Joe's Shanghai - NYC

Originally uploaded by illewminator.
If you're ever in New York and you get a hankering for dumplings, go down to Chinatown and check out Joe's Shanghai. It's on a teeny tiny street a block or two south of Canal. It's not a huge place, but not tiny, either. The weekday lunch crowd was fairly light the day we went (lucky for us), but I've heard the place is a zoo on weekends.

These are Shanghai style soup dumplings, also known as "xio long bao." Basically, they're very delicate, bite-sized dumplings that release a bunch of liquid when you bite into them, thus the "soup" moniker.

Here's how you eat them: Before you take a bite, dip your dumpling into a soy sauce mixture with a bit of vinegar and some thin shards of ginger sliced in. Next, place it in your soup spoon, so that all that savory liquid inside doesn't run down your chin and onto your lap. Then, carefully bite into one end to make sure the liquid won't burn your mouth (if you're sure they're already cool enough, then you can pop the entire thing into your mouth).

The ones we ordered had pork & crab filling, the specialty at Joe's. We also got an order of pan fried rice cakes (see below), also a Joe's specialty, as we were assured by the friendly Chinese people seated next to us, and scallion pancakes.


Compared to Din Tai Fung (the "world famous" Shanghai style dumpling house in Arcadia), these dumplings blow those away. These are not only bigger and juicier, they also seemed to have much more flavor.

I'll post the address below when I find the card. But I know there are a few Joe's locations -- they've expanded based on the success of their original Chinatown location.

Price: quite reasonable. Lunch for 2: around $20.

Address: 9 Pell St, NY, NY 10013 (Chinatown location -- 2 other locations in Midtown and Flushing).


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