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Shanghai Kitchen

This southeast suburban eatery's exterior is strip-mall boring, but it belies a recently remodeled dining room that evokes 1920s Shanghai with its dark wood and brickwork. The menu covers a range of American Chinese favorites, but there's also a Chinese menu (with English translations) that features other dishes less familiar to typical takeout customers. Traditional preparations await those willing to make the crosstown trek from the usual Federal Boulevard haunts, so go hungry and explore the range of whole-fish specials, cold sesame noodles and other fare — including dishes that only appear on the specials board in Chinese characters. Look for "mini pork dumplings," the liquid-filled delights more commonly called soup dumplings or xiaolongbao.

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