The Chinese province of Shanghai has brought us many delicious dishes (roast duck, pork buns, drunken chicken), but the best of them all may be soup dumplings. Known as xiao long bao (XLB) or “little dumplings in the basket,” the delicately pinched, semi-transparent steamed wrappers contain a sweet-smelling filling of pork and a mouthful of savory hot broth. In the heart of winter, it’s one of those foods that simultaneously warming, comforting, and filling. Here’s where to get your bao on in the county.
XLB newbies take note before reading on: It’s wise to puncture the wrapper so the steam releases, and then slurp the soup slowly before eating the dumpling.
265 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.777.1212
You’ll find a menu featuring the greatest hits of Chinese cooking at this 80-seat restaurant, including traditional Cantonese items that Americans expect but also Taiwanese and Shanghainese dishes. Made fresh daily on premises (patrons can even watch the action at the soup dumpling station), choose from the standard pork ($8) or crab meat and pork ($9) offerings for slurp-able fun.
26 Palmer Ave, Bronxville; 914.779.0902
Jenelyn Berbano has managed this noodle house since 2013 (she recently opened Hapag Filipino in Yonkers) and her soup dumplings ($6.95/$7.95) are especially popular with the students from nearby Sarah Lawrence College.
245 Main St, White Plains; 914.948.4950
A small nook at the base of an office building in downtown, quick service, neatly pleated wrappers, and cheap prices ($6.50 for six soup dumplings of either variety) keep this eatery busy at most hours.
361 Central Ave, Hartsdale; 914.437.9168
Richly flavored minced pork and ginger ($12) is the sole version offered at this nattily decorated (a stone lion statue behind a waterfall greets you), full-of-antiques restaurant that offers upgraded versions of Chinese-American favs as well as lesser known, more authentic dishes.
20 Central Ave, Hartsdale; 914.358.9046
The hit-or-miss service won’t bother you once you take your first slurp of these delicate translucent purses ($6.95/$7.95) with a smooth, savory meat filling and hot broth fragrant of pork and ginger.
3 Barker Ave (Residence Inn by Marriott), White Plains; 914.288.0188
This old-school restaurant attracts lots of native speakers for the traditional Cantonese cuisine plus authentic dim sum specialties. The delectable soup dumplings ($4.95 for four) are only offered on the lunch hour dim sum menu, which is delivered charmingly via pushcart.
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