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Oct 11, 2007 09:12 AM

Houston, we have a problem: Where to find good xiao long bao?

Mary Vuong wants to know, and so do I for the next time I'm in your fair city:

Is there anything better than the xiao long bao at Fu Fu? Or even similar quality at any place with a less icky neme?

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  1. If you are talking about the North Dallas area, I would recommend Jeng Chi in Richardson and Yao Fuzi in Plano. Yao's are the best!!! They are the real thing....hand made pasta with meat fillings and the traditional soup inside! You have to try it. They are located on Park and Preston. Zip code is 75093.

    8 Replies
    1. re: gowintx

      Unfortunately the poster is talking about Houston, where Fu Fu is the only place I'm aware of that serves XLB, but that was a couple of years ago. New places might be around.

      1. re: gowintx

        On my monitor it even says Houston in the title of the thread! Xiao Long Bao has been discussed before, one old thread said they were on the menu at Lai Lai as steamed pork buns; as a matter of fact, I think that's what they are on the menu at Fu Fu as, also. Sambamaster in his excellent post on Sichuan Cuisine mentioned soup dumplings in passing; don't know if he was talking about the same thing but here's the link to a menu he provided:

        He said it was outdated even when he posted it.

        I've had the fried pork dumplings, I think they were called at Fu Fu and I thought they were good though I'm far from an expert. Who cares what the name of the restaurant is?

        1. re: brucesw

          SS15 on that menu is "xiao long tang bao" and SS16 is "xiao long tang bao" which is confusing, because they usually mean the same thing ("tang" just means "soup"). Based on the price and quantity, they might just be two different order sizes. SS17 is "sheng jian bao" (yum!), the characteristically Shanghainese dome-shaped fried dumpling, while SS18 is themore familiar pot stickers ("guo tie").

          Just joking about the name. It's certainly more palatable that "Sweet 'n' Tart" and "Spicy 'n' Tasty", two popular Sichuan places in New York.

          Interesting menu. It's definitely a place I would head for if I were in the area.

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            Thanks for the translations. I will look forward to your review if you ever get there:


            as well as any other Houston offerings.

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              i think there is one menu item called "xiao long bao" and another as "xiao long tang bao." i think you wrote the same thing twice in your post above.

              i was at fu fu a few weeks ago. you want to order the "xiao long tang bao."
              the other doesn't have soup in them, which is confusing b/c i thought xiao long bao always had soup in them.

              a week later i had the XLB with crab at joe's shanghai in NYC. the dumpling wrapper was so thin and delicate. they were so amazing and put fu fu's to shame. it's just tragic that nothing else on joe's menu is worth ordering. we started at joe's for soup dumpling apps, then walked to big wong on mott for the rest of our meal.

              anyway, i would love to find a better XLB place in houston.

              1. re: neverfull

                You are right, I meant to say item SS15 is "xiao long bao". It's 4 for $2.50 compared to 8 for $4.95 for the "xiao long tang bao." And yes, xiao long bao should always have soup in the dumplings.

                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  not to beat this to death but the xiao long tang bao/soup dumplings are listed on the menu as "steamed pork bun" and come 4 to an order for $2.99 (A24 on the to go menu).

                  the other one is listed as "jingyuan pork bun" and come 8 to an order and have no soup in them even though they are listed as xiao long bao in chinese on the menu.

                  on another note, the homemade noodles are also fantastic at fu fu cafe. the spicy beef noodle soup is excellent as is the spicy szechuan noodle.

                2. re: neverfull

                  Joe's has good noodle soups, in my opinion. I season mine after they arrive (hot oil, hot mustard and soy) and I really enjoy them. But I agree that the soup dumplings are my real purposes of going. My husband and I order one crab and one pork then decide which want to order for the second round.

          2. Another sighting has been reported - Paradise Cafe, reportedly in the same center as Fu Fu. On the menu in English as Pork Bun with Juice.

            2 Replies
            1. re: brucesw

              And I'm pretty sure you can find the description Juicy Buns in other places. There are a lot of different things they are called, in English that is.

              1. re: brucesw

                the XLB at paradise cafe (just a few doors down from fu fu) were awful. the pork tasted freezer burned and although the wrappers were more delicate than fu fu's, unfortunately there was so little meat that the dough to meat ratio was still off.

                i hear xiong's cafe has XLB. i must find it and report back.