Monday, May 5, 2014

Day Trip: Nanxiang Town

Thursday was Labor Day in China, meaning that we were all granted with a few days off work. Despite the fear of crowds, we decided to venture out of downtown to Nanxiang Town in the northern Jiading District of Shanghai. Nanxiang is a sleepy suburb that boasts attractions such as Guyi Gardens, Nanxiang Twin Towers, Ancient Town and Yunxiang Temple.


We came for none of these. We hadn’t gone to Nanxiang to sightsee, we were there to eat. Why? Because Nanxiang happens to be the birthplace of xiăolóngbāo.

I’ve talked about my love of these dumplings before and even suggested a few spots to try them in Shanghai. But eating xlb from the source seemed like the perfect way to spend an afternoon.


Reaching Nanxiang is easy. Simply take line 11 to the Nanxiang stop. Once there, take exit 1 and walk south along Huyi Gong Lu for 1.5 km (~10 minutes) to Guyi Garden. A short distance after that, you’ll encounter Guyiyuan Lu, which is where our culinary adventure began.

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I’m not joking when I say there are hundreds of xlb restaurants in Nanxiang. Hundreds. For the purpose of research, we ate at three restaurants. I’m clearly conducting a very scientific experiment.

Our first stop was the shop on the corner. Overly thin skins combined with overcooked dumplings meant that our xlb stuck to the steamer and ripped when picked up. Would not recommend.


The second spot was the famous Gulong Restaurant (220 Guyiyuan Lu). While Nanxiang town may be the birthplace of xlb, Gulong is apparently the actual spot of creation. The dumplings here were beautifully prepared. The dough was slightly thicker and the flavor was sweet and savory. These were voted the best by our panel. FYI, the panel consisted of me, Matthew, and our friend C.


Our third stop was slightly further down Guyiyuan though I failed to notice the name. This restaurant offered numerous types of xlb and we opted for original pork as well as the crab variety. The crab version was a big hit and I quite liked the pork as well. These xlb received slightly less enthusiastic praise than the ones at Gulong, but we were also rather stuffed at this point. I think we had ordered and consumed close to 60 dumplings at this point.


I can feel you judging me.

Since we only sampled from a few restaurants, I have a feeling I will visit Nanxiang again. All in the name of research of course.



  1. I am so hungry now. Stop it! :-)

    1. They are delicious! I hear you can get some decent ones in NYC though!

  2. Sweetheart, you are making me so hungry- I am actually salivating....

    1. You might just need to come back then Mom =)


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