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Shanghai Cafe Deluxe, Chinatown - Shanghainese and Xiaolongbao at Mott and Canal Street

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If you are looking for soup dumplings in Manhattan, Shanghai Cafe Deluxe delivers some pretty nice contenders. This is a small place (100 Mott St., near intersection of Mott & Canal) with a fairly extensive menu. We have visited twice now and ordered rather heavily off the dumpling side of the menu. The soup dumplings are the first two items on the dumpling menu--one version is pork only and the second is pork and crab. My daughter and I preferred the pure pork version; our other dining partners found the two versions equally good. The kitchen lines the bamboo steamers heavily with greens to prevent the dumplings from sticking and every dumpling has still contained its generous load of soupy goodness.

We had an excellent "cabbage and black mushroom" dish which was baby choy and shitake, recommended by our server. The baby choy were cut in half and just a bit big to eat easily without a knife, but the shitakes were perfectly sauced and had a silky, meaty texture to them.

Yelp is full of complaints about rude staff, but we have not had that experience at all. Yes, they are likely to be a bit aggressive about clearing your table, but they have a tiny space and I don't blame them for wanting to turn tables quickly.

Cash only, "A" health rating on the door.

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