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Can't get enough yummy dumplings

DUMPLINGS, or jiaozi, usually contain minced meat and sometimes chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin, doughy skin. Originally eaten in northern China on Chinese New Year's Eve or other family reunions - making dumplings was considered a job for the whole family - jiaozi has become one of the most widely loved foods in China. There are many northeastern-style Chinese restaurants in Shanghai offering delicious dumplings and other authentic northeastern-style dishes. Here are some famous restaurants to try.

Dark Soil Northeast Cuisine Restaurant

The restaurant is very clean and comfortable. You can sit on the kang (bed-stove) to have your food. It is an ideal place for friends and family to gather and have a chat.

Portions are plentiful and prices are fair. Waiters are hospital and friendly. They will offer advice on how much to order. Dishes are served quickly.

Both pickled cabbage and cabbage with pork dumplings are delicious. The skin is soft and the filling is juicy and full. A bowl of such dumplings is surely enough for a lunch or a dinner and only costs 10 yuan (US$1.57).

Braised pork bone is best known for its juicy marrow and tender meat. A straw is usually served with the dish, which can be used to suck the fatty marrow out of the bone. Braised beef with potatoes is terrific. A cup of roasted barley tea can help balance the strong flavor from the heavy oils in the dish. Straw-hat-shaped pancakes are big and crisp.

Don't order stewed chicken with mushroom was disappointing because it is actually stewed chicken with shemeji. The soup turns out to be dark due to the stewed shemeji. The chicken is a little tough and the dish is too salty.

Every 15 boiled dumplings are sold at 10 yuan to 15 yuan depending on the fillings.

Address: 1213 Beijing Rd W., Jing'an District

Tel: 6247-1333

Northeast Household Restaurant

Customers are generally college students and nearby residents. The restaurant is not very spacious with about 10 tables on the floor and two rooms for reservation on the second floor. It is busy on weekends. If you want a quieter environment go on weekdays.

Each dish is adequately supplied at a reasonable price.

It was too noisy and crowded on the Sunday night of our visit.

The seafood dumplings, taste good and have a very elastic skin.

Disanxian, a tasty dish made by cooking potatoes, eggplants and green pepper, is a must here. The crisp crust of the eggplants and the sweet potatoes are really tasty.

Basi digua is a hot candied sweet potato chip. Before putting the potato into your mouth, you need to dip it into a bowl of water to get rid of the sugar silk and cool the sugar coating to make it crisp. Other popular dishes in the restaurant include meaty braised pork bone and guobaorou, literally sweet and sour pork meat wrapped in thin fried flour.

A dish of boiled seafood dumplings costs 24 yuan and dumplings with other fillings are cheaper.

Address: 536, Miyun Rd, Hongkou District

Tel: 6598-1622

Herbin Snacks

The small restaurant is lively with customers at lunch and dinner time.

Disanxian is quite well-received by customers. Dongbei da lapi, literally a cold mixture dish made with cool bean noodles and various sauces, is good. The bean noodles chew well. Stewed pork with bean noodles are tasty with the noodles fully absorbing the chicken soup. Other popular dishes include stewed chicken with mushroom and guobaorou.

A bowl of boiled dumplings costs 10 yuan. Disanxian costs 15 yuan, Dongbei da lapi 15 yuan and stewed chicken with mushrooms 38 yuan.

Address: 499 Zhengli Rd, Yangpu District

Tel: 6082-3828

Four Seasons Best Dumpling Restaurant

The small restaurant is lively with customers (especially foreigners) queuing up at lunch and dinner time.

They offer adequate portions at fair prices and good variety. But it was a little noisy and crowded. During lunch/dinner hours you may have to wait 20 minutes or longer.

The restaurant provides dumplings with many kinds of fillings. The fried leek dumplings are most popular with customers. Disanxian is the highlight in the restaurant. The crisp crust of the eggplants and the sweet potatoes usually has customers coming back for more. Majiang lapi, literally a cold dish made by mixing cool bean noodles with sesame sauce, is a good appetizer especially in the summer. Other popular dishes include basi digua, jiang dagu (meaty braised pork bone) and guobaorou.

A dish of dumplings costs 12 yuan to 15 yuan depending on the filling.

Address: 379 Xikang Rd, Jing'an District

Tel: 6258-3289


The decoration is typical of a northeastern Chinese household with red lamps hanging from the ceiling, paper-cut decorations on the wooden windows and the kang you can sit on to have dinner. The restaurant is spacious with a quiet environment.

The restaurant is clean, quiet, spacious and suitable for private talks.

But it is a little expensive and the wait staff are not very friendly.

Dumplings have the real taste of those eaten in northeastern China.

Those with a filling of scrambled eggs and tomato, or pork with prickled cabbage are the top sellers.

Its dongbei da lapi, a cold dish made with cool bean noodles and vegetables like sweet potatoes, pumpkin and corn kernels, makes a good appetizer. Another popular dish includes the eggplant, potato and green pepper concoction. Also try the stewed chicken with mushroom and braised pork bone.

Don't order stewed pork with bean noodles. It had a strange smell and taste.

Dumplings range from 18 yuan to 28 yuan depending on the filling.

Address: 2/F, Ruitai Hotel, 555 Shuicheng Rd, Changning District

Tel: 6233-0990


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