A while back I was so disappointed by a set of xiao long bao that I had, that I sought out the help and power of social media in finding the best in the city. From that poll, Wang’s made it to second place on the list. A small spot, easily identified as the neighbour to London Drugs, in a shopping plaza on Kingsway. They have been closed for a while due to the pandemic, but are now open again and serving customers with distancing between their narrowly packed tables.
What sets them apart is their house made dumplings. Made all through out the day, bundled by hand, by a lone chef behind a plexiglass window. There is no one else like this in the area: serving authentic Shanghai food to satisfy that greasy comfort craving that hits. And tonight that craving was heightened ,after failing to quell our craving on Wednesday, the only day that they are closed.
Truth be told I have been here a handful of times, with a couple of different friends and each time seem to order the same things, without even looking at the menu. So hence forth, let this be my list of top picks at Wang’s.
Of course the Xiao long bao always make it to the table. Six perfectly pinched dumplings carrying a pool of hot soup within each. Be warned this is steamed to order and served hot, therefore blowing is necessary here. They had a great texture, and a good amount of meat filling and soup to balance out the chewy dough. Although flavour-wise I could have used more salt or seasoning, but here is where condiments came in.
The garlic chilli sauce left at every table was the highlight and key to devouring our meal. I consumed a little under half of what was there myself, and the rest I took to go with my leftovers. Truth be told, I found everything to follow bland without it. Though the sauce doesn’t give much garlic or chilli flavour, despite the way it looks, so loading it on heavy is key.
I like xiao long bao, but do prefer their Pan fried pork steam buns when I want the same flavour of XLB, but in a chewier shell. These buns too should come with a caution: bite carefully cause they are known to pop and squirt from the most in opportune time and place, making a mess. Not to mention, you loose all that tasty soup. It is best to take a nibble and slurp the soup up, then eat the meat and bun with garlic chilli.
Similar in juicy and watery texture was the Shanghai spring rolls. A surprise to discover the first time I had it. A crispy fried, flaky shell hiding a saucy filling of vegetable. Don’t know how they get it like this, but it is the best of both textured worlds. Crispy and saucy all rolled into one.
And for some filling carbs we go for the Pan fried Shanghai noodles. Thick chewy noodles in a light soy sauce, stir fried with crispy vegetable, and a little bit of pork. Great as a filler and side, but needs more to be a main.
What was a little disappointing was the Chilli wontons, they came in a pool of watered down soy and red chilli flakes, but I didn’t get either of the flavours all that pronounced. Here our friend garlic and chilli came in handy again.
Overall, a great spot in East Vancouver for tasty and authentic dumplings, easy to get to and quick to take out. I can see why this one was highly recommend to me, and I know I will be back again in the foreseeable future. XLB when I crave it and don’t want to commute to Richmond.
Wang’s Shanghai Cuisine
110-3328 Kingsway, Vancouver BC V5R 5L1