In a prior review (5 years ago) I harshed on Chinatown’s Shanghai Asian Cuisine for shorting us on our change, but I did point out that their dumplings were amazing. When it was operating under a prior name, this was the place where I was first introduced to Soup Dumplings, probably in September or October of 1991. I have been back several times since the visit I blogged about and after a recent feasting there I thought that Shanghai Asian Cuisine deserved to be highlighted again.
- The Fried tiny buns with pork don’t contain the soup that traditional Shanghai Shen Jian Bao are known for, but the ones served here are light, fluffy, bready buns filled with perfectly seasoned pork.
- The sauce that comes with the Szechuan Wontons is loaded with Szechuan flavors, chili heat and numbing pepper corns. It was so good that after we finished the wontons, we ate the rest of the sauce with a spoon.
- Shanghai Asian Cuisine is one of the few places where you can taste the flavor contribution made by the crab and crab roe in the crab and pork soup dumplings. They also manage to pack lots of soup into the dumplings, which are always perfectly cooked.
- The pan-fried pork dumplings were masterfully cooked to a crispy golden color and were so juicy they could pass as soup dumplings at a lesser restaurant.
- We finished up with the steamed pea vine and shrimp dumplings, which were lite and refreshing after four rounds of pork. The fresh green-ness and mild bitterness of the pea vines paired perfectly with the sweet and slight brine of the shrimp.
Shanghai Asian Cuisine is on Elizabeth street between Canal and Bayard streets in New York City’s Chinatown. It is next to the Chinatown arcade which is a covered ally that connects Elizabeth Street to the Bowery.