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Shanghai Jazz

Recently, while planning a fundraising event for work, someone recommended a place to look into called Shanghai Jazz. It didn't end up working out to be a good place for our event, but I was intrigued by it. Way up in Madison, NJ is this jazz club that serves Chinese food? I was definitely curious. Since my companion likes jazz and we both like trying new things I decided to take the long drive up the Turnpike and Parkway to Shanghai Jazz. We went on a Friday night when they have two seatings, one at 6 pm and one at 8 pm. We had a reservation for the 6 pm and luckily were able to make the journey and arrive on time. It's right on Main St in Madison among many other restaurants, shops and businesses. There is some street parking and lots behind the buildings, most lots have signs reserving spaces for particular businesses, the same was true of Shanghai Jazz. Their lot is small and can be tricky to get in and out of, however I think it is possible to find parking in the other lots or on a nearby street.

When we walked inside we found a small bar area and a dining room with a stage. The decor is definitely interesting, not overly gaudy, I would say simple elegance. We were instructed to walk to the front of the restaurant to be seated (since we had parked behind the building and came in through the back door), at that point we were greeted by one half of the husband and wife team, David. David sat us and even let us decide which table we wanted, we took a table just at the top of an elevated seating area in the back of the restaurant. It had a great view of the stage even tough we weren't super close.

We were still kind of leery of the whole Chinese food in a jazz club thing. However, things were looking good since right after David seated us, a server came over with menus and was just as gracious as David had been. We decided to start with cocktails to get in the jazz club mood, I chose the Limoncello Martini which had Limoncello, vanilla vodka, lemon juice, and topped with champagne, it was very lemony and super delicious. My companion ordered the Satchmo's Sour Martini (at the recommendation of our waitress) that cocktail had  Elderflower Liqueur, Gin, and a splash of lemon. We enjoyed our cocktails as we continued to peruse the menu with great curiosity. We couldn't decide on entrees just yet, but we put in an order of the Dim Sum appetizer platter which came highly recommended. If you've been following HOS for a while, you know that my companion and I enjoy food adventures, so the idea that they would select a sampling of their appetizers for us was right up our alley!

It did not disappoint, the dim sum was fun and yummy! It arrived to the table on a giant, bright white platter and included their signature jicama salad with peanuts that was super fresh and crunchy. It also had three types of dumplings, two steamed and one fried. The steamed where shrimp & chicken, as well as pork and the fried were crab. The dim sum platter also included a California roll, which was ok, definitely not the highlight of the platter. And lastly, were green beans in an Asian vinaigrette, they were simple and yummy. 

For our entrees, I had decided on something called the Triangle of Three Precious Ones, it's a weird name but a delightful dish. It features shredded beef, chicken and pork with red and green bell peppers and other veggies, it is also served with rice. It was a very flavorful dish, it has a little bit of spice to it. My companion ordered the seafood with basil, it was also spicy, of course he asked for it to be "extra spicy". Overall, we both enjoyed the food, not spectacular, however very enjoyable. We each had a glass of wine with our meals once we had finished our cocktails. 

The music had started around the time that our appetizer had come out. It was a jazz trio and they were fantastic, they did songs from other jazz artists as well as some original songs. It was the perfect accompainment to a great date night. Making it feel extra special, husband and wife owners, David and Martha came over several times to check on us (and other guests) through out the night. Martha even remembered talking to me on the phone about the fundraiser. All of the staff was pleasant and friendly, really good service.

To finish up our meal, we decided on a little something sweet. Since we were both kind of full, but just wanted a little taste, we opted for ice cream and sorbet, but they did have some delicious sounding cakes on their menu. However, what we chose was perfect for us, I had the coconut sorbet and my companion had vanilla ice cream. They came out in martini glasses, which was a cute and fun touch. Both were just what we wanted. We sat and enjoyed the music until the end of the performance before heading back to the Parkway/ Turnpike for our trek home.

To send us on our way, Martha made one last stop at our table with complimentary plum wine from Japan. It was sweet and refreshing. What a wonderful way to end our time at Shanghai Jazz.

It was a wonderful date night, such a cool, fun atmosphere with terrific service, great music and yummy food. I think we would consider going again, just wish it was closer!

If you are into jazz and like cool, unique places to try different food, go visit Martha and David at Shanghai Jazz


 
Jicama Salad






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