RATING: ★★★☆ - VERY GOOD | PRICE: $ - INEXPENSIVE
Tucked away off the main hassle and bustle of Nanjing road lies an unassuming small eatery, Jia Jia Tang Bao 佳家汤包; home to quite possibly the most refined soup dumplings in Shanghai and according to many locals, the whole world.
Easily identified by the long lines which build up outside its tiny entrance. This restaurant has little to offer in the form of cozy ambiance, its bright white fluorescent lights and bare walls are decorated only with health code signage and a traditional-style menu board. So eye on the prize, you’re here for the food… Eye on the prize.
Order up their house specialties, the Pork with Egg Yolk, Crab with Pork, or simply pure Crab soup dumplings aka "Tang Bao" are a must-try. When in Shanghai, do as the locals do, pick up a small bowl of clear pig's blood soup and some shredded ginger with a healthy dose of black vinegar. Then grab your receipt, take a seat and listen out for an elderly Shanghainese lady to yell out your number.
On to these soup dumplings, filled with melt-in-your-mouth crab, pork and/or egg yolk. The skin is silky smooth with just the right ratio of strength to pliability, one of the hallmarks of a great dumpling. These dumplings also contain blisteringly hot soup gravy which ejects explosions of flavour in every bite. Very delicious!
The soup was a light savory mix of seaweed and hot broth with chunks of reddish brown tofu textured pig's blood.
Whether you eat these dumplings straight from its steaming baskets, dipped in piquant vinegar or soaked in the hot soupy broth. Every bite will be full of flavour and delightful to the last “Tang Bao”.
A visit to Jia Jia is a true Shanghainese induction, a specialty soup dumpling vendor serving up some of the best food you will ever eat in a non-pretentious setting. It is no wonder they are so highly rated on every online magazine out there.
Busy with Shanghainese street charm
Not possible, be prepared to get in line for 10 or up to 20 minutes.
$ (cheap as chips)
Jia Jia can be a little tough to find and there's a bounty of other dumpling shops near by. So look out for the unit number, 90, clearly displayed on the top of the door.
90 Huanghe Rd, Huangpu, Shanghai, China
+86 21 6327 6878
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