Stopped by for an early dinner at Shanghai Dumpling Shop after checking out the De Young Museum in GGPark. We started with a couple of baskets of XLB and an order of the Green Onion Pancake. We were there just before 5pm - they said that the regular menu was available starting at 5pm but we could start with any of the dumplings or appetizers. The XLB were good: relatively thin skins, no broken ones and pretty moist with a nice savory flavor (hint of ginger?). One order was more moist than the other but neither was "soupy" the way the ideal ones can be. Still, pretty tasty when dipped into the accompanying vinegar/ginger dip. The green onion cake was crispy with a subtle flavor - more about the texture. We also enjoyed the Soy Braised "Lion Head " meatballs - a light texture with a savory sauce. None of the traditional vermicelli (the mane of the lion head) in this version - they added spinach instead. No. 75 - braised string beans had a nice wok flavor and were seasoned with little bits of preserved vegetable. Wanted to try the Garlic Eel Claypot ( No. 105) but it wasn't available so we tried the Crispy Eel (No. 104) - baby eels were fried until crispy and tossed with a sweet/savory sauce - only OK....nice and crispy but the eel got lost among the sauce and the fried taste. I don't know if the clay pot also would have featured these same small eels but I was thinking more along the savoryness of the Japanese eel preparation. One of my friends talked with the proprietor - who said that he was the new owner and used to cook there for the former owner. He's been the owner for about a month right now.
Shanghai Dumpling Shop 3319 Balboa St. @ 34 Avenue SF CA 94121
415. 387-2088 Closed Tuesdays Mon and Wed - Friday 11am - 9pm. Sat & Sun 10am - 9pm