Xiao Yang’s (Yang's Friend Dumplings)
2/F, 269 Wujiang Lu, near Taixing Lu 吴江路269号2楼, 近泰兴路 +86 21 6136 1391
If the phrase “American as apple pie” were applied to Shanghai, it would be “as Shanghainese as sheng jian” and no one does sheng jian as well as Xiao Yang’s. Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure and countless other international publications have breathlessly described the singular culinary offerings of this restaurant, or perhaps more accurately, these popular chain of rundown shops.
Sheng jian, a sort of love child of xiaolongbao and guo tie, are fried on a cast iron pan until the bottoms turn deep golden brown and deliciously crispy. What makes them so addictive and yet, so tricky to eat, is the scalding hot pork broth which surrounds the juicy meat filling.
Eating sheng jian properly is an acquired art -- a newbie is immediately exposed by the squirting pork broth, stained shirt and dribbles down the chin (not to mention, burned tongue). So, watch a veteran, pick up the skill yourself, and scarf down Shanghai’s classic street snack.