jamesbainbridge on Lane 710 Dingxi Lu, near Yan'an Xi Lu 6212 1722 The Deli Boys (Dingxi Lu) Price per Person: 110 Rmb
Atmosphere: On hearing a multitude of great reviews from American friends I eventually felt compelled to give Deli Boys a shot. The recent move to Dingxi Road (my neighbourhood) meant that I had now ran out of excuses not to try it.
On entering a rather peculiar building site, assurances are given you’re in the right area with a sign reading, “Don’t mind the chains, I’m still open!” Squeezing through the chain-link fence and under the padlock you arrive at Deli Boys. It was a Monday night and it’s fair to say the place was dead, with only one other table being used in the whole restaurant.
Food: My initial excitement was at the drink’s options with Cherry Coke and Dr Pepper both on the menu (albeit 20 kuai a pop). I got a starter of hummus with some chopped up veggies and crisps to dip. It came with two types of hummus (sweet chill and plain) and it was great. Maybe I haven’t been looking in the right places for hummus but this stuff was the best I’ve had in Shanghai. For my main I ordered “The New York Ruben” which is essentially meat on meat on meat. The “challah bun” was delicious and the meat was plentiful, not sure on the sauerkraut as it was sparse. However, has anyone ever complained about a lack of sauerkraut when the meat is so good and copious? The fries were nicely season, nothing to write home about.
Service: On reflection I’m not sure a cold Monday night was the best time to visit Deli Boys for the first time. I can’t really rate the restaurant on the atmosphere or ambience as that was solely created by myself, a podcast and an older Chinese couple. Probably not the most vibrant the restaurant has ever been? But in terms of a lunch/brunch spot Deli Boys knows what they’re doing and they do it well. Would maybe recommend avoiding the vacant Monday nights though.
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.