Sheng Xin, a hole-in-the-wall snack joint, serves up wontons and tangyuan 汤圆. Made from scratch, both the wontons and tangyuan are wrapped in the main room. Wontons are made with rice skin wrappers with a pork based filling. The tangyuan are also made with a wrapper from rice, but glutinous rice – which is sort of gooey. The tangyuan, traditionally a sweet dessert, is offered sweet with black sesame or with savory pork (same filling used with the wontons), which is unique.
Wonton soup is staple that most people will order, but its their tangyuan that set them apart. The large meat filled tangyuan, like the wonton soup, is juicy and hearty. The pipping hot broth keeps the tang yuan moist. Though, I wish the soup had more flavor – perhaps some sort of base, it is more like a useless garnish. But perhaps the bland soup is used to maintain the delicate nature of the glutinous rice. The wonton soup is pale compared to the Tang Yuan, and even more paler to the more famed Er Guano Wontons, just down the street. And, the black sesame tangyuan, typically eaten during Yuanxiao or the Lantern Festival, is a well-known dessert. Here at Sheng Xin, the black sesame tangyuan is larger than the normally found smaller ones. Eat bite produces an oozing black goodness, discerning to unexperienced.
Sheng Xin, as the front signage states – 白年老店, has been around for 100 years. With the looks of the interior, it looks like nothing’s changed much in the last 100 years, either. But the longevity of this place, they’ve must be doing something right with the food. This neighborhood pillar, which may not count location as a strong suit, nor the posh interior, counts food as one the reason why people keep coming back.
For less than 20 RMB, you can get a couple of bowls of hearty wontons and tang yuan, which something rare in this town – for the price and for the savory tang yuan.