The Chinese are masterful when it comes to dumplings. You can enjoy an amazing variety of dumplings in just one sitting when you eat at a dim sum restaurant. But there are other types of Chinese restaurants that specialize in dumplings and serve them all day long. Shanghai Dumpling King is one such place.
If someone tells you that they can't get the famous "soup dumplings" or xiaoling bao in San Francisco, send them to the Shanghai Dumpling King way out on Balboa Street. They may even discover some dumplings they've never tried before. There are tons of dumplings on the menu but so far I have tried only three types so I will tell you about those. In addition, my dad felt the non-dumpling offerings were even better than the dumplings, so a word or two about those as well.
There are twenty items listed under "Bun/Dumpling" on the menu, though how sweet or savory soy milk, and green onion pancake or Shanghai style crispy salt pancake end up in that classification I'm not sure. The dumplings are fried, steamed or boiled. My suggestion--try some of each! Some are succulent, others doughy and crisp. The fillings were all good, some gingery, some oniony, some garlicy.
The staff at the restaurant is not strong in English so you may have to ask people at other tables what they are eating if it looks good. I am including multiple pictures so you can see for yourself which dumpling is which.
Beijing Style Boiled Chive Dumpling $4.25
These are the favorite of Alder over at Vinography. I have Alder to thank for introducing me to the restaurant. You can check out his review here.
Shanghai Steamed Dumplings $4.95
These are most similar to soup dumplings, eat them in a soup spoon to get all the juice...
Pan Fried Pork Bun $4.25
These were my favorite. Kind of like a very mini pork bun, but with a tender and crisp bun that was sprinkled with sesame seeds.
The Soy Braised Lion's Head Meatball $6.95 were huge, tender and sweet and filled with little crunchy water chestnuts. So good!
The Braised String Beans $5.95 were fresh, tender crisp and very flavorful.
Shanghai Dumpling King
3319 Balboa St @ 34th Ave
Mon, Weds-Fri 11 am - 9 pm
Sat & Sun 10 am - 9 pm