The Sweet Stench of Success

Shanghai Noodles

Any one of our three soups could have fed several people, and all of them brought us back to the realm of delectability. Each came with a dark, flavorful broth and a heap of luscious wheat noodles. The first contained melting, savory-yet-sweet fried tofu puffs; the second, thin-sliced pork chops that exuded a powerful, barbecue-esque meatiness. Smoked fish soup fell between the other two (sweet but meaty, and still intense), its broth livened by a dash of warm, lingering five-spice powder.

Desserts confirmed our suspicion that Shanghai Noodles is the kind of good, solid, everyday restaurant a person could return to again and again. Chinese doughnuts were long, churrolike pastries so airy they could have floated away on a passing breeze, while the eight precious pudding proved a more substantial delight -- a dense, hamburger-size sweet rice cake filled with hearty red bean paste and topped with bits of candied fruit. To finish, our waitress comped us an order of sesame-crusted pastries with dough so rich and flaky it could make a vegan write an ode to the joys of lard. As we bundled our leftovers into to-go boxes, she also promised to show us some uncooked stinking tofu, but before that could happen, a party of eight walked in and overwhelmed her.

Location Info


Shanghai Noodles

1808 Balboa St.
San Francisco, CA 94121-3131

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Richmond (Outer)


Drunken chicken -- $3.95
Seaweed salad -- $2.95
Sautéed mustard greens -- $5.95
Sweet rice siu mai -- $3.95
Stinking tofu -- $4.95
Noodle soup with pork chops -- $4.95
Eight precious pudding -- $3.95


Open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Tuesday (closed)

Reservations not accepted

Credit cards not accepted

Wheelchair accessible

Parking: moderately difficult

Muni: 31

Noise level: moderate

1808 Balboa (at 19th Avenue)

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"Next time!" she promised as we headed off into the night. I can hardly wait.

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