Shanghai Dumpling King is probably the most well-known restaurant in San Francisco serving xiaolongbao, or Shanghai-style soup-filled dumplings. But the casual, no-frills Shanghai Dumpling King is deep in the Richmond District, so I’ve always stuck to restaurants in Chinatown serving these piping-hot morsels instead.
I finally took the plunge one evening with a couple of friends, and we endured the wait in the windy, cold fog. It was worth it once we were seated.
We started with the stir-fried pea shoots, a light and delicately-seasoned dish that brought out the ever-so-slightly sweet crunch of the veggies.
Next came the Shanghai fried noodles: thick, chewy noodles stir-fried with greens, meat and cabbage. These were more greasy than what I’m used to but otherwise tasty.
The spicy wontons were my favorite dish of the evening: fiery, juicy, full of flavor, and brimming inside with savory goodness. Mmm, wontons.
Lastly came the piece de resistance: the Shanghai soup dumplings. These were delicious. Filled with scalding broth and meat, I took care to dip my xiaolongbao in the accompanying black vinegar and ginger sauce without breaking the thin dumpling wrapper.
I’ll still probably frequent my favorite xialongbao restaurant in Chinatown, but now I know where to go when I find myself on other side of San Francisco. Between the two, I’ve got enough to hold me over until I actually make it to Shanghai proper.