Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Oct 30, 2007 04:12 PM

Soup Dumplings on the peninsula?

I just returned from a trip to NYC where a friend introduced me to soup dumplings -- wow -- so delicious! Does anyone have a recommendation of where to get these on the peninsula (Palo Alto/Mountain View/Los Altos especially)? South Bay locations would be ok too.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would really like to know this as well.
    Saw an episode of Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations and he went crazy eatin soup dumplings. They look damn good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GreenLightJerky

      Check posts for xiao long bao or xlb.

    2. "Soup dumplings" is a NY affectation and the restaurants there have their own style in making these Shanghai dumplings. If you search for them by their Chinese name, "xiao long bao" or XLB (a chowhound affectation!), you will find many reports on them all over the Bay Area. Lucky for you, the Peninsula and South Bay have some of the best to be found in these parts.

      3 Replies
        1. re: GreenLightJerky

          Be aware too that on English menus they are often listed as "small steamed dumplings" or "small Shanghai dumplings" and rarely as "soup dumplings" in these parts.

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          As a life long (now former) New Yorker,, Soup Dumping is a Colloquialism, not an affectation. An affectation is something like Madonna's fake English Accent., something put on that is kind of fake. This is just a term New Yorkers use to describe "Juicy Little Buns( as they are frequently called on menus)", not to be putting on "airs".

        3. Be careful that on Anthony Bourdain's show, "soup dumplings" have two versions.

          Regular XLB is the kind that every Shanghai restaurant makes.

          The 2nd kind which is purely "tang bao" is a rendition that nobody makes in the Bay Area. Essentially a humongous soup mixture inside a dumpling. You don't eat the skin, but you drink the soup through a straw. Also the size of a shark's fin soup dumpling at a dim sum restaurant.

          There is technically a 3rd kind....a dumpling with no juice or meat in it, but you eat them dunked in a bowl of broth. Not my bag, but apparently this is another version of tang bao that if you order this at Din Tai Fung in Taipei, Hong Kong, Arcadia Southern Cal etc, this is what you get.

          For the first kind, XLB, look no further than Su Hong Eatery in Palo Alto for arguably the best kind for the area and immediate vicinity.

          3 Replies
          1. re: K K

            You certainly can eat the skin of the large "tang bao" with the soup you drink from a sraw. I have, on more than one occasion, and live to tell you about it. It's just another wheat flour wrapper, only BIG.


            1. re: Xiao Yang

              If you ever find that rendition of tang bao in the Bay Area PLEASE share with us. I'm sure everyone is going nuts after seeing Bourdain consume that monstrosity on his TV show trip to Shanghai.

              1. re: K K

                I've never seen it on this side of the Pacific, but I'm sure someone will eventually make it if they see a demand, if there's not already someone out there doing it.

          2. HC Dumpling House in Cupertino has yummy XLB.

            1. Thanks everyone for the recommendations! I tried the Xiao Long Bao at Su Hong Eatery in Palo Alto at lunch today, and they were delicious! The black vinegar sauce was great, and had lots of fresh thinly sliced ginger. FYI -- I didn't see XLB on the english menu (or small steamed dumpling etc), and had to ask.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jcarlile

                The limited English menu at Su Hong Palo Alto has been reported here before, though not in this posting. This offering of different food based largely on the color of your skin is a terribly anti-Chowhound practice. Thanks to all the Chowhounders who do point out the restaurants that discriminate against customers like this.

                Many past XLB postings to do not mention this, however. I would be most interested in knowing about restaurants between Palo Alto and Cupertino that offer high-quality XLB to anyone without you having to have special linguistic skills or making a special off-menu request. It looks like I will finally get a chance to visit Shanghai next year, so it's really time to start the local XLB quest.


                1. re: mdg

                  HC Dumpling House in Cupertino Village, if I remember correctly uses only one menu for all the offerings, and is in English and Chinese. That's probably your best bet for Cupertino.

                  But a heads up, they call their XLB as tang bao, with the standard XLB = Hu Jiang Tang Bao (Hu Jiang = old school name for Shanghai). My favorite there is the loofah and shrimp which I think is better than their HJTB or the crab version, bursts with juices. Hope that is still the case.

                  But be warned, I got insanely thirsty afterwards (too much MSG). Su Hong Eatery, I came out a winner with no thirst or stiff neck issues.

                  1. re: K K

                    Thanks for the recommendation and the advisory. I'm not that sensitive to MSG so I'll plan to give them a try!