Sunday, May 1, 2011

Soup Dumplings in Philly!

Rating: Great!
Genre: Chinese, Shanghainese, Soup Dumpling
Neighborhood: Chinatown

A couple of girlfriends and I took a day trip out to Philly this past Saturday, and of course we hit up Chinatown for food and bargain shopping. I didn't see why I couldn't share some of my food finds on this blog, cause even if it's Philly and this is a DC based blog, I know people travel. Philly's Chinatown, while not nearly as massive as New York's, is still a great deal better than DC's Chinatown. Unlike DC's Chinatown where everything is new development and trendy, and you can pay $100 per person for modernized Dim Sum at Ping Pong, Philly's Chinatown is actually filled with Chinese people running Chinese restaurants, bakeries, markets, and shops.
Is there a greater sight in the world than roasted soy ducks hanging from the window? Interestingly, we found a vegetarian Chinese restaurant. Greatest name for a Chinese Restaurant ever. They also have the greatest Pho joint EVER. Pho 75! It's the same chain that's scattered around NoVa. This is Sakura! The very spot we were looking for when delving into Chinatown. I take advantage of ever chance I can get to eat non-shitty soup dumplings and Sakura was the place to go in Philly to get them. The greatest soup dumplings I've ever had were the soup dumplings of Ding Tai Fong and that was in Taipei, Taiwan. I've never had a soup dumpling nearly as good ever since. I've had the famous soup dumplings of Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown New York, and I'll admit they are quite good; as a matter of fact the best I've had on the East coast, but nothing quite like the soup dumplings of Ding Tai Fong. Sakura was an excellent Chinese restaurant and I did enjoy their soup dumplings, but I still liked Joe's Shanghai better. I'll be taking a trip to San Fransisco in the summer and I'm looking forward to comparing their soup dumplings to the ones I've tried here and in Taiwan. We started with the beef fried rice cakes which I definitely recommend. The rice cakes are a perfect balance of soft and chewy, and the flavor is beefy and delicious. We ordered two steamers of pork soup dumplings and one steamer of crab soup dumplings. The skin was pretty thin, not perfectly thin, but still good. The soup in the inside was pretty flavorful, but I wish there was a bit more soup. The pork in the inside was only mildly flavored, but I was able to compensate for that with the vinegar dipping sauce. The crab soup dumplings I enjoyed more because the crab was able to add great flavoring to the pork. For dessert, we ended with the sesame rice balls in a sweet rice wine soup. The rice wine soup didn't have the heavy rice wine burn I enjoy (but I'm sure they had to cook it all out so children eating this dessert didn't stumble home wasted) and the soup was a bit thick; however, the sesame rice balls were melt-in-your mouth delicious! One of my favorite desserts since I was a kid and I still love it!

1038 Race St

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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