I visited Shanghai for the first time in September, and wow… What a great city! I loved the blend of ancient and modern, East and West, urban grittiness and refined taste. Sophistication just oozed from every corner. I found myself simply walking and walking, coming upon one charming street after another.

I have to confess, there was so much to take in, at times I just did not care to make food a priority (yes, there is such a time). And with the combination of the city being more expensive, my husband working a lot, and the variety of pretty good international food available there, we ended up getting quick meals mostly around the French concession neighborhood where we were staying. So I must shamefacedly admit that our eating adventures in Shanghai were so pathetic, there’s really only one place worth reporting back on. But it’s a pretty fantastic one.

We initially came upon Yang’s Fried Dumpling by accident. We were trying to get to Jia Jia Tong Bao, which is famous for its xiaolongbao, the revered Shanghai soup dumpling. But Jia Jia had a really long line out the door, and when we glanced across the street, we spotted a server scooping up nearly tennis-ball-sized fried dumplings from a big round tray. They looked so good, we immediately abandoned our original plan and opted to go across the street instead.

We were lucky at that moment, as there happened to be no line and a table free at Yang’s. Not long after we arrived, a line started forming almost as long as Jia Jia’s, and we later discovered that Yang’s is just as famous and for an equally revered Shanghai specialty: shengjian, or the fried soup dumpling.

We had a lot of fun following the dumpling-making process at Yang’s, from the dough being kneaded to glugs of oil being poured into the pan to the final sesame seed-flecked round dumplings being scraped up and slid into styrofoam boxes for customers to take on the road.

We also ordered some hot and sour pork intestine rice noodles. I think I might’ve loved this even more than the dumplings. You can hardly ever go wrong with spicy, sour, and pigs’ intestines with me.

We eventually did make it to Jia Jia Tong Bao later in the week. But since it was nearing the end of the night when we arrived, the only dumplings left were the crab and pork crab roe dumplings, which cost as much as the dumplings did at the far swankier Din Tai Fung (more on this in upcoming Beijing post). After reading another account, I suspect that it’s not that uncommon for Jia Jia to be left with only the expensive soup dumplings, and despite them being as tasty, with similarly paper-thin wrappers, as Din Tai Fung, it just didn’t seem right to shell out something like 12 USD for dumplings at a hole-in-the-wall.

Not surprisingly, after finishing our crab and pork dumplings at Jia Jia that night, we promptly headed across the street to Yang’s for another helping of their fried soup dumplings. Four dumplings for 5 yuan (75 cents)… You just can’t beat that.

Yang’s Fried Dumpling
97 Huanghe Lu
Shanghai, China
Phone: 5375 1793