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Earlier this year, I noticed a Shanghaiese dumpling place downtown. As a passenger in a friend’s car, we drove past brightly lit signage sporting the name “Shanghai Xiao Long Bao.” Momentarily distracted by the words “Xiao Long Bao,” I forgot to look for the street name or note any location details. Soon after, the place was forgotten as my friend and I started some deep discussion on a totally random topic.

A few weeks later, I was setting up dinner arrangements with Barb.  Remembering the “Xiao Long Bao” signage, I searched Urbanspoon for an address .  A page for “Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant” on Richards Street (downtown) showed up in the search results.  That’s the place!

Barb was game for trying out a new place.  We met up after and by the time we walked to the restaurant, it was already 6 pm.  The restaurant didn’t seem busy and we had our pick of the tables.

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We looked at all the options on the menu.  Not sure what to order, Barb left the decision to me.  I suggested rather than getting noodles, we could order a selection of “dim sum” items to share.  Barb liked the idea and we each picked out a few items.  By the time I finished rattling off what we wanted, the server looked surprised.  She confirmed that we wanted all “dim sum” items and then went to place our order.

Perhaps it was a weekday evening so there weren’t many patrons in the restaurant.  That was okay with us though since we had attentive and speedy service.  We didn’t have to wait long to see our order in substance.   Here’s what showed up at our table.  (Did I really order all this? hahaha…)

steamed buns filled with pork nanxiang style

steamed buns filled with pork nanxiang style (nanxiang style xiao long bao)

steamed jiaozhi with vegetables

steamed jiaozhi with vegetables

fried rolls (with condensed milk)

fried rolls (with condensed milk)

pan-fried dumpling with pork

pan-fried dumpling with pork

steamed buns filled with shrimp and pork

steamed buns filled with shrimp and pork (shrimp & pork xiao long bao)

crispy dumplings with Chinese chives and eggs

crispy dumplings with Chinese chives and eggs

Shanghai style wonton

Shanghai style wonton

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Wow… Looking at the list, that is a lot of food for two people.

Wondering what we thought of the food and the service?  Barb said everything tasted great and the server was very attentive.  I thought the service was great as well.  She came by frequently to top up the hot water to our tea-pot, took away emptied plates and steamers and otherwise left us alone to enjoy our food.  As for the taste, the food was okay.  The pan-fried pork buns were juicy but also quite messy.  I found the crispy dumplings with the chives and eggs a bit on the salty side.  For a moment I was beginning to wonder if my taste buds were on the fritz when I tried the Shanghai style wonton and found those were a bit salty as well.  When I tried the soup that accompanied the wontons, I realized that it wasn’t me but the soup.  It was SO salty, I couldn’t drink more than a couple of spoonfuls.  My favourite items were the shrimp & pork xiao long bao and the fried rolls (with condensed milk).

Although we tried a bit of everything, we didn’t finish all the food.  We packed the rest to go. Did I really order seven items for two people?  … Obviously our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.   🙂

Shanghai Xiao Long Bao Restaurant 上海九鼎 on Urbanspoon

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