Shanghai Dumpling King [SF] - Is it going downhill?
I ate at Shanghai Dumpling King last night (Thursday), and had the worst meal I've ever had there—by far. We were there on the late side, but the restaurant was still full when we arrived, so not too late. The last time I was there was back in March, and things were great then: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/840764
Not so much this time.
Sauteed pea pod leaves were undersalted and a bit tough. They also didn't seem super fresh. They weren't bad, per se, but definitely only average. In the past, vegetables were always great here.
Sauteed rice cakes w/ preserved vegetables and pork were super oily and not good. The rice cakes were sort of tough - tasted like they weren't freshly cooked, but had been sitting around, and then sloppily heated up in the wok with oil. Hardly any preserved vegetables, and little bits of pork were pale and flavorless—all they did was add a chewy texture.
Xiao long bao - The filling was too sweet—more so than I remember. The meat also didn't hold together very well. But worst of all were the wrappers, which were too thick on the top...they felt doughy to me, while previously they've always been thin and delicate.
Sugar puffs - These were a tad greasy on the bottom—more so than usual. But these were the most on-par with past experiences. But after such a greasy disappointing meal, we weren't so excited about this dessert either.
I'm hoping that this is a fluke, and that things will be back to normal when I go next. But should I be finding a new spot for great Shanghainese?
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I usualy dont bitch about cheap, small places, but I went back to KINGDOM OF DUMPLING on TARAVAL and it kinda sucked.
First, I thought I was breaking new ground for me and going to the one I had not been to before, but I got DUMPLING KITCHEN confused with the KINGDOM and ended up at KOD for the ~4th time.
The dry fried green beans were very good. One of the best executions I've had. Everything else was average to bad.
XLB: good structure, but hardly any taste. Agreed to by the other CH poster at the table.
Soup: My friend who called the broth "dishwater" was exaggerating, but only slightly. It was pretty bad, and not really that hot. I was missing the much better soup broth at YAO MING BEIJING RESTO.
Beef Tendon app: just a notch above ice cold, and not that tasty.
Green onion pancake ... this was ok, esp with the hot sauce.
Pan friend dumplings ... these were ok, but did taste a little doughy/undercooked, but I am not expert, having only had this 2-3 times and was mainly concerned not burning my mouth.
The actual steamed dumplings, pork+chive and shrimp ... I suppose the werent bad, but I was kinda irritated so that may have affected by judgement (I picked the place so I felt "responsible").
They also forgot one item, garlic boy choy. Not clear if we were charged for it. We should have gotten the salt+pepper tofu, which I remember with appreciation from the time I was there with a VEGAN.
Maybe by posting this, I'll remember to go to DUMPLING KITCHEN next time.