Soup filled pan-fried buns, a subset of sheng Jian bao, were a Bay Area anomaly a year ago. Unless I’m mistaken, Shanghai Flavor Shop was the only place that had more than a dribble of loose soup, if it wasn’t all absorbed into the dough. Since then, soup filled SJB have popped up at Shanghai Bistro in Newark, and now I-Shanghai delight. I didn’t have an opportunity to try them on my visit there last week, but they look promising— the bottoms have a golden crust that climbs the sides. I peeked into the ones on the table next to me and saw lots of juice sloshing inside.
There were a few items on the menu I have not eaten elsewhere, and the main one that caught my eye was a deep fried shrimp ball that someone on Yelp suggested was filled with soup! The outer breading is wispy and not too oily, and the shrimp ball was bouncy and firm, the type made from a paste. A bit off center of each shrimp ball was a small cavern filled with a milky colored salty and savory substance. The angular shape of the cavern suggest that the shrimp paste is placed around a cube of gelatin/ stock. Pretty damn tasty.
The other dish I got was braised pork belly with chestnuts and quail eggs. The yolk of the quail eggs taste great with the savory sauce, and I love how the squid like snap of the egg white separates them. The braising liquid is more savory and sweet, and not intense as the one at Taste of Jiangnan, which does a similar dish with chicken eggs and without the chestnuts.