With the opening of Bund Shanghai, San Franciscans no longer have to go out to the Peninsula for good Shanghainese fare, hounds say.
If you want dumplings, make sure to hit this place at lunch, when the dim sum chef is on. The daytime version of xiao long bao, or soup dumplings, are pretty good, but at night the dumpling skins are thin but tough. Order the sheng jian bao (tasty pan-fried dumplings) instead. Shanghai shao mai, unlike Cantonese siu mai, have a “moneybag” shape with a pinched neck, and are filled with primarily soy sauce–infused sweet rice. Bund Shanghai’s version, while small, taste just like the ones found on the streets of Shanghai, says Xiao Yang.
Except for the soup dumplings, dinner is choice. The two dinner chefs have experience in upscale dining in Shanghai, according to Xiao Yang. Everyone seems to love the Shanghai-style rice cakes with spinach and bacon; david kaplan describes them as “silky yet having impressive tensile strength … and the pork was more like smoked ham, which made the dish deliciously salty and deep.”
Soy sauce braised pork, or hong shao rou, is “as unctuously appealing as only red-cooked pork belly can be,” Xiao Yang says. According to the owner, the house red-cooked pork butt is even better. Hounds also like the soy sauce braised upper pork leg (ti pang), the soy sauce braised pork with twisted bean curd skin, the Nanjing salty duck, and the Shanghai cabbage sprouts with tofu skin strips.
Bund Shanghai [Chinatown]
640 Jackson Street, San Francisco