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May 25, 2011 09:11 AM

Xiao Long Bao revisited

AKA steamed pork buns, Shanghai dumplings or 'soup' dumplings - These were really a hot topic a couple of years ago and I have just gotten around to trying them. Here's the old thread:

The consensus seemed to be that Fu Fu had the best but they were far from ideal. I've found theirs to be too large to get in the mouth comfortably and have found a couple I like better. Anybody know of any others to try? Several places have them, always listed as steamed pork buns rather than dumplings which appears to be a more accurate translation of the name.

Also, anybody know of anyplace that serves the Tang Bao or tang baozi?, the soup dumpling from Jingjiang that is so large you're given a spoon or straw to deal with the broth? The Wikioracle has a picture:

Fu Fu Cafe
9889 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

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  1. tease. which ones did you like better (you mentioned you've found a couple you like better)

    1 Reply
    1. re: charlie_b

      I've only been to three besides Fu Fu so I was hoping someone would offer some suggestions before I start opining.

      The two I thought were better were the steamed mini-pork buns at Sichuan King, nee Sichuan Cuisine, 9114 Bellaire. They were the smallest, had the thinnest skins but were only juicy, not really a lot of broth. That may actually be the way they're supposed to be, I don't know.

      The one's I liked best were at Friend's Kitchen/My Friend's Home Restaurant, 9889 Bellaire, # 111, in the same center with Fu Fu. There were 12 to an order on the Noodles part of the menu, not the appetizer, and were a meal in themselves. They weren't quite as large as Fu Fu's so I could put a whole one in my mouth without fear of the gag reflex kicking in. I thought the meat was the most flavorful, the balance of meat to broth was excellent (more than just juicy), plus they were steamed atop a slice of carrot. I haven't quite figured out why these things are or were such a hot foodie obsession - they're kind of boring after just a few to me. But the extra textural and flavor notes from the carrot made these much more interesting and I polished off all twelve. The skins were too thick and actually were a little underdone, tasting a little of the raw wrapper, but I gave them a pass on those issues because I liked them so much otherwise.

      The only other place I've had them so far is Spicy Sichuan, 9888 Bellaire, # 168, and I thought they were completely unremarkable.

      There are menu scans of all these on Urbanspoon.

      Sichuan Cuisine
      9114 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

      Fu Fu Cafe
      9889 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

      Spicy Sichuan
      9888 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036