26 March 2011

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao



You may be a bit put off by this place, with its long lines and seemingly endless praise in local press, but it is still worth trying at least once, because as many others say, this is the best place for xiao long bao. The Chinese is never translated directly, as this means "little dragon bun," but in English is always called a soup dumpling despite the fact that it is not a dumpling at all. Regardless of what moniker they go by, they are delicious, and here they are at their best.

Order a stack of these beauties!

The unfortunate part of this restaurant is that most of the other items of dim sum and otherwise are lackluster. This just means you need to eat more of the xiao long bao ($5.50 for 6, below). Grab the metal tongs, grab the top and place it on your spoon. Bite off the top, add sauce as necessary, and enjoy. Be careful, they're very hot.


We did happen to order a couple other things on a recent visit, including the turnip puffs ($3.25 for 4, below), which are pleasant enough but not much at all. These can be popped in your mouth whole and really just serve as a quick way to compensate a very hungry belly.


Serving almost no purpose are the fried buns with chives and egg ($2.95, below), which have hardly any taste and are on the greasy side.


But again, these are just examples of why to limit your order to xiao long bao, and go big with it. Each person can easily eat an order of six, so get stacking!

38-12 Prince Street, Flushing NY

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