Good (Chinese) Food Writing

Well, we expect nothing less than good taste from Sam Sifton and the gang over at NYTimes Dining section, but we love that Shanghainese cuisine was included in all the news fit to print this week. Sifton’s review of 456 Shanghai – a Chinatown neighborhood that lives up to its location and then some – was a study in excellent Chinese food writing. Take their description of the mouthwatering soup dumpling:

The xiao long bao at 456 are small and delicate one-bite numbers, with smooth, almost translucent skin below their rippled crowns. Served in bamboo steamers with the traditional accompaniment of black vinegar and slivers of ginger on the side for acidity and zip, they provide bites of uncommon flavor, both in plain pork and in a supercharged and slightly funky crab-and-pork version.

Our favorite bit though was his dismissal of the hybrid dish, one you won’t find in any Chinese restaurant in the whole Middle Kingdom:

Dinner or hearty lunch brings great opportunity, though it is crucial to bypass the spicy double-sautéed General Tso’s beef and broccoli options that sit on so many tables here as a sop to commerce. Persevere! As the bumper sticker says: Demand Real Shanghai Food.

Thanks for your kind service to Chinese cuisine, Mr Sifton. Also, those buns you liked so much (the fried tiny buns with pork), those are called shengjianbao 生煎包 We love those too!

If you want to get a taste of authentic Chinese cuisine, sample some of these treats Street Eats Breakfast tour or

Making Dumplings with Dogs
Our “Weird Meat” Shanghai Food Tour Named Top 10 in the World!

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