Friday, May 23, 2008

Shanghai Snack

I was walking, this time shopping, and knew it was time for lunch when my stomach was growling. I wanted an authentic Shanghainese restaurant for lunch. So, I decided to walk the side streets of the main shopping road. I found a place that had no hard copy menu and no photos. The restaurant was called Shanghai Snack. The interiour was basic and looked like any fast food joint.

The menu was on the wall and written in Chinese. But the main reason I chose this restaurant was because they were frying the most stunning looking dumplings I have seen in a long time. So, thank goodness for the power of finger pointing. I pointed to the frying pan dumplings outside and hand signed the number 4. As usual, my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I could not resist pointing to the steaming baskets of another kind of dumplings as well.

The pan fried dumplings were out of this world. I have never had dumplings like these. They were deep fried only one side, so the bottom was a golden brown and very crispy. The top was cooked by the steam of the frying. I was so hungry that I lifted one dumpling with my chop sticks and hungrily bit into the dumpling. Like an exploding volcano, the dumpling exploded, with its juices squirting out all over the place. All over my arm and watch. Luckily the juices did no hit my neighbors. I was so embarrassed, for being such an amateur dumpling eater. There are never any napkins in these type of restaurants so I had to use my shirt to wipe off the juices. Due to my hunger, I forgot about the rules about eating hot steamed or fried dumplings. You need to slowly bite off a little piece of the dumpling to that there is a small hole. You either then suck the fantastic juices or pour them into a spoon. When the dumpling is emptied of its juices, then you can begin to eat the dumpling.

First of all these dumplings were enormous, a little smaller than of tennis balls. These particular dumpling did not have the usual dumpling skin, but it had a doughy bread skin. So, it was almost like fried bread. The filling was a very tasteful minced pork. I cannot emphasis, how wonderful these dumplings were.

After four of the gigantic fried dumplings, the steamed dumplings in a basket came out. 10 delicate steamed dumplings. I was feeling already full, but I was determined not to waste any food and opportunity to enjoy these little things. Each dumpling was filled with juice, I had to delicately pick them up and drain the juices into a spoon. The skin of the dumplings not too thick and the minced pork was also tasty.

So, after 14 dumplings, I was feeling content. Not only did I successfully order dumplings with the power of finger pointing but I was happy that I found another type of wonderful dumpling. I barely could get up due to being stuffed, but it was time for dessert and I needed to find another interesting place to have something sweet. On goes the journey!

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