Soup dumplings — or XLB, as some of my friends call them — are to the city what pizza is to New York. When you’re there, they’re simply a must.
When book travels took me to Shanghai earlier this year, I was determined to hunt down the best in the city. Over and over, I kept hearing about Jia Jia Tang Bao, a little place that locals and expats seemed to adore equally.
So, on my very last morning in Shanghai, we bundled up and braved a gray drizzle to head over to Huang He Lu …
There are a few soup dumpling places along Huang He Lu, a road that’s packed with little shops selling casual street food.
Just look for the shop with the line outside.
I’d like to say that we could tell the difference between each kind but apart from the fact that the crab was a little blander and the salted egg yolk had a slightly sandy quality to its filling, all the dumplings started to taste the same after a while.
Which is not to say they weren’t great. They were, in fact, terrific — each one was beautifully crafted, steamed to perfection and sent a lovely shot of umami when it burst in our mouth.
Jia Jia Tang Bao, 90 Huanghe Road, Huangpu, Shanghai; +86.21.6327.6878