Collectors of arcane, heavily quantitative, food-related data dumps, boy oh boy, have I got something for ya: The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index. Whoa. This just went up on our mothership site SmartShanghai.com, in a piece by freelancer/amateur snack statistician Christopher St Cavish. I'll quote him quoting himself to give you some context here:

"I’ve spent the last 16 months roaming Shanghai, dissecting xiao long bao one shop at a time, one dumpling at a time, to create The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index. It is, to quote myself, 'a quantitative interpretation of the colloquial standards for a well-constructed soup dumpling', based on what many Shanghainese will tell you makes a good one: thin wrapper, plentiful soup, abundant filling, fresh meat. 皮博, 汁多, 馅大, 肉鲜."

Yeah, that about sums it up. He went to 53 xiaolongbao restaurants in Shanghai and measured all their dumplings with a digital caliper. For science.

He's done a thorough job processing these data, and is now proudly selling his The Shanghai Soup Dumpling Index on real, all-natural, honest to god paper. 50rmb gets you that and some "additional goodies", plus free shipping within Shanghai (guess you'll have to tack on a few extra kuais to get it shipped up here). Order one up (or enjoy the digital, goodie-free PDF version) here.



Early bird alert on some cool live acts coming our way: on Friday, May 1, Kaiguan Culture will bring "eternally unshaven" French electronic rock outfit Colt Silvers back to Beijing, following up on the success of their appearance at last year's Dong Dong Festival. This time around they're supported by Beijing electronica boundary-pushers CNdY. Should be a fun night of highly danceable rock'n'roll. Get your 60rmb pre-sale ticket right here.

Kaiguan's also just put out the full story on their May 30 Yugong Yishan gig for legendary French psychedelic prog rock group Magma. Straight from another dimension, MAGMA has been churning out concept albums about their mythical home planet of Kobaïa since 1970. Recommended for fans of: free jazz, blues, prog, psych, pop, symphonic rock, outer spaaaaace.

Tickets to that one are a bit steeper, 300rmb at the door. Feel like it still might sell out, though. If you put in an order before midnight tonight, you can scoop a pre-sale ticket for almost half price at 180rmb. After tonight, pre-sales will be available on a limited basis for 240rmb. Get on that here.



This weekend in hutong art openings: IFP's Black Sesame gallery room hosts on a new installation by "autodidactic artist" Wen Zhu this Sunday, April 19. g=0 is an interactive, multi-media sound installation using "the inherent nature of gravity as a means of composing a rhythmic score." More from the curators:

"The objects that are subject to this outside force reverberate, resonating through the walls, floor and ceiling of the space. As the sound begins, visitors become the audience of a concert played by a machine commonly used for regulating flows of liquids with close precision. In a space in-between darkness and light, between 0 and 1."

Opening reception is Sunday, April 19, from 4pm. More info + artist bio here.

ART / APR 17


If you're looking to accessorize your warmer-weather wardrobe, AOTU Studio has an event for you: they're hosting a "Fashion & Lifestyle Pop-Up Market" tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, April 18). Jewelry, clothing, and artisanal works from Design by Jet, Bekkas Dzines, AMULET by D, PALMA Boutique, Made by Mir, Ubi Gallery, Teibido Studio, Studio Henny van Nistelrooy, and more. Probably some refreshing drinks and healthy snacks too, I'm guessing. AOTU's been cranking out homemade pasta dishes. Worth a Spring afternoon mid-shopping-sesh nosh.

Runs from 2-7pm. More info in the listing.



Sausage man-about-town, Andy (last name: 's Sausage) has been at work for the past few months, getting his first storefront together in the erstwhile home of Tavelin Bagels. So, that's him taking his sausage delivery system and putting it into brick and mortar, with a bit of space for in-house dining. In-house dining meaning probably shoveling sausages into your mouth, standing on the street, trying not to get smoked in the back by cars and bikes zooming by. Sounds good to me.

So when's that opening? From the horse's mouth:

"Shooting for a friends BBQ Sunday and Monday. We would start trying to get some breakfast sandwiches and coffee going, with the hopes to be in business by the following weekend properly. Wholesale and events popping."

There you go. Start milling around that street early next week and then the weekend after....

Out humble suggestion to the man in case he's reading: get that chilli from the Cook-Off on your menu. That was pretty damn delish.



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With our esteemed promotional partners, Enoterra, SmartBeijing is giving away a voucher valued at 230rmb, redemable at their bar/wine shop, for the best User Review every week. Go out, eat something, tell us something interesting about it, and the voucher's yours.

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