Slightly hungover from the better half of a bottle of bourbon the night before, I was back in Chinatown. However this time I wasn’t looking for dim sum, but another favorite Chinese dumpling, the xiao long bao or the soup dumpling. Hoping some hot tea and dumplings would help assuage the alcohol’s effects, I ducked into Shanghai Café Deluxe if only because I had read about it on Serious Eats.
Being a party of one, I was quickly shown to a table but with two couples. There wasn’t any friendly introductions or lively chatter, more people that just happened to be sharing a table and I was fine with that. Besides the constant throb at the base of my skull was more than enough of a companion for me. Thankfully my first order was out of the kitchen in a flash.
Looking at these pictures now, I realize that I still had my camera’s white balance adjusted to flash but don’t let the oddly pink color fool you. These Shanghai Style Dumplings had a thick, crunchy wrapper with juicy pork filling that packed a garlic & onion punch. As good as the dumplings and filling were on their own, the flavors were only more pronounced by quick dip in the accompanying vinegar sauce.
While I was doing my best not to fill up on fried wontons, my order of xiao long bao arrived.
Once I bit through the slightly dried out top, it was a mad rush of boiling hot broth. Like I previously mentioned the pork and broth were a little on the sweet side but they made for a dynamite hangover cure.
Shanghai Café Deluxe Address & Information
100 Mott Street, New York NY 10013 // 212.966.3988