Shanghai Dumpling House
I remember hearing about this place from @secretasianman a while back, so we bookmarked it. Finally made it out to try their various dishes.
Cucumber in Sauce:
Hilarious name for the commonly found marinated Cucumbers with Garlic (there’s no “Sauce”), they were crisp and cool, and a straightforward version. It tasted fine, lightly garlicky and salted.
Shanghai Style Chow Mein:
Slick, piping hot, simple saute of a thicker style Noodle with Bok Choy and Marinated Pork, it tasted fine, albeit a little greasy.
Green Onion Pancake:
They arrived right out of the wok, crispy and hot and quite tasty! But then after a few minutes of cooling off, they got significantly worse (tasting slightly doughy, not as crispy), and oily. In the end, I think they were OK, but not great after the initial first few bites.
Juicy Pork Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao):
Known on the menu as “Juicy Pork Dumpling,” these are their specialty item, essentially the Shanghai Soup Dumpling known as “XLB” or “Xiao Long Bao.”
Taking a bite, and they were quite good! (I was expecting to be let down because so many places make a mediocre version of this dish.) I’d agree with BarryC @secretasianman, that these were quite respectable.
They are a medium-thickness type of XLB, so fans of Din Tai Fung’s super thin, delicate XLB might be thrown off by this.
But after Mei Long Village’s inconsistent visits, if you’re in the mood for a more rustic, medium-thick Xiao Long Bao, then give this one a try.
The Broth and Ground Pork filling was nicely balanced, not too salty, and delicious enough.
Handmade Pork and Napa Dumpling:
We also tried an order of the Handmade Dumplings (real water-boiled “Dumplings”). These were thick-skinned Dumplings, with a hefty chew to them, with the Marinated Ground Pork and Napa Cabbage tasting fine, but it wasn’t anything that blew us away.
Looking at the menu back home, I had forgotten the other reason we wanted to go there, so off we went for another visit to try it (we tried other places in the area also to make the drive worth it).
Seaweed in Spicy Sauce:
A little dry (just a bit), these were lightly spicy, a touch too salty, but nice and chilled.
Spicy Pig Stomach:
Our friend who joined us loves offal, so we had to order this. Their Spicy Pig Stomach had some decent heat from the Chili Oil, and this was also served chilled. Overall not bad.
Salted Egg Yolk & Pork Dumplings:
And the reason we made a 2nd trip, I remembered @ipsedixit mentioning that this place had Salted Duck Egg Yolk Shanghai Soup Dumplings! That sounded really intriguing so we had to try it.
It had the same nicely balanced, crave-worthy Marinated Ground Pork & Broth base, but each XLB had a noticeable back note of Salted Duck Egg Yolk. Thankfully it wasn’t too salty either, just an interesting, additional savory component from the rich Salted Duck Egg Yolk. We’d order these again.
Pork & Shepherd’s Purse Wontons:
They also serve Handmade Shanghai-style Wontons, with Marinated Ground Pork and Shepherd’s Purse, which gave it a nice herbally flavor in each bite. The Broth was light and we enjoyed these more than their Boiled Dumplings.
Pan Fried Dumplings:
Their Potstickers or Pan-Fried Dumplings were less successful. Still with the thicker Dumpling skin, their wok frying skills weren’t so good, giving each Dumpling barely any searing (so it was barely any crisp-crunch). We’d skip these next time.
Rice Balls in Fermented Rice Soup:
These were really just insipid. I don’t use that word very often, but this dessert was so mediocre, so uninspired, and there was almost no fragrance from the flowers. The Rice Balls were of decent chew and doughiness, but the filling was barely there (only a tiny bit of Black Sesame). @paranoidgarliclover would be sad.
Overall, I think we’d go back to Shanghai Dumpling House for their very respectable, medium-thick-style Shanghai Soup Dumplings (or Xiao Long Bao (XLB)). Their standard version is great, listed on the menu as “Juicy Pork Dumpling”, or their distinct Salted Egg Yolk Soup Dumplings, listed on the menu “Salted Egg Yolk & Pork Dumpling.”
Their Shanghai-style Pork & Shepherd’s Purse Wontons were also tasty.
Shanghai Dumpling House
227 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 282-1348