[Philadelphia Chinatown Restaurant Review] Shang Hai 1 - Best Xiao Long Bao and Sesame Noodles in Philly

My friend recommended that we try ShangHai 1 in Philly's Chinatown for some Xiao Long Bao.


We are always on the lookout to find the best xiao long bao, so we try every XLB we come across.

Shanghai1's xiao long bao (steamed soup dumpling) is probably the best in Philadelphia. I still think the xiao long bao I had in Hong Kong and Taiwan is probably the gold standard for me.

We typically also like to check out the sesame noodles along with our xiao long bao. We were so excited to be able to get our "usual" order at Shanghai1 in Philadelphia.

We thought that the sesame noodles at ShangHai1 were pretty good. The sesame and peanut paste noodles at Shang Hai 1 is were a great combination of sesame paste, peanut paste, and some hot sesame oil.

Sometimes when you order sesame noodles at a restaurant, it's basically like eating liquid peanut butter on noodles, which, don't get me wrong, is oddly good sometimes. The sesame paste is nice, creamy, and mellow and the peanut paste adds a little salty flavor. Then, it's all tied together with the the spicy sesame oil flavor.

The noodles were the perfect texture for me - cooked, but still with a bit of a bite.

The sesame and peanut butter cold noodles were $4.99, which is a pretty good price (especially for us since we were coming from NYC).

The xiao long bao was also a pretty good price.

We tried both the pork soup dumplings ($5.99 for six) and the pork and crabmeat dumplings ($6.99 for six).
The soup dumplings were the perfect size. The dumpling skin was also the perfect thickness. I don't know if you've had the experience, too, but sometimes the dumpling skin is too thick and it kind of feels like you're eating a bread bun.

Don't fear! The dumpling skin at Shang Hai 1 is the perfect thickness, so it's not too thick (so it doesn't feel like you're chewing a bread roll) and not too thin (so the soup doesn't fall out right away).

The temperature was perfect, too, so I think they're actually steamed to order.

The pork soup inside was also great. It's not too salty and it's not too oily. It may be TMI, but, sometimes, I get some stomach troubles after eating pork because of the oil, so there were none of those issues after eating here! I wouldn't hesitate to have order it again.


We usually also order the pork and crabmeat soup dumplings when we go for soup dumplings. These were slightly bigger and juicier than the pork soup dumpling. The crab meat is real crab meat. That being said, you may want to be a little careful because I did have a small shell in one of mine. 
I would probably prefer the crab meat and pork soup dumplings on my next visit because I like the mix of the flavors the best. 

Also, for next time, I would probably get the Dam Dam Noodles - another favorite food of mine. I'm actually not sure why we didn't get it this trip, but I think it's because we were worried about pork and my stomach. Now that we know that their pork doesn't make me miserable because it's not too oily/greasy, we'd probably get it next time.

Overall, this was a solid choice and the menu is quite extensive. I took a quick look around and it seemed like most tables got the dim sum items and fewer people had the more "main dish" sort of foods, but that's probably due to the day and time we visited.











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