One of China’s most dynamic and vibrant cities, Shanghai is renowned for its fast-paced east-meets-west culture. Whether you visit for the sightseeing or the shopping, it’s the glorious food that will keep you coming back for seconds. More specifically, the city’s delightful dumplings. From crispy pan fried eats to silky steamed buns, Shanghai is no stranger to the humble dumpling. Here are our favourite spots for a good feed in Shanghai.
Touted for its authentic xiaolongbao, Fu Chun is constantly packed with hungry locals. Their famed pork buns feature a delicate skin which hugs a morsel of meat and a splash of soup. The dumplings are steamed to perfection and served in a bamboo basket. There is no English on the menu, so bring along a local friend if you can or at least learn how to order the pork xiaolongbao – the best dish on the menu.
If you prefer your dumplings pan fried, then Xiao Yang is the place for you. Famous for their sheng jian, the humble eatery specialises in crispy, golden brown dumplings that are fried on a cast iron skillet. Be warned, the broth inside these dumplings will be piping hot so try to avoid burning your tongue on first bite. There are now over thirty locations throughout Shanghai serving up this classic street snack.
Lin Long Feng
For an affordable meal, you can’t go past the legendary Lin Long Feng. One of Shanghai’s most popular food vendors, the local pick is the handmade xiaolongbao dumplings. Made on salted duck eggs, you can sample the egg and pork dumplings for something a little different, or the pork and crab. The restaurant features an open kitchen and all the dumplings are cooked to order. Their sister restaurant Jia Jia Tangbao is equally as popular.
Din Tai Fung
Now a prominent restaurant chain, Din Tai Fung started as a hole-in-the-wall eatery some 40 years ago in Taiwan. Their mouth-watering xiaolongbao is said to be almost solely responsible for the restaurant’s thriving success. Pork or shrimp dumplings are delicately wrapped and steamed, with a fragrant soup spilling out the moment you pop one into your mouth. The upscale restaurant showcases a range of quality dishes and offers a sophisticated dining experience.
Around since 1950, Dahuchun opens from 5am, ready to satisfy the local’s craving for sheng jian bao. Their renowned pork pan fried dumplings arrive partly crispy and partly fluffy, with broth served on the side. Frying the buns in a giant wok, their dumplings have a thinner skin and focus more on the sweet and juicy pieces of pork hidden inside. There are six restaurants across town including the original location on Sichuan Lu road.
For authentic Cantonese fare, try the crowded doors of Molokai. Offering a wide variety of dishes, you can choose all kinds of sumptuous eats like scrambled egg with shrimp, wonton noodle soup or honey glazed pork. As far as dumplings go, the restaurant’s shrimp wontons are a feast for the senses. Extremely flavourful, the silky packages sit in a light broth and are home to large fresh and tasty shrimp.
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