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Soup Dumplings

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Chicago Chowhound family planning a visit to NYC. Where should we go for great-tasting soup dumplings? Some Zagat readers dis Nice Green Bo recently? Is Joe's Shanghai still worth?
Any helpful opinions greatly appreciated

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  1. Check out these threads:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/540613
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/466891
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/478183

    1. I'm a soup dumpling addict, and i'd recommend Shanghai Cafe over Joe's any day. On the avoid list, New/Nice Green Bo and Noodle Village have seriously lacking soup dumplings.

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      Nice Green Bo
      66 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

      Shanghai Cafe
      100 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      Noodle Village
      13 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

      16 Replies
      1. re: ExFlexitarian

        And I feel the opposite, I'd take Joe's over Shanghai Cafe any day. =)

        1. re: silencespeak

          Me too - I agree with you silencespeak. I've had both recently. Joe's won for the soup dumplings, the broth was really rich, and SC was good, but not as satisfying. As for the rest of the food, I would pick SC, except I also like the turnip cake better at Joe's.

          1. re: michele cindy

            Are the skins much thicker at Joe's?

            1. re: KTinNYC

              SC puts out a larger XLB, skins are marginally thicker than Joe's Shanghai.

              1. re: scoopG

                In my experience the skins were thicker a Joe's.

                1. re: KTinNYC

                  I've only had them once at SC (thanks to you we have a new place we like ) and they're more crabby which is a good thing, but the broth was not as rich in taste as Joe's is. The skins were pretty much the same not different enough for me to make a call on skins, but broth yes, the winner is def. Joe's.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    I may have to try Joe's again, if I can bear the line. Thanks for the report back.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      ...or try Joes Ginger down the block. Same owner, same soup dumplings as Joe's and no lines. I haven't been to either in a long time. I like that at SC you can see them making the soup dumplings as you walk in and no need to take a number. Plus you can usually score one of their booths.

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                      Joe's Ginger
                      25 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: scoopG

                        I disagree. The original Joe's on Pell is much better than the Joe Gingers. Definitely go to the original for the soup dumplings.

                        Not to digress too far, but I have reason to believe that the best chef in the Joe's chain was at their branch in Elmhurst. When that restaurant closed, he went (back?) to the Pell St. restaurant. Since then, that branch's dumplings have been the best of the Joe's chain. (Though I haven't been there in about three months.)

                        1. re: Greg

                          Joe's Shanghai, Joe's Ginger. Same owner, same cooks, same soup dumplings. Just a branch of his Flushing one. No crowds and lines at Joe's Ginger that's all. And Joe's Shanghai is not even close to being the best in Flushing (over priced.) Nan Shan on Prince is cheaper and better.

                          1. re: scoopG

                            I actually agree with Greg that the soup dumplings at joe's on Pell is better than those at Joe Ginger. They may be of the same owner, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they centralize the making of soup dumplings at one place. I found the soup dumplings at Joe Ginger quite poor with thicker skin and some of them already broken in the steam basket. I don't know if it was the soup dumplings themselves or if it was the steaming process, but overall it was worse than Joe's Shanghai.

                            1. re: kobetobiko

                              And both inferior to Shanghai Cafe or Nan Shan in Flushing.

                              1. re: scoopG

                                I never said Joe's were the best. I think taste in soup dumplings, like all else, can be subjective. I've had lots of soup dumplings, even at Din Tai Fung, and still really like Joe's - though that may be because it's the first place I had them. It's a style thing - Joe's are thick and unctuous, while the style scoopG likes are thin and clean.

                                1. re: Greg

                                  Well, soup dumplings should be delicate thin and clean. I've never had Shanghai Cafe's or Nan Shan but I find Joe's just downright awful. It's not consistent but I've found decent soup dumplings at Chatham square. But that varies based on day/time/service.

                  2. re: KTinNYC

                    I just had some xiao long bao at Shanghai Cafe over the weekend, and will say that the skins were thicker at SC over Joe's.

          2. re: hatred

            It is my opinion that Nice Green Bo has awful. In fact you may the first person in months that has said anything positive about this restaurant in months.

          3. The soup dumplings at Chinatown Brasserie are really really good, but unfortunately are much more expensive than joe's, shanghai cafe, etc. They were $10 for 5 dumplings on the lunch menu (for $15 at dinner i hope they at least throw in an extra dumpling or two)!

            I intend to try shanghai cafe soon, but for now i can only say that Chinatown Brasserie's soup dumplings tasted way better than those at joe's shanghai.

            Their other dim sum is pretty good, especially some inventive dishes; i find it a bit expensive, maybe because i compare it to ctown restaurants, which it is very different from.

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            Chinatown Brasserie
            380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

            1. New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe is consistently my favorite.

              1 Reply
              1. re: AimeeD

                Hmmm maybe it's Shanghai Deluxe, good soup dumplings Shanghai restaurant on Elizabeth St just past Jin Fang.across from Police station . small place

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                Shanghai Asian Cuisine
                14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

              2. uptown there is shanghai pavilion

                1. This weekend tried Shanghai Cafe on Mott for the first time - -thought the crab/pork soup dumplings were VERY good (we also had scallion pancakes but nothing to write home about.. I've been to Joe's Shanghai & the now closed MoonHouse. These were crabbier and delish BUT Joe's broth is a touch richer.

                  Bonus no wait at Shanghai Cafe AND we had our own booth.

                  1. Hands down, Nan Shian in Flushing has the best soup dumplings. It's on Prince St at 38th Ave, not far from the 7 train. If you don't want to make the trip out to Flushing, though, Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown is a pretty consistent place. Personally, I find it a bit overpriced, but it's pretty good. Even with Joe's Shanghai, I think the one in Flushing is better. There used to be a tiny little restaurant on Bayard St (I think) called Moon House, right next to the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Not sure if it's still there, but they have really good soup dumplings, and it's a pretty cheap place.

                    1. scratch moon house, i see others have already noted that it is closed. shame!

                      1. I have been a fan of Joe's Shanghai for years and I just went to Shanghai Cafe New Years Day. Not because I was a little hungover, but they were the best dumplings I have ever had - better than Joe's. And you MUST get the scallion pancakes there - very crunchy and greasy - use with the hot sauce. Does anyone know where to find soup dumplings in the DC area?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: zannadu65

                          You're better off asking the DC board about specific recommendations.

                        2. Big fan of Shanghai Cafe (but the new tables make me giggle.)

                          That said, if you can beg, borrow or steal a car, go to Jersey. Petite Souchow has the best soup dumplings I have ever had. (And a good menu all in all.)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: hambone

                            where in jersey? i suspect i can't just ask the toll booth guy

                            1. re: thew

                              Cliffside Park I believe. I've heard good things about this place and it was reviewed in the NY Times within the past year...

                              http://www.yelp.com/biz/petite-soo-ch...

                              1. re: scoopG

                                http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/nyr...

                                http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/20...

                                http://offthebroiler.wordpress.com/20...

                          2. Still Joe's Shanghai is best...

                            -----
                            Joe's Shanghai
                            24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: commuter89

                              Joe's Shanghai is for out-of-towners. Avoid the long tourist lines and head straight for the Shanghai Cafe.

                              1. re: commuter89

                                I agree completely. Joe's shanghi has great dumplings. Everywhere else the dumplings are so small and don't have as much soup in them. These dumplings are filling, thick skin, lots of juice and great meat. The crab is my favorite, biting into pork with a little bit of crab drizzled in. yum.

                                1. re: julilouie

                                  Thick skin is considered a negative for xiao long bao.

                                2. re: commuter89

                                  Anyone who thinks Joe's Shanghai's is the best has been severely deprived. Shanghai Cafe in Chinatown or Nan Xiang in Flushing blows Joe's to smithereens.

                                  -----
                                  Joe's Shanghai
                                  24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                3. What timing! I'm currently searching for the best soup dumplings in New York on my blog: http://eatthisny.com

                                  So far, my favorites are Shanghai Cafe (despite the current labor lawsuits) and Nan Xiang in Flushing. But Joe's Shanghai is adequate and probably the more exciting atmosphere.

                                  But if you're feeling adventurous, I'd urge you to make the trip out to Nan Xiang (on the 7 train) and check out White Bear while you're out in that neighborhood.

                                  Enjoy!

                                  -eatthisny.com

                                  -----
                                  Joe's Shanghai
                                  24 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: eatthisny

                                    There is a more recent discussion on this topic here:

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689006