I really don’t need a lot of convincing and arm twisting in order to go try a new dumpling shop. Nanxiang steamed bun restaurant is probably one of the most famous restaurant in Shanghai. After watching an episode of No Reservations, I knew I really had to try this place.
I left my hotel early and walked through an area of Shanghai untouched by the megalomaniac urban revitalization plan. People were shopping for food, slaughtering ducks in the open and just living the ordinary Shanghai life in the shadow of these high-rise luxury condos.
Nobody tried to sell me anything, I was intruding on the private life of Shanghai people. I was in their open air kitchen, their backyard and their living room.
I got to Nanxiang early and I managed to get a seat in the more luxurious section of the restaurant. White china and sober decor are always welcome.
The take out counter serves exactly the same food, it’s just nice to sit and relax for a change. Nanxiang is located in the heart of the City of God Temple (Chenghuang Miao)which is the dead centre of the old town.
If you make it to the old town, the location of the restaurant is written on the street signs, just follow the arrow to dumpling goodness. The old town is packed with Chinese tourist and I seem to have decided to enter the restaurant just at the right time.
The hors d’oeuvre consisted of edemame, chicken, beef and mushrooms.
I took a while for the kitchen to build up speed and I must have waited a good 30 min to get my first dish but it was before 10 AM and I was really not in a hurry. The edemame tasted a little bit different from the one I eat in Japan. It seem they were simmered in some soy or maybe something else.
The steamed pork dumplings were the real star of the meal and I could have eaten 3 orders and skip the rest of the meal. The soup was hot and fatty, but I have a difficult time picking a favorite between Nanxiang and Din Tai Fung.
They are amazing guys, crafting perfect dumplings all day long.
The cake with salted cashew and black sesame seed was probably the greatest surprise of this meal.
One of my least favourite was the spring roll with crab roe. I guessed I found out that crab roe is not my thing.
The mushroom soup was very delicate.
I honestly wish I could go back for more steamed pork dumplings. I got a steamer, now I just need to learn how to make these delicious dumplings from scratch.
If you are ready to get there early, Nanxiang steamed bun is the place to go, but be ready to find a very long line at pretty much any time of the day.