Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao
DLS and I have been on quite a soup dumpling kick lately, obviously, and one of the names that comes up any time soup dumplings are mentioned is Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. I mean, it has “soup dumpling” (xiao long bao) in the name! They must be good. That and every single time I’ve tried to go, the line has been out the door, which means it must be good, right? One Tuesday night, Hungry, Cheese, TC, Noah, DLS and I headed into Flushing to see what the hype was about (though a few of us had been before).
An order of crispy pig ears was ordered. Most of us found these lacking – not really crispy, just chewy bits of cartilage – which, if you’re into that, great. We weren’t.
The “spicy” intestines fared much better. I enjoyed these, though I noted that they weren’t spicy by any means.
As has become our habit with soup dumplings, DLS and I ordered fried rice cakes as well. These were pretty good, though the plate was drowning in oil when we finished it.
Interestingly, where every other places serves their soup dumplings in steamer trays of 8, Nan Xiang does trays of 6. As such, every single person at our table got our own tray of dumplings. I ordered the pork & crab ones – that is the type I’ve been ordering everywhere, so for fairness’ sake, I stuck with it – and was both pleased and distraught to see how thin the skin is. While thin skin encourages one to taste just what’s inside, with less bready outside to interfere with the flavors of porky goodness and soup, it also makes it infinitely harder to pick up without tearing. I admit I had trouble initially, but got the hang of it and managed to pop no more. As mentioned, the impossibly thin skin made it easy to focus on what was inside: delicious pork, interspersed with bits of crab roe… yum. While some people may not like the thinner skin, I enjoyed it very much and thought these were very good – definitely among the best I’d had on this soup dumpling journey…
Yvo says: While the other dishes were hit or miss, the soup dumplings were spot on very good. We all enjoyed them, though some of us couldn’t eat a single tray without breaking every single dumpling… ahem… won’t name names… hahaha. If you like soup dumplings, you should definitely try them at least once!