It’s official: Shang Chai, the venerable Kosher Chinese food establishment for well over 35 years in Brooklyn, New York, closed it’s doors on New Years Eve for the last time, according to thejfile.
“The space is being renovated and it’s unlikely we will be reopening the restaurant” Shang Chai’s maître d told thejfile.com. “A bank is likely going to take over the location,” she said.
The blog yeahthatskosher.com cutely dubbed the restaurant’s new name as Shang Meis (from Chai to Meis).
Shang Chai was a consistent place with very flavourful food. I still recall going there when eating out with family and friends, and even attended some Birthdays, Sheva Brachos’s, and even a wedding reception there. I never had an issue with their food: that was the last thing to worry about.
On one hand, I have to hand it to the owners of Shang Chai. The restaurant business is by definition very unstable and they were able to hold their own after all those years. This especially is the case where their location, a few blocks away from Kings Plaza, changed over the years from a Jewish, secular area to become more “black” over the years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but most non-Jews will shudder at the thought of paying Jewish prices for Kosher food when McDonalds with their 99c burgers is nearby.
On a personal note, being that I have not lived in Brooklyn for the last 5-6 years I wonder what other Kosher Chinese food establishments there now are. We Jews in New York have practically survived on Kosher Chinese Food and it won’t be the same.
I will now take the opportunity to share with the readers my favourite Jewish Chinese food joke:
A Jewish man mentioned to a Chinese fellow what a wise and venerable people the Chinese are.
“Yes,” replied the Chinese man, “Our culture is over 4,000 years old.”
The Jewish man replied, “We Jews are a very wise and ancient people, too. Our culture is over 5,000 years old.”
The Chinese man was incredulous, “That’s impossible, he replied. Where did your people eat for a thousand years?”