Shanghai Sogo Serves Up Dim Sum From a Truck
A few weeks ago, while perusing the trucks parked on 46th between 5th and 6th Avenue, I noticed the Shanghai Sogo truck. Midtown Lunch briefly mentioned it back in October, but hadn’t had a chance to sample the wares… until now.
The menu’s changed a little bit since then – and again since I went a few weeks ago, they’ve now removed the cold noodles with sesame sauce, which is what I tried to order originally. A small language barrier when the woman taking my order informed me they were ‘out’ of those, but that I should try the other noodle dish – hot vermicelli. I expressed my concern at their being served with ‘spicy sauce’ but she assured me it was on the side and I could make it as spicy as I wanted, they were mild on their own.
The noodles came quite a bit thicker than I’d expected from the ‘vermicelli’ description; though it came topped with items I normally see served room temp or cold (kimchi, pickled cucumbers and carrots, and preserved veg), the noodles were steaming hot. They were hard to eat since the noodles clumped together and were tacky insomuch as they all stuck together; when I added a little of the hot chili oil she provided on the side, they loosened up a bit but… even the tiniest dribble I added… turned the noodles into the burning flames of HELL. I will be the first to tell you that I don’t eat very spicy food, though my tolerance is actually higher than most non-ethnic people, but this was above and beyond spicy to the point where, when I finally forced myself to finish them, sweat and tears poured down my face while I silently ate and watched the news.
The dumplings, however, were much more pleasing fare. My coworker ordered the same and was very happy. The skin was pleasantly pliant, chewy and thin, while the meatwad inside tasted coarsely ground, so I could feel the nubbly texture of cooked pork. Clearly a homemade mixture, and filled with loads of garlic chives, these were super tasty and needed the barest hint of the dumpling sauce provided just to lend a little depth to the flavor. This more than made up for the noodles trying to burn my face off.
While we waited for our orders, the cook gave us samples of the fried taro cake, which is a dim sum dish that I normally don’t order. If it always tasted like this, however, I would: extremely crisp exterior with a super chewy inside speckled with Virginia ham bits (and possibly mini shrimp; if you’re allergic, I would double check), these did not need the sauce I normally see taro cakes served with at dim sum. The bite was pretty oily, though, so don’t let the fact that it’s made from vegetables fool you: it’s not a light snack.
My coworker also ordered the passionfruit bubble tea, which surprised us both by coming with ‘balls’ that were yellow in color. After she started drinking it, she told me she thought the bubbles were actually filled with more passionfruit liquid, and upon closer inspection of the menu, the balls ARE your choice of “passionfruit pop” or “lychee pop” so that doesn’t surprise me… but it does pique my curiosity. I’ll have to go back to try that – sounds interesting and I haven’t seen that before!
THE + (what people who like this will say)
- Dim sum from a truck? Yes please
- Bubbles filled with passionfruit or lychee juice!
- I REALLY like food spicy enough to burn a hole in my pants
THE – (what people who don’t like this place will say)
- Pfft. 6 dumplings for $6? I can get 4/$1 in Chinatown
- No thanks on spicy food!
- I don’t recognize any of this stuff and don’t want to try it.
While they don’t seem to be the greatest at always updating their Twitter, it seems they’re working on improving. Check them out!