Though it should be common knowledge that nobody around A Modern Lei Feng is a big fan of Shanghai, we've all had to spend more time than we wish in that Whore of the East. Therefore, despite all the negative aspects the city drums up in our minds, there are some positives and they almost all revolve around the food.
After a recent weekend in Shanghai, there was much to celebrate, especially because the city isn't experiencing the same hazy hangover that exists in Beijing. We're a big lover of Fomo for their spicy crawfish (and from the lines, it seems like much of Shanghai is as well), but now its made even better because we are in CRAB SEASON! Despite the New York Times less than positive review of Shanghai's famous hairy crabs, but its almost impossible to screw them up and they are almost always delicious.
Alongside the crabs, Shanghai's xiaolongbao are always a major treat. In Beijing, its an unfortunate choice between Ding Tai Fung, totally overpriced and overrated, and the only good when absolutely desperate for a fix Yi Pin Xiaolong, but Shanghai is overflowing with options. Of course it has its own branch of Ding Tai Fung, but who goes to Shanghai to eat dumplings from a Taiwanese chain restaurant that aren't that good?
For my money, the 8 kuai steamer of xiaolongbao at Wang Jia Sha top what you can get at Ding Tai Fung and you save over RMB30. Nanxiang is ever famous, mainly for its Yu Garden location and is by far the best option for dumplings, though the line is always long (and no other Nanxiang serves the crab xiaolong, an absolute must!). Crystal Jade is another entry in the high-end xiaolongbao sweepstakes, but having eaten there twice, I'm left with no impression of them, not a good thing. And while Jia Jia Tang Bao receives high praise from our Shanghai correspondent, I've yet to stop in there, perhaps (shudder!) on the next Shanghai sojourn, a trip will be made.