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Jul 30, 2014 05:22 PM

ISO Sheng Jian Bao

I assume we're looking in SGV for this, but anywhere would be fine.

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  1. SJB are a Shanghai specialty. Try them at Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village in San Gabriel.

    7 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      IMO Shanghai No 1 has the best version/closest to Yang's Shanghai in the SGV.

      1. re: Porthos

        I finally made it out to Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Village, and I have to disagree. The SJB are much like the ones I had at Mama's Lu, except that there was actually some soup inside (although the one a fellow diner got did not have any soup). They're too big, the wrapper is too soft and spongy, the filling is too firm and overwhelmed with the flavor of ginger, the wrong side is browned (it's supposed to be the side you close up)...I could go on and on. They are nothing like Yang's Fry Dumplings. Kang Kang Food Court in Alhambra is still the closest, in both appearance and flavor.

        I sometimes wonder if I'm misremembering what Yang's was like, but one of my fellow diners lives several months out of the year in Shanghai, and she was very disappointed with the SJB, along with the rest of the meal, including dry XLB. My mom and her friends, who all make twice-yearly pilgrimages to Shanghai and Yang's, also consider Kang Kang's SJB the only good SJB in LA (that we know about). I'd be willing to give everything else at Shanghai No. 1 another try - maybe they were just having an off day - but when the SJB don't even look right by intention, and when the wrapper is so far off as to be a different food, there's no point in giving those a second chance.

        Also, I have to wonder: what are they cooking the SJB in, that they can make them that large? The correct pan would dictate the size of the SJB.

        1. re: mrhooks

          FWIW what is now kang kang was previously known as shau may and there's another shau may in MP on garfield just north of garvey that also makes those kind of SJB's.

          1. re: barryc

            AFAIK, it's still Shau May. It's just the English signage that says Kang Kang, for whatever reason. I refer to it as KK, since I'm guessing the majority here at CH don't read Chinese.

            Although I may be wrong about that. I never paid attention to the Chinese signage.

          2. re: mrhooks

            Interestingly I tried Kang Kang's in Temple City due to being in the area, and their SJB was... mediocre at best.

            We were all very disappointed.

            1. re: chowseeker1999

              my understanding is that while they may share the same name none share the same provenance. the actual descendant of the original is the one now in el monte according to something tonyc wrote for la eater late last year. i have not yet been to the elmonte SM since it opened in december 2014.

              1. re: barryc

                SJB at Kang Kang in RH was good, at least last time we tried several months ago.

      2. They can be found at a lot of places. Are there places you've already tried and didn't like? Might help to narrow it down....

        7 Replies
        1. re: paranoidgarliclover

          Just read about these. I eat a lot of xlb all over SGV, but I've been oblivious to the presence of these.

          1. re: Bob Brooks

            Haven't tried (anything) at Shanghai No. 1, but I like the ones at JTYH (or whatever the sequence of letters is)....

            1. re: Bob Brooks

              If at all possible, definitely go try it at the Mecca for SJB: Yang's in Shanghai.

              1. re: J.L.

                A little far from the SGV, no? ;) And you wonder why people think you're a baller.... ;)

                1. re: paranoidgarliclover

                  All I'm sayin' is that it's the reference point for this particular dish. Much like if you're looking for a good Philly cheesesteak in L.A., you should get out to Philadelphia to sample from the source.

          2. Emperor noodle is my favorite. Shanghai no.1 is also good though.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thefatknightrises

              My issues with EN's version is that they're too damn big. They're not meant to be a single bite, like XLB, but 2-3 bites, at most.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Nicest looking, higher quality: Shanghai No. 1
                Flavorful: Kang Kang Food Court/Shau May

                Emperor Noodles also does a good, though somewhat doughier, version.

                4 Replies
                1. re: JThur01


                  Hit up these three and you'll be set.

                  The others are a bit too doughy(sp?) for me.

                  1. re: JThur01

                    In 2010, I went to the Temple City branch of Kang Kang Food Court and was very disappointed in their sheng jian bao--they were charred black at the bottom. I have not returned since. Have you checked it out, or are you referring to another branch?

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      i don't even know where the temple city branch is located. i can't remember if it was the alhambra or MP location. but they're supposed to be good at either location

                      1. re: barryc

                        The Temple City branch is located on Las Tunas Dr.