Tuesday, February 15, 2011


So they say, in Beijing, one has to eat dumplings (jiao zi- 饺子); in Shanghai, you have to eat the soup dumplings (tang bao and sheng jian bao- 汤包和生煎包).

A google search will tell you that the most famous Shanghai eateries for these savory dumplings are Jia Jia Tang Bao (佳家汤包) and Yang's Sheng Jian Bao (literally Xiao Yang's- 小杨生煎包). At their locations near People Square on Huanghe Road (黄河路,近凤阳路), they're quite hilariously opened across the road from each other.

I explored these shops on my own while the friends were at work. I told them not to bother taking me here because I wouldn't exactly enjoy it. We had better things to do. But like any other tourist, I wanted to see what's the hype about. I didn't bother to go into Yang's because it's sheng jian bao (生煎包) with no choices of filling but pork. It looked big too. Too much for me to attempt.

Jia Jia (佳家) it was for their smaller bao (汤包). I'm really not very fond of the taste and smell of pork. So I skipped the rest and tried 2 types of bao which were made with prawns (纯虾仁汤包) and crab (纯蟹粉汤包). There's another version of crab meshed with meat (蟹粉鲜肉汤包). I had a huge problem picking out bits and pieces of crab shells from the bao. Whatever little soup that came out of it, was really oily; more akin to gravy than soup. In the end, I gave up, dumped the filling, and ate the delicately steamed skin, vinegar and ginger slices. That was quite alright.

Most tourists and visitors from other provinces will make a beeline for these shops and their outlets. So wherever you are, go early, or at 3pm when some of the choices have been sold out. Whichever it is, be prepared to queue. Is it good? Yes. Although I think the soup in the xiaolongbao (小笼包) in Hong Kong and Singapore is much nicer. *shrug* What do I know about bao? Anyway, these 2 shops churn out the little gems that taste way better than most places, so they're still well worth a go for all foodies.


tuti said...

quite the porky if you no like pork.
hope you 'full' enough with just the skin wrapping. :(

imp said...

tuti: gotch eat plenty food! stuffed to the brim every day!