My New Obsession: Tangbao

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Tangbao. Tangbao. Tangbao. For those of you who have not tried it, tangbao (which literally means “soup dumplings” and is also known as xiaolongbao) is the most blissful, magical, and tasty food on this planet. It originates in Shanghai and consists of a meaty filling surrounded by delicious broth and folded into a thin dumpling skin. Sounds good, right?

Out the side gate and down one block from my university campus is a small little “hole in the wall” restaurant that my friends and I affectionately call “Tangbao.” I’m sure they have other yummy stuff too, but every time I make the walk over there, I am obligated to reward myself with these mouth watering bites of pure happiness. I first visited during my first week in Shanghai, but, getting lost in the sea of Chinese menus and absolutely no english anywhere, settled for a bowl of noodles (I didn’t even know what I was missing!)

About a month ago, I visited the shop again with my friend and was absolutely floored when I tasted by first tangbao. And I’ve been a regular customer ever since (sometimes 3-4 times a week. yup, that’s right, no shame). There’s really even no bother ordering anymore, the workers already know what we want! The only difference between visits is if we want 1 or 2 orders each.

Each pan holds 6 precious Tangbaos for only 6 kuai (that’s less than $1)–cant go wrong there!

I’ve tried Tangbao at other places in Shanghai, and even ventured to take a leap of faith and try the cafeteria ones. But, let me tell you, there is no place like the bright yellow tiny restaurant next to ECNU’s campus. It has THE BEST Tangbao hands-down.

I’m gonna miss this place.