Yang's Fry Dumpling - Highly Recommended
Yuyuan Lu 85, Shanghai
I came to Shanghai looking for the best xiao long bao and what I ended up finding instead was the best dumpling I've ever had - not xiao long bao btw. Yang's Fry Dumpling serves up Shen Jian Bao which is basically a fried pork dumpling with a skin that is thicker than xiao long bao, but in a very appealing way. This was my favorite street food item in Taipei and I was insanely happy to find it here in Shanghai.
Located across the street from Jia Jia Tang Bao, Yang's Fry Dumpling sports a similar line for takeout - expect to wait a good 30 minutes as well. But, me being me I decided to check this place out after Jia Jia Tang Bao which was around 1:45pm and there was no line to eat inside. This place was much larger than Jia Jia Tang Bao with two different floors but it still maintains that divey feel.
A complete WTF moment in a phenomenal way. This is an explosion of textures and flavors - nice char flavor from the frying on the bottom, nutty note from the sesames on top, ridiculous porkiness from the meat which has phenomenal texture, and the shocking explosion of broth which I was not expecting. The shen jian bao from Taipei never had the broth and I'm thinking all dumplings should have broth inside. Finally, the skin was still relatively thin, but provided the perfect vessel for all the porky goodness inside. This may have been my favorite food item from the entire trip.
--- What the F - in a bad way * Good ** Great *** What the F – in a good way
Next time I'm back in Shanghai, this is 100% the first place I'm going to go back to eat. It was so good I went to the Yang's Fry Dumpling at the food court in Nanjing Lu...oddly enough, no where near as good as this original location.