Lao Shanghai

On a recent rainy night, I made the trip down to Chinatown, on a late night hunt for soup dumplings, also known as Xiǎolóngbāo. Slurping on the savory pouches of goodness sounded like the perfect way to end the day, so a quick drive around the Cermak and Canal intersection lead us to Lao Shanghai. Part of Tony Hu's restaurant group (along with Lao Sze Chuan, which I went to last week! Look for that post soon...), Lao Shanghai's windows are decorated with press clippings and yelp recommendations. We ducked in out of the rain and started on our Shanghai journey.

The mean started out with a Tsingtao, a Chinese beer, brewed since 1903. Light and mellow, it went well with the salty meal.

The stars of the evening, the soup dumplings. The waitress suppressed a laugh when I inquired about a vegetarian version, so when in Rome...the pork balls on the inside of the thin dumpling skin were surrounded by the savory soup filling. Comfort food at it's coziest. I wondered how they were able to get the soup inside of the dough and apparently, they cover the meat filling with a layer of soup gelatin, which melts into actual soup when steamed. Genius!

Braised Pork Belly in Preserved Bean Curd Sauce, which was almost like a plum sauce, in that it had a little sweetness to it and was nice and thick.

The old stand by - vegetable lo mein, with slivered onions, bok choy and charred noodles.

And with that, the two of us slipped off into the rainy Chicago evening, bellies full and minds wandering with thoughts of exotic places. For now, this is the next best thing.

Lao Shanghai
2163 S China Pl
(312) 808-0830


dapeen said...

those dumplings looked mouth watering. Nice pics

Erin Thero said...

Hi I met you at the swim up bar in Cancun, I'm the chef from St.Louis. Great website! Love the pics!

Shannon Darling Dearest said...

Thanks Erin! Grest to meet you in Mexico. We'll have to work on that interview I mentioned about your sous chef work...email me if you get a sec, shannonnicoise@gmail.com

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