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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Chinese, Dim Sum
Casual restaurant

Tue–Sun 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Highland Mall
6718 Middle Fiskville Rd
Austin, TX
(512) 458-8088
Some of Austin’s best dim sum, now available for brunch, lunch, and dinner

Shanghai, in the old shopping center by sleepy Highland Mall, has that classic Cantonese-style dining room with opulent chandeliers, white linens, and tables full of families and friends spinning dim sum around on Lazy Susans.

This dim sum rivals Fortune for the best of the authentic variety, and is cheaper than the flashy goods at Chinatown. The classics like shrimp dumpling (har gaw), pork dumpling (siu mai), barbecue pork bun (char siu bao), chicken feet (Phoenix claw), and bean curd roll are all expertly executed. Even the sweet items are superb, like the sesame ball with red bean filling and rice flour pastry with sesame seed filling. (Unfortunately, Austin still has no successful Shanghai soup dumpling: if the skin’s intact, there’s somehow no broth inside.) Dim sum is served on carts on the weekends and is made to order on weekdays—now at dinner as well as lunch. The quality of the latter tends to be better, but the weekend selection is larger.

The regular menu has a few traditional dishes—just look for the ones without English explanations. And this being a Cantonese place, Szechuan dishes like mapo tofu will be blander and less spicy than they should be. Shanghai sometimes delivers, depending on the staff situation—call to check; but as for the food? It nearly always delivers.

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