Local Eats: Nan Xiang Dumpling House
There are many great restaurants and street vendors in the city of New York but it wasn't until recently that I discovered the amazing food in my own borough, Queens. To most outsiders, the city only consist of the iconic Manhattan (and sometimes Brooklyn) but we all know that Queens plays an important role in this town. The world is here- our neighborhoods are home to almost every kind of nationality. While we may or may not agree on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing- the one thing that we can all acknowledge is that Queens produces some pretty bangin' food. One place in Queens that can't be beat when it comes to authenticity is Flushing, NYC's other China Town.
Flushing is home to one of the best hand pulled noodles in NYC, awesome street vendors and the best soupy dumpling restaurant- Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. Once you've had their soupy dumplings, you just can't go back. None of the other soupy dumplings will do. There was one point when I had their dumplings three times a week- it is that good.
Upon arriving, expect a wait and an awful long wait if you're headed there on a Saturday for 'brunch'. If you aren't a fan of long waits or waiting at all, I suggest going there on a weeknight (sorry, they don't take reservations). Don't expect fine dining elements in this joint- the decor is nonexistent and the service is.. um.. well, they do take your order and you will probably need to flag them down for water or water refills.. you get the gist. Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao is all about the food and they don't kid around about it.
You won't find sesame chicken, sweet and sour anything or general tso's here. Instead, they have dishes such as sweet soy bean curd and turnip puff for breakfast. But they are mostly famous for their dim sum, soupy dumplings to be precise. They only have two kinds: pork and pork with crab meat but that's all you need. Once you bite into one, a steaming flow of delicious liquid gushes out revealing a tender mixture of delectable briny ball of meat. They also take scallion pancake up a level by serving it with beef, like a sandwich. MIND BLOWN!
It's about time Manhattanites and Brooklynites make the long subway excursion on the 7 train for the best 6 pieces of soupy dumplings $7 will buy.