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jschyun

Shanghai Dumpling Shop

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Shanghai Dumpling Shop

3319 Balboa St

San Francisco

415-387-2088

An ex-girlfriend of a friend of ours recommended this place and I finally got a camera so I took some pics. We love shanghai dumplings, but we usually go to Koi Palace where we special order, but still usually get some that are broken, with the juice dripping out.

So we went to the Richmond District and found the Shanghai Dumpling Shop on a lonely street a couple streets off Geary on Sat. In front of SDS, is a cafe where you can also get beer. FYI. Anyway, at SDS on Sat, we got the shanghai dumplings (#5, $4.95 for 10 dumplings), beijing style dumplings (with chinese chives)(#6 $4.25 for 10) and veggie dumplings (#7, $4.25 for 10). On sunday, we went back for more shanghai dumplings and i got some golden thread bread, which has that crispy deep fried crust, served with a little saucer of condensed milk (better than it sounds).

We ate 15 shanghai dumplings per person. they are pretty damn good. They give you a soup spoon, so we plucked them from the steam basket and dipped in the gingered soy sauce and then dropped them into the soup spoon. Then I nibbled on top and sipped the juice inside and then ate the meat. I don't know how the other guys ate theirs.

all in all a good deal and I think the best xiaolongbao I've had. I saw some noodles at another table that looked good. Also, the green onion bread looked good. i don't think i saw a bad looking dish.

Store Front

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Shanghai Steamed Dumplings (xiaolongbao)

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Beijing Boiled Dumplings.

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Veggie dumplings, only I liked these

i7380.jpg

--oops, i guess i was a little late. Just saw Gary Soup's post on CH.


Edited by jschyun (log)

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--oops, i guess i was a little late.  Just saw Gary Soup's post on CH.

He, nothing wrong with spreading the Shanghai Dumpling gospel here! SD's shengjian bao (listed as "pan fried pork bun" on the menu, I think) are also as good as any I've had this side of Shanghai, and the cold dishes and mains are pretty good, too.

The veggie dumplings in the bottom picture look like the jiu cai jiaozi my wife likes to make. Did they have a sour/garlicky taste, and make you belch?

Here, once again, is a picture of what I consider the model for all xiaolong bao, taken at the Nanxiang Steamed Dumpling shop in Stanghai:

xlb00.jpg

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The veggie dumplings in the bottom picture look like the jiu cai jiaozi my wife likes to make. Did they have a sour/garlicky taste, and make you belch?

They were just very finely minced veggies, i thought I saw some mushroom in there. Not particularly garlicky or sour, to the best of my recollection. Somewhat bland, but it made me feel better about eating 15 xiaolongbao in one sitting. On sunday, we restrained ourselves and only had 10 xiaolongbao each, with some beijing boiled and that bread.

I didn't belch more than I usually do.

The Picky Eater recommends Shanghai Dumpling Shop


Edited by jschyun (log)

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sorry, i meant to say beijing boiled dumplings. see pic in first post. I have to say, my pics didn't come out all that great. In reality, they looked a lot better.


Edited by jschyun (log)

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They were just very finely minced veggies, i thought I saw some mushroom in there. Not particularly garlicky or sour, to the best of my recollection.

I didn't belch more than I usually do.

What was I thinking? Of course, they're not jiucai jiaozi, as they were obviously steamed, not boiled. Actually the "Beijing boiled dumplings" look like what my wife calls Shandong Jiaozi, which are wrapped more casually than the labor-intensive pleated crescents often featured in restaurant jiaozi or potstickers.

BTW, it's OK to belch in a Shanghainese restaurant.

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Hey Gary, didn't you go to Din Tai Fung in Shanghai a while ago? Did I miss that post or what?

By the way, when I said these are the best xialongbao I've had, bear in mind I still have not gotten my ass to Din Tai Fung for some reason. I think I just forgot about them. Will be correcting this deficiency next weekend...

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Hey Gary, didn't you go to Din Tai Fung in Shanghai a while ago?  Did I miss that post or what?

No, I switched my planned spring trip to an October trip this year (hairy crab season, yeah!) DTF's definitely on my list, but I'll hit the Nanxiang Dumpling shop first to re-calibrate, and be going there with a critical eye.

I was wondering if you'd been to DTF, since I believe you are in LA.

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Does the Shanghai Dumpling Shop sell frozen XLBs for take-out and hoarding?

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nah, doesn't have crab dumplings with roe. sorry about the din tai fung comparison. may be misleading. shanghai dumpling shop is just a little tiny restaurant that serves inexpensive, decent food. It's not a din tai fung-like operation. I have to admit the xiaolongbao here didn't look as fantastic as the din tai fung crab dumpling tad posted in your egullet group outing last year. But you can't beat the price. $4.25 for 10 dumplings? To my knowledge, that's absurdly cheap.

i have the takeout menu and it says nothing about frozen dumplings unfortunately. I suppose you can call them, but i somehow doubt they do it.

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Does this place have crab dumplings, with roe?

I've been told that they will make crab xiaolong by special order, if you order a day in advance. It's a large order, as they do in a whole dungeness crab for it. Not sure about the roe, but I don't see why not; they've offered other crab roe dishes as specials. I also don't know if this is only during local dungeness season or not.

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Most places in So Cal. only have these made with blue crab. I wonder how it would taste with Dungeness.

The roe adds another dimension of richness when you bite into the dumplings.

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The roe adds another dimension of richness when you bite into the dumplings.

I've had them with Dazha (hairy) crab and roe in Shanghai. Awesome!

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There is a place in San Gabriel that has crab soup dumplings with roe. It's on Valley, in the plaza with the Lollicup and Meilong Village.

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No it's not Meilong. It's 2 stores to the right. I've tried their other dishes, and frankly, they aren't that great. But their crab dumplings are surprisingly good, much much better than Green Village.

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Nice recommendation. I was in the city today killing a bit of time before heading to the Giants game. Decided to stop in the Shanghai Dumpling Shop for an early dinner since it is so convenient to the ballpark. :smile:

2 of us sampled the Shanghai Steam Dumplings, Pan Fried Pork Buns, Shanghai Stir Fry Noodles, and Soy Braised Lions Head Meatballs. This was a huge amount of food for $25 and I think we brought home half the noodles, 2 out of 3 meatballs and a few 'potstickers'.

I don't think I have ever had Shanghai food before but I quite enjoyed the meal. I ended up liking the steamed dumplings more than the fried ones- Gary: as you seem to always to be involved in xlb discussions and found these to fall short of the mark, I would love to hear what you think the best ones in the Bay Area are so I could sample the competition.

I quite liked the texture of the thick noodles that were stir fried with a bit of cabbage, a leafy green and a bit of pork. The condiment reminded me (in quantity) of the balance of good italian pasta making allowing the noodles to be the star with the sauce adding flavor and texture highlites.

The meatballs were very tender and I thought there large size helped to balance the braising sauce to meat ratio since the sauce was fairly salty. Is the sauce supposed to be extremely thick?

I would love to hear about other specialties of Shanghai food are worth looking for. Other than the need to order dumplings I felt at a bit of a loss trying to find which items to order off the menu that would be good examples of the cuisine. Was General Tso from Shanghai? :laugh: We did get a bit of attention in a slow walk thorough by one of the kitchen staff but I could not figure out wether that was the 'Who are these gringos that have ordered such a fine selection of our dishes?' or the "Who are these gluttons who order enough food to feed a family of 5?'.

Nathan

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Nice recommendation.  I was in the city today killing a bit of time before heading to the Giants game.  Decided to stop in the Shanghai Dumpling Shop for an early dinner since it is so convenient to the ballpark. :smile:

More convenient than grabbing a bite at Schwartz's deli before catching an Expos game in Puerto Rico, I guess.

Gary: as you seem to always to be involved in xlb discussions and found these to fall short of the mark, I would love to hear what you think the best ones in the Bay Area are so I could sample the competition. 

Did I say that? I think I mentioned that they lacked a bit of sharpness in flavor (maybe you read that on another board) but as far as I know, they may be as good as it gets in the Bay Area. Structurally speaking (wrapper and filling consistency) and in the amount and release of "soup" they are as close to the paradigm as you could reasonably expect. Some people have praised the XLB at Su Hong (Palo Alto?) but I seldom get out of town.

I quite liked the texture of the thick noodles that were stir fried with a bit of cabbage, a leafy green and a bit of pork. The condiment reminded me (in quantity) of the balance of good italian pasta making allowing the noodles to be the star with the sauce adding flavor and texture highlites.

This dish is harder to do well than you would think. My wife won't touch it unless I insist, because it is if very difficult to end up with the right "doneness" of the noodles due to their thickness. Other restaurants seem to have trouble with it too, but SDS makes a good version.

Keep eating!

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Just came back from Din Tai Fung and was surprised to be disappointed. We agreed that SDS's xlb has much more soup, and they are much nicer to eat because they're bigger and have more tender skins. However, I did think Din Tai Fung's version was better seasoned. I find SDS's dumplings need a little more salt and pepper, or whatever it is that you're supposed to use to season the meat. However, my friends disagree.

FYI: At DTF, we ordered the soup dumplings (the mini dumplings that you eat with some broth), the xiaolongbao, crab/pork dumplings (I liked these, but they were deemed "fishy"), fish dumplings (bland), house special chicken noodle soup (tasteless), spinach (good). xiaolongbao had very little juice, but the seasoning was better than at Shanghai Dumpling Shop. Also, the skins on all dumplings were tough, though they were pretty. Of all the dishes, I'd only go back for the soup dumplings. My cousin said that Grand Sichuan and Joe's Shanghai in NY are much better for xiaolongbao than DTF. However, DTF is a very clean restaurant.

DTF pics from egullet lunch last year

I'm going to see if I can pre-order the crab dumplings from SDS for this weekend.

Now where do I find a place that does good bing for dessert in Richmond?

After watching a movie on the Weathermen, writing "SDS" in a non political context feels kind of strange.


Edited by jschyun (log)

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Thanks so much for posting this! I'm moving to SF from NYC this summer, and was beginning to worry that it might be difficult to get my regular Shanghai/soup dumpling fix out there. Now I know there's hope!

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Well, you have Grand Sichuan so hopefully, you won't be disappointed.

--there's another place, in Cupertino, that's supposed to have excellent xiaolongbao as well. I don't remember the name, but I'll let you know when I go.


Edited by jschyun (log)

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J I find SDS's dumplings need a little more salt and pepper, or whatever it is that you're supposed to use to season the meat.  However, my friends disagree.

My take was that they could benefit from a little more(?) sesame oil. Maybe salt, but definitely not pepper.

I've seen mixed reports on DTF's XLB. Tough skins are a damning indictment though, for they should be melt-in-the-mouth delicate.

The soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai are a different animal. They are tasty in their own right, but too large, flabby and overly souped to be considered as classic XLB. Be that as it may, they've become the standard for New Yorkers, who may be disappointed with the real thing in Shanghai, or even with the XLB in San Francisco, which tend to aim for the prototype. I call them "New York style soup dumplings." It's a bit like the difference between American pizza and Italian, the latter of which many people don't like.

I've never been to a Grand Sichuan, but what's with a Sichuan restaurant featuring XLB? I guess soup dumplings are an expectation in NY.

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I don't like thick skin on these dumplings. The skin should be thin.

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