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Shanghai Dumpling House

Has anyone dined at the Shanghai Dumping House in San Gabriel? It's taken over the spot where Country Steakhouse used to be in the Hilton Plaza catty corner from Focus Plaza? Is it worth a visit?

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  1. Reference: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9096...

    Great for soup whores. Dank pork filling, self proclaimed Nan xiang style (it's in the Chinese signage, though surely they're unrelated) with semi-droopy, thin skin. I haven't tried anything else there, as far as xiao long bao goes on Valley Blvd, this is it in terms of terms of parking/service/speed/accessibility, etc. It is eons better that other xiao long bao house 5 stores to the right, though SN1's XLB may overall be the "tastier" package.

    28 Replies
    1. re: TonyC

      Whoa whoa whoa! Does that mean you've now set foot in SN1?

      1. re: Porthos

        TC has been to SN1. Quite a while ago.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I think there was a thread where he specifically said he refused to set foot in there...

          1. re: Porthos

            Which was, I believe, after he had visited.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Sept 28, 2012. TonyC asks how the pan fried buns at SN1 are "because I'm simply not giving SN1 any $"

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/870468

              1. re: Porthos

                Still haven't, but thanks for keeping my ass in check. I'll have to remember not to ever fight for the bill at SN1.

                Things never heard at Chinese restaurants: "No, No, you pay, I insist. Blame it on this guy Porthos on Chowhound".

                1. re: TonyC

                  Funny thing... I thought the XLBs and the Pan Fried Pork Buns were the best things on their menus, when you can get them, but then again, that was over a year ago...

                  1. re: TonyC

                    Just don't pull so hard in check tug a war...

                    1. re: Porthos

                      If you play the game seriously, and strategically, you simply get up from the table at some point after the meal is over, find the waiter or manager, pay the tab and go back to the table. No more Indian (or Chinese) wrestling matches.

                      1. re: Servorg

                        better, give the waiter/manager a credit card before you sit down.

                        of course, i went to a gathering once where a half dozen people pulled this gambit...

                        1. re: linus

                          I kneecap all those credit card using, air mile earning poseurs by giving the manager enough cash to settle the bill and add a 20% tip (returning any left overs to me). When he thinks about the amount that the credit card company "siphons" off of the top he always defaults to the green solution I've presented him with.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Nice. Ciao Bob and I would like to invite you to a king crab dinner at Elite one of these nights ;-)

                            1. re: Porthos

                              Better bring your credit card that night...something tells me you're going to be needing it.

                            2. re: Servorg

                              what i like to do is secretly buy the restaurant beforehand.
                              when the bill comes, i ostentatiously tear it up and fire the waiter who brought it.

                          2. re: Servorg

                            The people who argue at the table ARE playing the game seriously. The wrestling match is the "mianzi" or "giving face" element that is ineffably ingrained in Chinese culture.

                            You can apply American efficiency and cunning, but it's sort of missing the point of the thing.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              I figure a lesson in American culture is always worth applying from the "acculturation" standpoint.

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                No shit. It absolutely is not a game.

                                Internecine battles have erupted over this "game" ... and more than one divorce can be traced to lost 面子 over the dinner tab.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    It's not war.

                                    Much more important. It's 面子.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      I do know that my wife's parents were glad to leave behind the strictures that defined so much of the cultural norms in their birth countries (Korea and Japan) when they came to the US to pursue higher education in the early '50s. Neither one misses any of that and talk about the negative aspects of it at times.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    I've seen physical altercations erupt--mainly pushing, shoving, and grabbing. Those older Chinese people can sure put up a good fight when it comes to getting the check.

                                    1. re: raytamsgv

                                      Family name and honor are at stake.

                                      You do not want to disrespect your elders and previous generations, nor do you want your children to live a life of shame.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        "Saving Face." I don't think I've ever heard it used so much in American culture until AFTER the Western cultures learned about it from "Joy Luck Club" both novel and movie... now I hear news journalists on my local TV stations use that term...

                                        1. re: TripleAxel

                                          Just such a zero-sum "game" (I know...I know it's NOT a game) that can ruin lives evidently. This falls into the general category of religion for me in which you are excluded from the inner circle, (in the typical attempt by religions to control others) if your actions and words don't happen to exactly match the dogma being propounded. A lot of (as those of my generation like to say) hogwash and malarkey.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                          I witnessed a classic check duel at, of all places, Happy Noodle. Son-in-law vs. father-in-law. What began with credit cards rapidly being moved from bottom back to top repeatedly escalated into moves that looked like wrestling along with some shoving. I looked over at the women folk, who rolled their eyes. Soon, FIL and SIL broke out laughing while in mid-headlock. This one was very Looney Tunes-ish and all good in the end.

                                          1. re: JThur01

                                            Do you know who's Kung Fu prevailed?

                                            1. re: JAB

                                              Ah, I neglected to mention, father-in-law prevailed. He good naturedly congratulated son-in-law on the effort. All smiles.

                    1. re: TripleAxel

                      Maybe not? Someone may have shanghaied the name or one is the "dumplingganger" of the other? Now we're going to need a "Shanghai Dumpling House" taste off. Will the work never end for the hard toiling hounds in the SGV?

                      1. re: TripleAxel

                        Monrovia location closed a couple of weeks before San Gabriel opened, presumably so they could move all of the stuff over.

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            And they took over the Country Steakhouse location, right? Did they just go out of business?

                            1. re: TripleAxel

                              Yes, that's the correct location. Haven't been by there lately.

                              1. re: TripleAxel

                                I stumbled across Cowboy's Steakhouse closing and Shanghai Dumpling House replacing it and posted it to this thread last December (2012):

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8832...

                                SDH has a fairly small and basic menu, befitting a dumpling house, but if TonyC says they have good XLB, that's good enough for me.