Tuesday, April 20, 2010
[台北] - 士林夜市 - 大上海生煎包 - Shihlin Night Market - Da shanghai Shen Jian Bao - Da Bestest
OK let's step out of the USA for a few minutes here, and imagine you are on a plane to Taipei, then find yourself on the MRT subway getting off Jientan station to the largest night market in the area, Shihlin Night Market.
You walk along the perimeter until you find the Yang Ming 陽明 movie theater, and you'll find a few Shanghai Shen Jian Bao 生煎包 vendors (think xiao long bao, but a soft mahn toh doughy white bun exterior, pan fried over an iron grill with an incredible amount of juicy porktastic goodness inside). But there is one that I would say, trumps them all, and the stall is called Da (as in , "big") Shanghai Shen Jian Bao 大上海生煎包.
There is an open area room at the back of the stall, where uniformed staff are preparing the ingredients, namely the dough for the buns and the sexy ass meat mixture of seasoned porcine piggy pleasure.
You as the cu$tomer, have two choices. You ask for either "tsai bao" 菜包 (veggie bun) for NT$10 per (that's like US$0.33), or "rou bao" 肉包for NT$12 per, and indicate the amount. Pay, and you'll get your quantity shoved into a plastic bag (like the kind at your local supermarket to hold fruit). Then mosey over to the left and add condiments at your pleasure. Highly recommended is a few scoops of their spicy oily yet integral to the experience chili sauce, which elevates this insanely delicious thingy to greate$t height$.
Two buns are really not enough, you should savor a minimum of three, but not too many as you have so many other eating choices.
The pork meatball inside has a ton of flavor (moist enough) but does not spooze out soup, unlike Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale California that not only has a sexy meatball but a feckload of soup inside. If you are the kind of person who adheres to the philosophy that a bragworthy meat bun (be it xiao long bao, shen jian bao, or beef pancake in hockey puck form) that the "soup" should be in the form of the filling's natural juices, versus a piece of aspic/gelatin or gelatinized broth inserted separately) then this vendor will fulfill your dreams.
Sure you can likely find cheap and fulfilling Shen Jian Bao at Shih Da night market, and while I have yet to do a taste test, this might just be one of the better bets at Shihlin Night Market.
Let's have some BTV karaoke, that's Bao TV
大上海生煎包 (Da Shanghai Shen Jian Bao)
台北市士林區文林路101巷口 Shihlin District, Wenlin Road #101 (alley mouth)
(士林夜市陽明戲院隔壁巷子進去約走一分鐘左邊的攤販) - walk about 1 minute by the right side of Yang Ming movie theater, it will be on the left.