Outside of soup dumplings I don’t really know a lot about Shanghainese food. The one vegetarian dish I do know about is kao fu, braised wheat gluten served cold in a sweet and savory sauce with peanuts and wood ear mushrooms. That dish was the star of the meal I had at Yaso Tangbao in Downtown Brooklyn. Yaso Tangbao seems to want to be the Shanghainese version of Xian Famous, down to the loud music and the menu on the wall with pictures and number-letter combinations for the dishes. Unlike Xian, where the chewy noodles are the main attraction, my soy garlic noodles were too mushy to really enjoy despite the tasty sauce. My mind keeps wandering back to the kao fu though; the wonderful pillowy texture and the contrasts in flavors were fantastic. I’m now on the lookout for more Shanghai restaurants to explore even more vegetarian options. Any recommendations?
Yaso Tangbao — 148 Lawrence St