Shanghai Terrace (ST) has been my favorite restaurant in the city for years & I’ve celebrated many special occasions there. I can say that I’ve seen Shanghai Terrace evolve into a world-class restaurant and experienced some of the best service in the city. The staff is always courteous and Chef Yuen always obliging about dietary restrictions. And while the restaurant is upscale, the cultural authenticity permeates through the restaurant and the menu.
As per tradition, I celebrated my birthday there last weekend and ordered the usual. My ST regular order comprises of the Crispy Tofu for an appetizer, and the Chilean Sea Bass in Coriander Soy as my main course. This time I added the Green Leaves Shrimp Dumpling to my order, and was wowed in the first bite!!!
Now you don’t hear a lot of talk about shrimp dumplings or dumplings in general; mostly because of the general misconception that there isn’t much to these dough balls unless the filling is some exotic mixture. But what you may not know is that they are not easy to make, and if cooked wrong, can be messy, dry & bland.
After serving our drinks, the waiter brought out four fresh steaming dumplings in a bamboo basket, perfectly sized with the tender pieces of shrimp cushioned in beautifully pleated wrappers. The shrimp was mildly seasoned, enough to give a hit of herb flavor with every bite. The dumplings were also topped with generous amounts of a deviled egg type mixture peeking through the skin. It was beautifully crafted together and satisfying at the same time. How did I miss out on these dumplings all these years?
What I’ve learned since is that in the family of dumplings, wontons & shumai, the gao or jiao are the hardest to make, because the wrapper has to be stretched in a way to keep the outside dough light, without being too chewy. And these shrimp dumplings were perfect in size and consistency.
Kudos to Chef Ivan Yuen for transforming basic ingredients into a very satisfying and delectable dish! The restaurant certainly benefits from Chef Yuen’s extensive background in Chinese cooking. And since I have your attention, here’s a little treat! Watch a video of Chef Yuen preparing dim sum: http://www.chicagomag.com/video/Inside-Chicagos-Best-Restaurants/2014/Shanghai-Terrace/
Do visit Shanghai Terrace the next time you’re craving some outstanding Dim Sum! I may even stop in for a quick dumpling snack, the next time I’m in the area.
Neighborhood: River North
Address: 108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 573-6744
Price Range: $13-52
Other: Monday to Friday 11:30 AM – 10:30PM