Shanghai Dumpling King: BYOB Bargain

 

     What is it about the Shanghai soup dumpling that impels the restauranteur to affix the name "King" or "Kingdom" somewhere in the title of his establishment dispensing of said delicacy? There IS a certain regal bearing to the soup dumpling, similar, you might imagine, to the comportment of King Henry VIII at the height of his considerable corpulence.  As you lift the succulent pouch out of its basket, glistening with pork juice, and plop it into the shallow ramekin of dipping sauce (basically soy and vinegar), you can imagine the legendarily fat Tudor King being lifted from his bed at the start of a day vis a vis a spidery, shiny brass contraption with grasping pinchers and deposited with all decorum into a piping hot bubble bath.  However, the "King" in the title of the two restaurants in which I've consumed this particular variety of dumpling  doesn't refer to a royal quality in its titular product, but to...

 

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