Thursday, June 09, 2005

Shanghai Dumpling Shop

It was foggy last night (a shocker here in San Francisco) and kind of damp and dreary, so I gathered some friends and we embarked on a fruitful exodus to Shanghai Dumpling Shop. Because I'm still new to this city, every drive requires a map and a keen attention to detail, particularly in the areas that are further afield. This restaurant qualifies as 'further afield,' located as it is way out in the Richmond part of town, on a not-very-hopping stretch of Balboa (3319 Balboa at 34th Avenue).

Oh, but the Shanghai soup dumplings! The Green Onion pancake, crusted in toasty sesame seeds! The baby bok choy with bean curd skin! The one dubious dish were the Lion's Head Meatballs, these giant pork balls sitting in a bowl of five-spice seasoned gravy. They tasted good but seemed like the kind of thing you might regret, if you are the type of person that regrets eating pork meatballs the size of softballs. I am not, so I ate them with relish.

This place offers nothing for ambience, but that's hardly the point. The point is, when Shanghai soup dumplings of this caliber arrive at your dinner table, you should cease conversation and devote several minutes to eating them while they are piping hot--you owe them that much.

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