Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Shi Wei Guan

Shi Wei Guan restaurant on Cao Xi Lu in Shanghai has lots to offer if you like to eat traditional Chinese dumplings. The "tang bao" at Shi Wei Guan is pretty special. Not only is it nearly as big as the plate it comes on, and not only do you have to lift the plate to your mouth in order to drink the soup from the dumpling, but the soup itself is also very special because it is made from crab rather than typical (rather oily) meat base. It is really a treat to taste the tang bao at Shi Wei Guan, with it paper-thin skin wrapped around the tasty crab soup.

Another menu item you won't want to miss there is the steamed king shrimp dumplings. These dumplings rank very high amongst guests to Shi Wei Guan — it certainly hit the mark with everyone at my table. The shrimp were very good, and the translucent white skin was just the right covering for their red, tender meat.

One very amusing item on the menu is the mixed bag of dumpling flavors. You can get all 5 flavors in one bamboo tray, and in that way get to try several different kinds. The assortment includes loofa dumplings, herbal dumplings, goose liver dumplings, crab dumplings, and the traditional Shanghai flavored dumpling. Each one is a different color, so it is easy to tell what you are eating. My favorite was, again, the crab dumpling.

One last not-to-miss item is the beef soup. It was really delicious, and worth trying. There are 10 items for which the restaurant is known (thus the name), and I didn't get to try them all. All of these items are on the "big 10" list, though, and were really good. If the rest are true to what I sampled here, then I think you can't miss if you choose from the 10 specialties.

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