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Jul 20, 2008 03:27 PM

Who has the best soup dumplings?

We're going to be back in NYC in a couple of weeks. We've only had soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai. Are there other places that others would recommend? Thanks.

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  1. shanghai pavilion if you are on the UES

    1. If you have a small posse you could do your own taste test tour. In a sort of geographical order, start at:

      Good Dumpling House - 214 Grand Street
      Shanghai Cafe - 100 Mott Street
      New Wonton Garden - 56 Mott Street
      Shanghai Garden - 14A Elizabeth Street
      Nice Green Bo - 66 Bayard Street
      New Yeah Shanghai - 65 Bayard Street
      Moon House - 67 Bayard Street
      Joes Ginger - 9 Pell Street
      Joes Shanghai - 25 Pell Street

      I think Moon House is under new management with a new name...Shanghai something.
      Both Joes Ginger and Joes Shanghai serve the exact same soup dumplings.

      13 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        yup. moonhouse is now shanghai kitchen. it's pretty mediocre.

        1. re: scoopG

          I'd love to do that tour, what a great idea! I still like Joe's went there Friday night, but from the talk around the Manhattan board, a lot of folks dissed them. I'm wondering if they are the "White Castle" of soup dumplings??? I've only had them at Green Bo, and Joe's, but I really do like them even if others say they aren't good.

          1. re: michele cindy

            Michele - I know Joes gets no love on the China Board! My favorites are at the Shanghai Cafe now that Goody's is gone. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Joes is always crowded and folks have to take numbers and wait. They started out in Flushing and migrated here. Good Dumpling House's soup dumplings are most likely to be voted the White Castle of soup dumplings though!

            1. re: scoopG

              Actually I think Joe gets dissed because they make absolutely crappy soup dumplings. The wrapper is to thick, the soup is way to over-powering and the dumpling is just too large. Soup dumpling are the most delicate of dumplings...and Joe just doesn't cut it.

              I really like the soup dumplings at Chatnam Square Restaurant

              1. re: kelea

                really chatham sq restaurant? just a little surprised b/c its not even a shanghainese restaurant

                1. re: Lau

                  interesting. was there for dimsum (my new fav in chinatown now) and saw the soup dumplings but didn't try them b/c i was skeptical.

                  are you talking about hte new chatham square restaurant?

                  1. re: FattyDumplin

                    Hi FattyDumplin,
                    I am also surprised too! Like you , I was skeptical to order soup dumplings at Chatham Square (I believe kelea was referring to the one on CS 6, not the hole-in-the-wall on CS 9) as it is a Cantonese restaurant. I have been quite impressed by their dim sum so I will definitely give the soup dumplings a try next time!

                    Thanks kelea for the tip!

                    1. re: kobetobiko

                      Hey all, I agree with you all. It is not a cantonese dish and I was surprised to see it at the restaurant when we were there for dim sum one weekend. But I was with a couple of friends who really like soup dumplings and rarely eat dim sum so i figured it wouldn't hurt.

                      The dumplings we got really surprised me. The skin was delicate, the dumpling were of the right size, the soup was light and flavorful. Here's hoping they remain that way!

                      1. re: kelea

                        went this wekend and sat in the downstairs section. asked for soup dumplings about 5 times and each time the waitress got more and more annoyed, but never brought them. oh well, next time :(

                2. re: kelea

                  This is by far my fav dimsum place, however I think their soup dumplings aren't that great. I only got them once to make a friend try them who hadn't had them before. There was not a lot of soup and they just seemed not that great. Shanghai Cafe is still my fav. my only qualm is their skins are a tad too thick, but they're fresh at least so they don't fall apart like joe's shanghai. i don't think the queens location is worth defending either, and the midtown one is an atrocity.

              2. re: michele cindy

                Hi michele,

                Just for the record, I love white castle! :D

              3. re: scoopG

                i'm tempted to do this tour when i'm in town this summer: i lived in Shanghai for a few months this past the past, i've enjoyed Joe's Ginger and Yeah Shanghai more or less equally, and maybe Joe's Shanghai less so...but i may have a whole new frame of reference...

                1. re: scoopG

                  I have finally tried Joes Ginger and I think its one of the worst dumplings I've ever had. The dough was uneven all around. The top skin is thick but the bottom is too thin. The first one i picked up broke because the thin skin could not support the weight of the filling. The others borderline on falling through but i was prepared to quickly transfer it onto my spoon. The soup was not clear at all. It was oily and gloppy from what looks to be like cooked blood.

                2. Rickshaw's on 23rd have good duck dumplings.

                  1. As long as you know it is not soup, but rather melted fat that you are slurping down, then Joe's Shanghai in Flushing still is the place to beat. Doughy, a little, not delicate, but they are filled with liquid fat and some type of meat.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ChefAllan

                      Eh, not really. It is aspic - savory meat stock that has gelatin added to help it set. Not sure of the fat content but it is not merely melted fat.

                      1. re: scoopG

                        Properly made soup dumplings have clear broth that may be set like gelatin (mixed in the filling) which melts after steaming. The broth should have simple but delicate sweet (meaning sweetness of meat juice) taste and should not be oily.

                        If the soup in your dumplings taste like fat (or is indeed melted fat), then those are poorly made soup dumplings.

                    2. I have somewhat of an ancillary question; hope you all don't mind. I first had soup dumplings while in Shanghai and was shocked the first time I had them stateside, the naturalized versions bearing little resemblence to those of my original tasting. It wasn't until I watched an episode of "No Reservations" that I discovered that those first dumplings were actually FRIED soup dumplings. Are those available anywhere in the city? I'm on a diet...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: TarquinWinot

                        Well, I went and answered my own question regarding fried soup dumplings. If anyone wants to spare themselves a similar monologue you can find them at Shanghai Kitchen on Bayard, which was also a nice enough place in the non-dumpling areas as well. They refered to them as "Fried Tiny Buns," despite being far from tiny.

                        Maybe tiny refered to the soup content. Very low on the soup here. While I was in Shanghai these things seemed to "peter north" their contents all over the place when bitten into. Green Bo, across the street, seems to have similar item which I'm hoping beyond scalding hot soup will be better.