Shanghai Dumpling King

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Waiting outside for our table I heard someone say to her friend, "I heard the Shanghai Dumplings are good here."  Jeez, what gave that away...
The restaurant is really small so the wait can get quite lengthy.  Right before you sit down you preorder with a server so your food will arrive by the time you sit, so make sure you look over the menu while you wait.
I wasn't really keen on ordering a vegetable dish, but the server urged and upsold us on the daily vegetable of the day.  Today, it happened to be pea sprouts with ham.  I'm glad we ended up ordering.  The vegetables were really well cooked and so fresh.
"Lion Head" Meatballs (dry). (#37)  This dish actually shows on the menu as a soup, but, again, the server said dry is better.  These meatballs were so tender and juicy.  The meatballs just fell apart when you cut them.

Hung zhou crab & pork steamed dumplings.  The wrappers on these dumplings were really thin and delicate, which challenged my chopstick skills (it needs work apparently).  Each bundle contained a lot of soup, but somehow weren't steaming hot when pierced. 
Xiu Long bao - #13 on 2011 7x7 SF's 100 Things to Eat
Finally, the xiu long bao (aka xlb) arrived.  What a disappointment!  The skins were a lot thicker than the crab dumplings and hardly any soup. 
Tianjin Steamed Dumpling.  Honestly, when they brought this steamer to the table I didn't have any interest to really eat this since I was here to eat the soup type dumplings.  These dumplings turned out to be even better than the other two trays of dumplings.  The bun is really soft and fluffy with a hint of sweetness that makes it pretty addicting.  Inside is minced meat with glass noodles.  Delicious!

Address:                         Shanghai Dumpling King
                                               3319 Balbao St.
                                               San Francisco, CA  

Type:                                 Chinese/casual

Popular chomps:    Xiu Long Bao (XLB) (#4)
                                               Green onion pancake (#21)
                                               Sugar egg puff (#141)
Chomp worthy:      Tianjin steamed dumplings (#6)
                                Lion Head Meatballs (#37)

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