369 Shanghai Dim Sum
8380 Kennedy W (Peachtree Plaza, Southwest Corner of Kennedy & Hwy 7)
when shanghainese dimsum is mentioned around town, the places that come to mind are usually "asian legend", "ding tai fun", and "fong's" at first markham place .. i wanted to make note of another, lesser known place -- but always with 2-3 groups waiting at the door ..
the place is pretty small, but turnover is pretty good .. offering a fair variety of small shanghainese tapas, with larger plates of noodles also available ..
Spicy Beef Tendon Cubes ($4.50) - these are one of 369's specials .. beef tendons marinated in hot peppers & raw garlic, served chilled .. the cubes are firm, absolutely bursting w/ the bite from the peppers & garlic .. dipped in some hot noodle soup, the cubes soften & become almost cream-like in its smoothness, sticky from the stewed calcium ..
Pan Fried Green Onion Pancake ($2.75) - fairly standard -- while crispy on both sides, it's a bit oily on the top/bottom, and could stand to be flakier inside ..
Glutinous Rice with Shredded Fried Pork & Fritter Stick ($2.75) - also fairly standard -- warm gluttinous rice wrapped around a donut stick (yow tiu) .. good dish to share, too filling on its own .. the gluttinous rice is more flavourful, while the fried shredded pork floss & pickled cabbage provide additional flavour .. the soft rice balances out w/ a light crisp of the donut stick -- which should have been fried much crunchier for more contrast and "wow" ..
Steamed Pork Buns with Soup ($4.95) - a staple of shanghainese dimsum, pork buns w/ a thin wrapper, steamed so that the pork releases juices inside the dumplings .. compared to other establishments, the pork buns are less oily, but also milder in flavour, though nicely soupy inside ..
Fried Pork Chops ($4.95) - fairly tasty, very similar to the pork chops served in taiwan with thick noodle soup .. tastily battered w/ light seasoning, fried very crunchy (almost southern-country-fried), fairly tender inside, not dry or stringy at all ..
Crystal Sugar Pork Ribs with Noodles ($7.95) - the crystal ribs have been cooked, softened to fall off the bone, w/ a nice sweet glaze .. the bone is soft enough to chew & suck on ..
the e-fu noodles & soup are nice & light, very mild in flavour .. perfect to mix with either the crystal ribs sauce or the beef tendon sauce ..
many of the dishes are extremely light in flavour, most people will order dishes to eat on their own, w/o bowls of rice.. i've been back a few times, and they have a very extensive menu .. but looking around, the above dishes seem to be the most popular, practically at every table .. overall, a good alternative to the usual "asian legend" or "ding tai fung" ..