That Soup Dumpling Place
Shànghǎi Hǎowèidào Xiǎolóng Tāngbāo 上海 好味道 小龍湯包
The classic Shanghainese morsels called xiaolongbao are often called soup dumplings due to the hot broth locked inside of the dough. However, they aren’t actually a dumplings by classification. Though they look like jiǎozi (dumplings such as shuǐ jiǎo, or zhēng jiǎo), they are actually bāozi, which are steamed buns. Though they don’t look like the big fluffy steamed buns you see throughout China, they are classified as one due to their texture and production method.
One of the busiest soup dumpling places in Tainan is located in the East District on Dong An Road. The name of the place is Shànghǎi Hǎowèidào Xiǎolóng Tāngbāo or “Shanghai’s Good Flavor Small Basket Soup Dumpling.” It is a name so unwieldy that I must simple refer to it as that soup dumpling place on Dong An. It is a bright place with big windows exposing the whole restaurant to the street. They also have clean sidewalk-seating. The staff is energetic and thorough to the point that you might think you’ve stepped into Japan. It could have Japanese ownership and maybe that’s why everything in the restaurant it written in Chinese and Japanese. You will not find an English menu here, but many of the staff speak some English and may be able to translate.
In addition to xiaolongbao, they also have other kinds of dumplings, soups, seafood rolls, spring rolls, shrimp balls, and a long line of similar food. The food is a little over-priced, but that doesn’t seem to scare away many customers.
Care should be taken in eating xiaolongbao. When it is first served, the soup broth is piping hot. You can either wait for it to cool down, or you can hold the bun in your spoon and pierce the skin so that much of the juice spills out into the spoon. You should then be able to eat the bun and drink the soup with no problems. Another thing to consider is that the ingredients are only lightly cooked. I have upset my stomach more than a few times eating this stuff. It’s a safer food for the winter time, and before refrigeration it was never served in the summer.
Hours: 09:30 am – 00:30 am (after midnight)
Phone: (06) 2081601; 2084298
Location: No. 26 Dong An Road, East District, Tainan City, Taiwan 701