Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
At college in the US, we used to eat dumplings out of takeout cartons at 3am to drown our sorrows in MSG after a Friday night of not getting lucky. They were cheap, filling, and so oily you expected a pelican covered in black gunk to waddle out of the carton. The renditions at Xujiahui’s family-run Dongbei spot, Chunfu Shui Jiao are also cheap and filling but the quality’s on another planet. It was here where I first had real dumplings.
There’s a reason plates of these steaming white meat pouches adorn every table in the restaurant. They surpass the competition due to their lack of gratuitous grease and a quality skin that’s soft as goose down but elastic enough to hold in the juicy contents. We dare say they even rival their cousins at Dumpling King. Pick the beef dumplings (20 for 20RMB), dip them in soy, vinegar, and chili, and enjoy.
And if you’re concerned about making a pilgrimage across town just to eat a small plate of meat in dough skins in a dingy hole-in-the-wall with sweaty tourists alla Jia Jia Tang Bao or Yang’s, don’t be. This neighborhood hangout has plenty of fried rice, noodles, tomatoes and scrambled eggs, and other great fare to keep you occupied.
Chunfu Shui Jiao – 275 Nandan Lu, near Caoxi Bei Lu (南丹路275号, 近曹西北路). Tel: (0)21-6468-5858. Hours: 7am-12am daily.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Lao Tanzi Xie (traditional jar crab) @ Deng Ji Chuan Cai
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s Food Editor know at [email protected]!