Yum!! Four stars for a new favorite: Shanghai House on Clement near 37th. We've always been fans of Shanghai Dumpling King up the street, but I think we'll be hanging out at SH more often for quite awhile.
Armed with some Chowhound reviews, I knew the xiao long bao were one of the things I wanted to try. Ironically, it might have been the least exciting item there. Overall it was very well done, but the Shanghainese have a tendency to put a lot of sugar in their food and for us the xlb went a little overboard in that direction. Still, they're better than 99% of the xlb out there.
Now, getting on with why we were super impressed. The vegetarian goose, which is usually just tofu skin filled with mushrooms, was above and beyond good. The outside was fried to be light and crispy, and the filling was warm and well-seasoned with a light plum sauce. So tasty! We also got another bean curd appetizer which was also delicious but went unphotographed.
Knife cut noodles! I love these, but there aren't too many places in SF that serve it. Shanghai House's version had nice thick chewy noodles in a flavorful but not overly salty broth. So satisfying. I want another bowl right now.
Lamb soup with vermicelli noodles and pickled vegetables. Appropriately sour, peppery, and meaty. One of the best versions we've had anywhere.
And finally, the savory soy milk. This dish looks disgusting and most people can't quite stomach it, but it's one of my favorites. Shanghai House's attention to detail was once again apparent in this dish, which was served quickly enough that the deep fried crullers in it were still crunchy while we ate them.
We're really looking forward to going back and exploring the menu, but everything we had was so tasty it'll be hard to decide what to not order next time. Prices were pretty great for the quality: three of us got extremely full for about $15 each after tax and tip. My only quibble was that service is extremely slow. But it's a mom and pop operation, and the care they put in each dish really shows, so I assume they just really can't move any more quickly! And it really is worth it.
Labels: Chinese, dumplings, noodles