Shanghai Garden, located in Seattle’s International District (Chinatown), serves excellent steamed or fried pork dumplings. Shanghai Garden has a full menu and dumplings are only part of the offerings, other stand out dishes include; the barley green hand shaved noodles, shrimp with chili sauce and the sauteed pea vines.
The Dumplings: The pork dumplings at Shanghai Garden are some of my favorites. They taste exactly how I remember soup dumplings tasting in Shanghai, with just the perfect amount of ginger mixed into the pork, which gives them a ginger fragrance.
One thing though, considering that the restaurant is called Shanghai Garden, the dumplings are not really tradition Shanghaiese soup dumplings. They are wrapped to look like soup dumplings, but they don’t have the face scalding soup inside the wrapper. The fried pork dumplings are the same dumplings as used in the steamed pork dumplings, but they are cooked sheng jian style; crispy on the bottom, steamed on the top and sprinkled with sesame seeds (but no scallions).
The vegetable dumplings are also wrapped like soup dumplings but don’t contain soup, and come fried or steamed. The filling is whatever greens are in season at the time you dine there. We found the vegetable dumplings to be a little under seasoned.
The sauce: The steamed dumplings come with a traditional black vinegar sauce with slivered ginger, and the fried dumplings come with a soy and vinegar based sauce. You can also get red chili in oil to add to the sauce. I rate the sauces as good, but not excellent.
Location: Shanghai Garden is across from the fabulous Uwajimaya Asian Supermarket. You can park at the supermarket, eat an excellent lunch at Shanghai Garden and then do a little shopping at Uwajimaya to get your parking validated.