza’ there).

Two photos from Cha’s Restaurant may not fully illustrate this point, but here are two anyway:


Cha's Restaurant Shanghai chicken


Cha's Restaurant Shanghai


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Categories: Food


Foreigner in Shanghai


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