Walk into Yang’s and the first thing you see is a trio of Shanghainese chefs whacking, rolling and folding dumpling dough by hand. This franchise isn’t like most. In Shanghai, where the massive chain originates, Yang’s is famous for one thing – serving incredible dumplings.
The sheng jian bao is their most popular product, a crisp-bottomed, doughy dumpling filled with soupy minced pork. Be careful biting into your first one, they’re hot and prone to shooting out pork broth.
Unlike the original Yang’s, the Deane Street venue serves more than sheng jian bao and xiao long bao (soup-filled steamed dumplings). With a bigger, brighter space (mostly black tiles and a TV pumping out Chinese pop tunes) and an expanded kitchen comes the ability to make more dishes. Try guo tie (crescent-shaped pan-fried dumplings, commonly known as pot-stickers); wontons filled with shepherd’s purse (a traditional Shanghai and Jiangnan medicinal herb) and pork in chicken soup; silky dumplings drizzled in chilli oil and peanut sauce; and Sichuan-style poached chicken.
As a Shanghainese would, wash it down with a Chinese soft drink, some bottled prune juice or a cup of soybean milk.