The Changning branch of Tang Gong Seafood Palace, on Dongzhu’anbang Lu, turns into a crowded dim sum joint on weekends. Myra’s dad was passing through Shanghai, and since it’d been his birthday recently and he was due out soon on an afternoon flight, mid-morning dim sum seemed like a good birthday send-off. An earlier start also meant we could avoid the hour-long wait that happens closer to noon, the jostling elbows and the drooling hordes of small children and the elderly.
We ordered a broad variety of dishes from the dim sum menu. Pushcart dim sum has essentially disappeared – apparently it’s hard to make money with those. The downside is that there usually aren’t any visual aids to help with the menu, none of the quickly lifted steamer lids, no peeking at dumplings or steamed ribs or tofu – it requires more forethought of the menu decisions, which now must also be made upfront. And our desserts came first, before we ready for dessert (although, in truth, I’m always ready for dessert). Still, the food was pretty flavorful, and there wasn’t the same drop-off in the quality of ingredients that sometimes happens outside of HK and Guangdong. The steamed pork ribs came with fried garlic on top and a few pieces of taro underneath (which are always welcome chez moi), the fried turnip cake had XO sauce inside its crisp outer edges, and the char siu bao had a good balance of bun, sauce, and meat. If you can get here early enough to avoid the late morning rush, not a bad deal.
Tang Gong Seafood Palace
103 Dongzhu’anbang Road / 103号 东诸安浜路 （近江苏路）