Thursday, August 25, 2011

XLB Crawl! (xiao long bao aka soupy dumpling)

Yes, it was the moment we had been waiting for - our XLB crawl! After enduring the terrible food of Mongolia, our stomachs could not wait to be stuffed full with our favorite soupy dumplings. Shanghai is the home of xiao long bao and it was like the mothership calling us home. We checked into our hotel at 11 pm and had room service send up an order immediately. The next morning we headed out to three different local hotspots and sampled all different kinds of soupies. We obviously got classic pork at each place, but also got at least one or two different variations at each place as well. We came pretty close to consuming roughly 50-60 dumplings each in the span of about 3 hours. We went back to the hotel afterwards and I had a nice puke. Just a minor dumpling overdose and it was totally worth it. Eat soupy dumplings in Shanghai until I puke is officially scratched off the bucket list. Here are the highlights:

room service dumplings

Lin Long Fang
Making the soupies. Most places do it right out in the open.
We got classic pork and pork and shrimp.
These are from Jia Jia Tang Bao. Famous place. We got classic pork and pork and crab.
Last place we went was Simon's Kitchen and was our favorite. The chefs came from the most famous traditional xlb restaurant and started their own thing and charge half the price.
I think this is what killed me. Create your own. You can choose between plain, carrot, spinach, or beet wrappers and mix and match whatever fillings you want. We ordered almost everything.
Spinach wrapper with pork and numbing spicy soup sauce, beet wrapper with red bean filling, and hairy crab roe and pork with plan wrapper. We also got an order of classic pork not pictured.
The classic pork soupy from Simon's was hands down our favorite of the day.