Sunday, March 29, 2015

China Part Three: Shanghai

This post is all about dumplings (and a really delicious pork belly;-)). 

Shanghai is a completely different city than Beijing. It’s very westernized, modern & most people speak English...some would say this is a good thing, others not so good. Ryan and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience all the same. Shanghai is known for their dim sum (dumplings), particularly soup dumplings otherwise known as Xiao long bao. As we’re both dim sum lovers, we were psyched to eat up. Everything.

While at The Bund (A lovely, waterfront area in Shanghai with amazing views and fabulous restaurants and hotels. Very swank.), we went for drinks at The Waldorf Astoria. We befriended one of the managers who’s friend worked at nearby Hakkasan. I was familiar with the place as the group has multiple locations, including one in NYC. He made a call and we were able to nail down the best seat in the house with stunning views of Pudong’s Pearl Tower. The environment was trendy, slightly clubby but super fun. The food was very good. The whole experience fantastic. They made us feel like super stars. Ryan still claims they have the best dumplings...ever. For a “fancy” evening out in Shanghai, I would definitely recommend paying a visit. 

Another incredible place was Yang’s Fry Dumplings. Lucky for us, this spot was located just a short walk from our hotel. Yang’s is no frills. A few simple seats. Very cheap and beyond good. Think puffy fried dumplings filled with a flavorful, soupy mix of pork, vegetables and/or shrimp. If you go to one dumpling spot while in Shanghai, go here! They also have a nice menu of soups and noodles. We just stuck with the fried dumplings. Beware: VERY long lines.

We were lucky enough to have time for a day trip to nearby Suzhou. Suzhou is a pretty little town known as “the Venice of the East”. It’s a city on water. We even got to experience a gondola ride! While walking through the town, we found several dumpling tables serving up the craziest dim sum I’ve ever seen. Everything from the traditional three-color to insane animal and flower shapes; roses, pigs, name it! Best of all, each dumpling was about 25 cents. I dig the cheap eats. If you have time for a day trip while in Shanghai, try to fit Suzhou into your schedule.  

Our Steamed Dim Sum Platter from Hakkasan
Scallop siew mai, har gau, chive dumpling and roast duck mushroom. Amazing.  

Hakkasan’s Crispy pork belly with wolfberry and mustard sauce. 
If they had this dish at the New York location, we would be there weekly. 

Of course Ryan felt the need to get dessert. The Chocolate Sphere. 

Yang’s Fry Dumplings. Epic. About $2 for an entire order. Four huge, puffy (yet crispy), soup filled pork and/or shrimp dumplings. A must-try. 

Hanging in Old Town. Doesn’t everyone sip soup dumplings with a straw?!

Our dumpling guy in Suzhou. All sorts of different dumplings in many shapes and sizes. 
Check out the little piggy’s & ducky’s!

Chī qǐlái! ("EAT UP!" in Chinese) ;-)

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