Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This afternoon I went out to lunch with a visitor from Tianjin. Since he was hoping to take in the Shanghai Art Museum afterwards, I took him to 佳家汤包 on Huanghe Road, just north of People's Square. It was actually the firs time I'd been there, which is surprising because it gets rave reviews for its 小笼包 soup dumplings. So what did I think of it?

The food was good. When we arrived, there was a line out the door because the place has about 10 small tables and more than enough customers. We ended up waiting about 15 minutes outside in the freakish autumn sunshine we've been getting this year, next to a parked Porsche Boxster. Once inside we ordered from a menu that was 80% sold out. Besides the famous 100% 蟹粉 crab meat dumplings, the only other kind they had was 蟹粉鲜肉汤包 crab and pork soup dumplings. So we had two steamers of crab-and-pork dumplings, two seaweed and egg soups, two side servings of finely chopped ginger floss, and a Sprite and Fanta. Like I said, the food was good: the dumplings filling was finely ground and well mixed but with distinct and fresh flavors in the soup and meat, the ginger floss had bite but was sliced thin enough to spare the tongue a drubbing, and the soup was nothing to write home about but that's not the point anyways, right? The vinegar was a big thin, but that's personal taste. So overall, good. I'd go back frequently if People's Square was a regular haunt and I could be spared the waiting in line.

One thing I wasn't happy about is that it was so easy to find. Hole-in-the-wall, name-brand places should be out of the way. I didn't realize after hearing about them for so long that 佳家汤包, 小杨生煎 and 老克勒 were all right next to each other on Huanghe Rd, 2 minutes from People's Square. Lame.

Speaking of 老克勒, a couple of waitresses were standing outside handing out take-out menus to passers-by so I picked one up and scanned it in. This place looks worth going back for. Full sizes are on Flickr.



At Oct 2, 2008, 2:30:00 PM, Blogger Singapore Short Stories said:

The food seems nice, hope the food tastes as nice also!

In Singapore, we have a host of different varieties of food but China food, i mean authentic ones are not that many thus I have not tasted real china food before as have not visited China before.

At Oct 5, 2008, 2:13:00 PM, Blogger Matthew said:

I would've given anything to see a menu like this in Fujian...we couldn't find any restaurants that had ANY sort of menu.

At Oct 5, 2008, 3:05:00 PM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

Matthew: Shanghai must be ahead of its time, at least for China. We've got about 4 or 5 take-out menus pinned to the bulletin board by our front door right now...Though to be honest I was surprised to get this menu from a Chinese-food place, which like you've found rarely have menus to take home. Even this menu struck me as very Taiwanese, especially the handwriting that John commented on.


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