Shanghai River is one of our favourite places to get xiao long bao (steamed pork dumplings). It can get quite busy here during peak times so we usually go early. The decor is far from your traditional Chinese restaurant with modernish white and grey walls.
Every table orders their signature XLB (we have tried their crab version but didn’t think it was as tasty as the regular pork version). Unlike a lot of other places, the skin is fairly thin but still strong enough to hold all of the juices without breaking. It’s a delicate balancing act because you don’t want thick, rubbery skin and if the skin is too thin, the dumpling will break as soon as you pick it up and you’ll lose all of that yummy soup.
How do you eat your XLB?
Personally, I like to eat it like a vampire… I find it’s the safest way to ensure I don’t wind up with a whole bunch of XLB soup on my shirt.
We tried the sliced beef stuffed in a flaky sesame pastry. The pastry was a bit thick and dry – if this was made like the sliced beef in pancake roll, I would have liked it a lot more.
It’s always a good idea to have some veggies with your meal so we went with a simple gai lan dish.
The wontons in spicy chili sauce were soft, silky, and spicy.
Since Shanghai Palace on Cambie closed, we’ve had trouble finding a good mui choy kau yuk (sliced pork belly with preserved mustard greens) dish anywhere else. Shanghai River comes pretty close. We’ve had it before during dinner at Shanghai River and it tasted better (they probably have a different cook working during dim sum).
The main problem with our dish this time was that they didn’t slice the pork thin enough… making it harder to eat. The pork and fat should just melt in your mouth. Also, the cut of meat on this dish wasn’t proportioned well enough. Each slice should have a good balance of meat and fat but in some of these slices, the whole slice was either all meat or all fat.
Do you know of a good place to get mui choy kau yuk? Let me know.
Do you find it strange when you order a bunch of dishes and the waiter tells you that it’s too much food? When we were placing our order and reached our fourth dish, our waiter (Wilson) told us, “oh, that’s too much food.” WTF? And yes, while we did wind up bringing home some of the food, why would you try to talk someone out of ordering more food and hence, spending more money?
Food: 4 / 5
Service: 4 / 5
7831 Westminster Highway