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XLB @ Shanghai East, San Mateo

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XLB @ Shanghai East, San Mateo

Melanie Wong | Apr 7, 2006 09:17 PM

Finally had a chance to try Shanghai East this week for lunch. I'm a latecomer to the party, but let me add my praise to the chorus of 'hounds.

The xiao long bao (XLB) were better than I expected. The skins were much thinner than the version I'd had at the sister restaurant, Shanghai, in Oakland Chinatown. Plenty of delicious soup inside with the glycerined/oily texture that screams with authenticity. Yet, the flavor wasn't quite as porky and meaty as I admired so much in Oakland and had too sweet of an MSG aftertaste. Still, I'd have to put these pretty much neck-in-neck with China First in Milpitas for XLB top honors around the bay.

The sauteed rice cakes with ji cai and thin pork strips was very good. Full-fat Shanghainese here too, glistening with grease and leaving a small pool of oil on the bottom of the plate. Firm and chewy rice cakes, sweet fatty pork, and lots of sweet-tasting greens with a bit of bamboo shoot thrown in for good measure.

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