New York Times called the Xiaolongbao from DinTaiFeng as one of the top food to eat in the world. CNN voted it as one for the bucket list. There are many before DinTaiFeng, including where it all began – Nanxiang. And then there’s Taikang.
Xiaolongbao can generally be called to all soup dumplings from the Shanghai and Wuxi area. It is a thin skin dumpling filled with hot soup. Usually a minced pork filling, it is sometimes made with pork, crab meat and roe.
At Taikang, they popularised another variation of the Xiaolongbao – the giant Tangbao 灌汤包.
Again, right after a long morning walk around town, I decided to stop by Tai Kang Foodstuff on Nanjing Road. They are opened very early for the first batch of customers that came for their famous dumplings and noodles.
But they also have a very good fruit stand on the ground floor that served fresh pressed juices.
At first look, the dumpling looked an oversized xiaolongbao. The waiter will bring it to your table in the bamboo basket that would normally be used for the xiaolongbao, but now it can only hold one instead of the usual 6.
The waiter, wearing a glove, would pick it up and place it on your plate. Amazingly, it did not break. Of course, oversized is an understatement, only when your dumpling filled the entirely serving plate, you know you have a whopper.
The trick was to prick a small little hole on the dumpling with a toothpick. I never managed to do it, and the entire content, i.e. the hot crab and pork soup, just oozed onto the plate. Drink that good and then eat the dumpling. Yum yum.
Another favourite that people order in Taikang is their Shanghai noodles. Just like the ramen noodles in Japan, Shanghai noodles are thin flour noodles that are slightly thicker than the No.2 spaghetti. They are cooked al dente and then served with soup. You then choose the topping. The most popular was their pork chop and mushrooms topping. You dip the thick pork chop with their worcestershire sauce made in-house for that tangy and savoury deliciousness.
What I really liked was their deep fried scallion noodles 蔥油拌面. The same Shanghai noodles were mixed with a ladle of scallion-infused oil and then topped with deep fried scallions. The whole flavour profile was filled with the satisfaction of the scallion fragrant, and also umami from the lard and scallion infused oil. Just wonderful
They serve the regular sized xiao long bao too. They were a bit sweet for my taste, but this being Shanghai, one has to expect the liberal amount of sugar placed in their dishes.
Just come out from Line 2 subway station, and walk along Nanjing Road. You cannot miss it.
768 Nanjing Rd Pedestrian St, NanJing Lu, Huangpu Qu,
Shanghai Shi, China, 200000
Tel : +86 21 6360 3252
Date Visited : Feb 2017