Shanghai Soup Dumplings
- Michael Rodriguez
I'm looking for a place that serves Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao). These are the dumplings that have a sip of soup inside the wrapper. Shanghai Joe's in Manhattan is famous for them. Are they available in the Bay Area, especially in the East Bay?
Welcome to Chowhound, Michael. The pursuit of xiao long bao is a never-ending quest on this board. Linked below is the latest report, although not not a terribly satisfactory one. However, if you follow the embedded links in that thread, it will take you to an earlier thread, and from that one to the previous, etc. which detail the many places 'hounds have reported on so far in this hunt. We welcome your reports too on what you find.
Go to the post linked below. I tried them long ago and found them to be great. My dad claimed it's the best he ever had.
We will be having several chowhound get togethers in the near future for outstanding & authentic Chinese places in the South bay area - keep checking the board for them.
Michael--I, too, am a huge fan of Shanghai Joe's soup dumplings (just had them a few weeks ago). Local chowhounds are on a never ending quest to find the best SF version. Stay posted.
Having recently moved back from New York, I too have been on a quest to find soup dumplings. So far, using San Francisco magazines March 2002 issue as my guide, I came across Shanghai Noodles on Balboa in the Outer Richmond District of San Francisco. While they are not as "soupy" as Joe's Shanghai or my personal favorite, Evergreen SHanghai on Mott St, I definitely found it to be a good start. I believe there is also a Shanghai restaurant on Judah in the Inner Sunset, but have not had a chance to venture out.
Be aware that the xiaolong bao you'll find around SF are not directly comparable to the "soup dumplings" that are the rage in New York. Generally speaking, they are truer to the Shanghai model (smaller, firmer and somewhat less soupy). I've indulged in the soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai and at the (Mid-town) Evergreen and found them, while juicy and tasty enough, a somewhat different experience. It seems the only way to eat then is prop them on a spoon and nibble carefully at them. With the Shanghai XLB, I've adopted what I call the "cherry tomato" approach -- pop the whole thing in your mouth and let the flavors explode (risking, of course, an occasional burnt tongue).