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Jan 23, 2009 09:24 AM

Can anyone reccomend a GREAT place for soup dumplings and dim sum?

I am really craving an excellent soup dumpling, or really good dumplings in general and dim sum? preferably near the financial district, although willing to go wherever for great dim sum!! Thank you!

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  1. They don't do soup dumplings, but Red Egg's other dumplings and dim sum are hard to beat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      agreed on red egg's offerings for dim sum. the rest of the menu is whatever.

      1. re: bigjeff

        Yes, the dim sum at Red Egg was a surprise. I had expected something touristy but turned out to be very good. Thanks for the warning on the rest of the menu.

      1. Joe's Shanghai gets my vote.

        my foodie blog;

        Joe's Shanghai
        9 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

        4 Replies
        1. re: thursdayclubjason

          Mine too for soup dumplings, dim sum they don't really have though.

          1. re: thursdayclubjason

            And when there's a wait, and there is always a wait , walk down 1/2 a block and go to Joe Ginger where there is seldom a wait and they serve the same soup dumplings but because they are not mentioned in the tourist mags you can just about always get a seat.

            1. re: thursdayclubjason

              I strongly recommend AGAINST going to Joe's Shanghai, because I have personally witnessed him (owner) physically strike one of his waiters in anger. I suspect no complaints from the help because of possible issues regarding work permit status. But either way, someone who treats employees in that fashion does not deserve New York City's business.

              An excellent alternative for soup dumplings is New Green Bo (which I might add treats its employees very well, as I have visited at all different times of day and see waiters/cooks/desk help all sitting down together for meals). The soup part of the dumpling is not as intact by the time it's served as it is at Joe's, but that seems minor under the cirumstances.

              Red Egg has excellent dim sum.

              1. re: niti

                New Green Bo, now Nice Green Bo has not been good for years and there is no reason to eat XLB if there is no soup in the dumplings when you eat them.

            2. green bo has great soup dumplings

              1 Reply
              1. My first reaction is No. Xiaolong bao (soup or juicy dumplings) are Shanghainese and dim sum is typically Cantonese, for one thing. Secondly, I haven't had any great xiaolong bao in New York. But for dim sum, my standby is Dim Sum Go Go, on East Broadway right off Chatham Square. Don't get buns (bao) there, but anything else is likely to be good. If you decide to go there, I can give you specific suggestions.

                21 Replies
                1. re: Pan

                  Hi Pan,
                  Can you give us some recs?
                  heading there tomorrow and feeling antsy about what to order.


                  1. re: plumtart

                    I think Pan had recommended Dim Sum places above so you can check them out.

                    If you are looking for Soup Dumplings, some of us like the ones at Shanghai Cafe (100 Mott Street)... you can read the thread..


                    p.s. in some postings XLB was mentioned.. it stands for XiaoLong Bao (Soup Dumplings).

                    1. re: bearmi

                      Thank you- I was confused until I read Pan's rec. I guess that it stands to reason that they would be in different restaurants as they are from different places : )

                    2. re: plumtart

                      I suppose the main XLB split on chowhound is Joe's Shanghai and Shanghai Cafe. I highly prefer Joe's Shanghai, as the soup is more flavorful from my experiences.

                      1. re: silencespeak

                        They are all made in the same kitchen.

                        1. re: currymouth

                          I don't understand. What is made in all the same kitchen?

                          1. re: KTinNYC

                            The soup dumplings in Joe Shanghai and Joe Ginger are made in the same kitchen and by the same chefs. So any differences in quality or taste is quite puzzling to me. Which ever has a seat first get my business and while some dishes differs from one location to the other, the soup dumplings has always remained the same.

                            1. re: currymouth

                              Forgive me please, I screwed up when answering Silencespeak. I misread his post and thought he was comparing the two joe's
                              Sorry KTinNYC for the confusion.

                              1. re: currymouth

                                Yeah, no problem with the misread.

                                But also, Joe's Shanghai and Joe's Ginger are under different management. Ask Joe's Ginger staff and they say that they're related, ask Joe's Shanghai staff and they say they are separate. Joe's Ginger was made in the early 90s to steal business from Joe's Shanghai. Sort of like Chinatown's Coke and Pepsi.

                                1. re: silencespeak

                                  I don't know if both Joe's are under different management now but I'm quite certain that Joe's Ginger was originally opened by the same people that owned Joe's Shanghai.

                                  ETA This article shows the 2 were definitely owned by the same people.


                                  1. re: KTinNYC

                                    Same management maybe, but I can tell you the the soup dumplings at Joe's Ginger is inferior to those at Joe's Shanghai, by quite a large margin.

                                    1. re: kobetobiko

                                      I cannot speak to the differences in quality between the two. I'm just answering silencespeak's claim that they were open by 2 different groups.

                                      1. re: KTinNYC

                                        Hi KT,

                                        I wasn't trying to " correct" your post or what not. I was just saying it for caution other hounds about the quality difference.

                                        1. re: kobetobiko

                                          I believe you that there is a quality in difference because I don't believe that all the soup dumplings come out of the same kitchen. I know the uptown Joes' had awful XLB. It just doesn't seem very efficient for to carry pre-made XLB from one location to another when each location already has a full kitchen.

                                  2. re: silencespeak

                                    Was there on 2/5/09 for my dumpling fix and to pick up a replacement sand pot on Bowery and saw the trays of dumplings going through the front door along with the beer order. Also the older lady in Joe Ginger was the same that would bark orders in Joe Shanghai. Look on the left hand side of the window in JS, sign tell you to visit our other location JG down the block.
                                    1+1+1=3. Just saying.........

                                    1. re: currymouth

                                      Even if the soup dumplings (pre-cooked) are the same, that doesn't mean that what end up on your table will be the same thing. Mine at Joe's Ginger were steamed to the point where the skin became mushy and and some even broken. The meat obviously became dried up with all the juice leaked out.

                                      As an analogy, most bubble tea place use the same mixtures for their bubble tea, but the final drinks vary so much from store to store, because the chefs (or the staff who prepare the food) make a big difference.

                                      In this case, 1+1+1 is not 3 because not all "1" are the same.

                                      1. re: kobetobiko

                                        Well I was never very good at complex math problems anyway. I don' t believe that their uptown branch benefits from their pell st kitchen but considering the skill and complexity involved in order to produce a good soup dumpling it makes perfect sense that they would indeed be made in one kitchen by one crew so that 2 restaurants 1 block apart could benefit from their expertise.
                                        In all the years that I have eaten at JS and now at JG, My friends and I have never tasted a noticeable difference in the soup dumplings but then again we drink.

                                        1. re: currymouth

                                          Nothing wrong with your math. Soup dumplings are prepped in central kitchens before being sent to restaurants for steaming/serving, so if it's the end product that's the problem, then it's the restaurant. Prepping the dumplings requires refrigerated "broth" (it is a fatty/protein-y mixture that is gelatinous at room temperature, so the dumplings are made with refrigerated, and therefore manageable, dense pork broth glop, and with other fillings such as pork meat, seafood, etc., and then frozen). The dumplings are then sent to restaurants, and when ordered they are taken from near-frozen to steaming hot in the restaurant. Most of them are made in 3 primary chinese suppliers (aka kitchens, in this thread) to chinatown restaurants. So if you don't like your soup dumpling at one place or another, it ain't the dumpling, it's the final steaming preparation that's the problem.

                                          just a bit of trivia.

                                          1. re: niti

                                            Thank goodness, I was about to cut down on the booze.

                                            1. re: niti

                                              There is no central kitchen making the soup dumplings for the Pell Street Joe's, the Uptown Joe's and for Shanghai Cafe. Each of these restaurants makes their XLB on site. I can't speak for the others but I'm pretty sure none of the credible Shanghainese restaurants gets their XLB out-sourced.

                            2. re: plumtart

                              No problem. I actually had lunch at Dim Sum Go Go today. Here are some dim sum items I like there (though you needn't limit yourself to these):

                              Rolls w. shrimp & mango - lightly breaded and fried, very good mango slices.
                              Shrimp Balls
                              Beef Tripe - Made with sufficiently tender honeycomb tripe and among the best tripe dishes I've had in New York
                              Chicken Feet with black bean sauce
                              Chives & Shrimp Dumplings
                              Duck Dumplings
                              Stuffed Mushroom - Got this today. Very interesting. Stuffed with miniature pork dumplings topped with a bit of red roe.
                              Chinese Parsley Dumplings
                              Mushroom Dumplings
                              Tapioca with egg yolk - Excellent for dessert. Tapioca wrapper with coconut custard inside.

                              If you want something a bit bigger, consider the Smoked Shredded Duck with young preserved ginger & fungus.