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Jul 14, 2008 10:14 AM

Xiao Long Bao - Shanghai style soup dumplings

Moving out of new york back to the bay and was wondering if there were any places that serve soup dumplings like joes shanghai in nyc? please help me out as these are a weekly craving of mine.

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    1. Be aware that on the west coast, Joe's Shanghai's soup dumplings are considered to be an inferior product because, well, they are, as compared to locally available varieties.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl

        LOL. Besides, we west coasters rarely pass up an opportunity to deflate an overblown NY icon.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          what im really looking for is the richness in the broth... you can totally dis joes if you want, however just give me suggestions for the ones that you think are "superior" because in the end thats all that matters.

          1. re: artfuldestruct

            I like Su Hong Eatery in Palo Alto (not to be confused with the horrendous Su Hong branch in Menlo Park).


        1. Yank Sing in SF... delicious soup dumplings that come with vinegar with julienned ginger. Really tasty dim sum- try the red cabbage salad. It's my favorite dim sum in SF, although it can be pricey.

          10 Replies
          1. re: EllaBoBella

            hrmm i had some family scout yank sing out, and the verdict was that the soup dumplings sucked... am i doomed to find good dumplings in the bay or do i have to make trips back to ny? don't care what anyone says about joes, yeah they may be over-hyped and touristy, but in the end they are damn good.

            1. re: artfuldestruct

              So let me get this straight. You have personally not tried a single one of the suggestions in the multiple responses and threads provided you and will be going back to New York for the perfect XLB. Just asking?

              1. re: artfuldestruct

                The point is not that Joe's is over-hyped or touristy, the point is that Joe's XLB aren't traditional XLB -- they're Joe's own take on them. Therefore, if "they sucked" means "they aren't liked Joe's" then you're doomed. However, if you are willing to have an open mind and try other places and judge them on their own merits and not on how much they are or are not like Joe's, then I suggest you try Yank Sing and some of the other places suggested in this thread for yourself.

                And please, if you're going to move to SF, don't be one of those NYers who whines about how nothing here is like it is in NY. If you want NY, stay in NY -- we have more than enough people living here and don't need people who don't want to be here. If you're going to live in SF, then find things about your new home to love -- there are plenty of them.

                1. re: artfuldestruct

                  Okay Joe's are great. If you haven't tried any of the recommendations, well you might be missing out and you'll never know how they stack up against Joe's. So what was the point of asking?

                  Any way, the average cost of a plate of XLB (10) is about $6 or $7 bucks so it's not about price. BTW, I don't think yang sing is that good. Shanghai Dumpling King is the place in my book but if you don't try, you won't know.

                  1. re: ML8000

                    i love it! im glad you guys are so passionate about food in the bay. i grew up in oakland so please don't call me a new yorker. my whole family are cooks and have tried shanghai(oakland) and yank shing and basically told me that i'd need to find something else to like in the bay other than the joes style as these xlb weren't good in the least. they haven't tried joes so theres no mark set. whatever, i can live with that. i do intend to try every place i can when i get back out there. i think the basic thing about ny food is that its all concentrated in one place, whereas in the bay you really need to seek out good places in a larger area. i do thank everyone for their responses even if you feel like bashing me.

                    1. re: artfuldestruct

                      Don't forget Hu Chiang Dumpling house in Cupertino. The prices are on the high side, but they do XLBs very well.

                      1. re: tanspace

                        Methinks artfuldestruct may have better luck trying the fried version instead, Shen Jian Bao, at Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale that holds way more soup and is bigger than the average XLB in SF Bay Area.

                      2. re: artfuldestruct

                        I've been chasing down and eating xiaolong bao wherever I happen to be since my xlb epiphany 16 years ago at the place in Shanghai that put xiaolong bao on the map, and I get to Shanghai at least every couple of years to recalibrate. I''ve had xiaolong bao in about a dozen New York venues including Joe's Shanghai.

                        The bottom line is simply that soup dumplings in New York, comforting to eat as they are, are different from xiaolong bao. In San Francisco, orthodox xiaolong bao are the model that restaurants tend to aim for, with greater or lesser success. Yank Sing's are good, Shanghai Dumpling King's even better. They aren't aiming to be Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings.

                        Joe's Shanghai soup dumplings are to xiaolong bao what New York Pizza is to Italian pizza. A New Yorker might go to Naples and decide that the pizza sucks.

                        So be it.

                        1. re: Xiao Yang

                          XY: it's so nice to see a perspective that takes in relative context.

                          too often on these boards there's a "this or nothing" approach.

                          1. re: Xiao Yang

                            Well put. I've had Joe's a couple of times. I've had a few places in Shanghai. There's a place I liked in X'ian. I'm a huge fan of the way they make 'em in Wuxi (sweet, like Wuxi spare ribs, and more dough, like NY style). NY style is just NY style, just like Wuxi style is Wuxi style. In SF XLB is very authentic to Shanghai style - tart, light, delicate, complex, at the best of times (and downward from there)

                            "my family said these XLB aren't good in the least" - an unsatisfying comment. Folks are known to be hot and cold about Yank Sing, and your comment is second hand. There's a dozen recs to try, I look forward to your comments.

                            Of the south peninsula places I frequent, I like Shanghai East in San Mateo.

                  2. awesome! thanks for the recs, ill have to try them all when i get to the bay

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: artfuldestruct

                      if you're in the mood for cheap, but satisfying, try Southland Taste in Cupertino.