Shanghai Dumpling Shop Millbrae
I been to this place twice for lunch, after playing volleyball at Skyline on Saturdays. I was so hungry both times. Man, they do not disappoint. Every dish is fresh, tasty, not as oily as other Chinese places, and not as salty. In fact, there are certain dishes that is very light and "clean" in flavor. Very similar to how you would cook at home, very hearty and healthy.
1st time (4 people, $15.00 per head)
Shanghai steamed dumplings
Green onion pancakes
Sweet soy milk
Lion Head Meatballs
Some type of soup with ham and tofu in a bow tie
Sweet and sour riblets shanghai style
Minced Pork Noodles (Jia Zhang Mian)
2nd time (4 person, $15.00 each again!)
Shanghai Steamed Dumplings
Swee soy milk (2)
Eels with onion
Deep fried buns w/condensed milk...yummy.
Dan Dan Mien
Soft tofu dish spinkled with some chives? or was it Tofu with preserved veggies
Shredded Tofu with baby bok choy
The only disappointment was the Dan Dan Mien, it looked really flavorful and spicy with the all red sauce/soup base, but was very bland. I liked the noodles, very very similar to a ramen noodle, great texture and chew to it, and the width was exactlylike a ramen. My guess is that if we let the noodles soak a bit longer, there would be more flavor, but we were too hungry after player for 3 hours.
The soup with the bowtie tofu and ham was quite possibly "yan du xian," Shanghai's favorite soup. Did it have bamboo as well?
As a general rule, never expect a Shanghainese version of a spicy dish to as spicy as you would like. Shanghainese are notoriously capsicum-shy.
Just returned from dinner there and I've never had a bad evening meal at this place (one so-so lunch, different cook). We've had their Lion's Head Meatballs, XLB, Pork Chop Clay Pot Rice, Braised Tofu, Garlic Pea Sprouts, Steamed Sweet Buns w/condensed milk, and sweet soy milk and fried donuts. Everything is consistantly delicious. I agree that the Dan Dan Noodles are the worst thing I've had there, but other than that, I love this place.
The original Shanghai Dumpling Shop, run by the husband of the woman who runs the Millbrae branch, is in San Francisco, and has equal or better food (the xiaolong bao is definintely better):
Shanghai Dumpling King
3319 Balboa Street
(between 34th Ave & 35th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121
If you are really into good hole in the wall Shanghainese, I also recommend a`joint three blocks to the west of Shanghai Dumpling:
3641 Balboa Street
(between 37th Ave & 38th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Of course, if you are REALLY hungry when you step off the plane, Shanghai Dumpling in Millbrea is very close to the airport......