NYC
Updated November 12, 2022, Posted September 9, 2018

Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao is one of those XLB restaurants that is not often brought up in the XLB fights because it’s not that accessible. The original location is in Flushing, so it’s a bit far from Manhattan. Many people do end up going to Joe’s Shanghai to get their fix, but fortunately now a Manhattan location of this restaurant has opened in Koreatown.

I had originally gone to the Flushing location and said the following:

XLB was ok. Scallion cakes were good. Beef wrap was good. Cash only.

Did I change my mind?

Ambiance

Like many popular Chinese restaurants, there is a QR code that you can view to sign up for a wait list. When we walked into the hall to the front desk, I scanned and put us in for a 30 minute wait for 2 people around 5:15 PM on a Saturday night. We saw some people walk all the way to the front and right into the dining room. So I went up to the front and asked, and they sat us right away in a 2 seater table.

The service was just okay. The restaurant really is about serving the dishes fast and turning tables which is fine if you’re hungry. Do not go here expecting top tier service.

Food

Abalone & Pork Soup Dumplings ($15.50) came with 6 pieces in a half greenish skin. This was our favorite, despite abalone not having much flavor. I think it’s because this was the first set that we ate, so it was hot. These XLBs are pretty large, but they do fit into your spoon. The skin is quite thick and chewy, which I do like a lot.

The Scallop & Pork Soup Dumplings ($11.00) came with 6 pieces in a pinkish skin. We actually didn’t care too much for this one though my partner really liked the scallop chunk that they found.

The Nan Xiang Soup Dumplings ($10.00) came with 6 pieces in a standard colored skin. This was the third set of soup dumplings that we ate, so this started to get down to room temperature. It did not taste as good as the abalone & pork soup dumplings, but I wonder if it’s because the soup and textures started to de-liquify a little.

The Pan Fried Pork Dumplings ($9.50) came with 6 pieces and were nicely pan fried. There wasn’t anything special about this, but it did taste like good solid pan fried dumplings.

The Chicken Siu Mai ($7) came with 4 pieces. These were very large and chunky which was absolutely delicious. They had a big chunk of shrimp in it too. I would definitely recommend getting this.

Final Verdict

If the crowd is this light for soup dumplings around Koreatown, I think this is a great spot to go to get your XLB fix. Otherwise the food itself is pretty good, and it’s not too expensive even for Manhattan prices.

Yelp Jabs

I’m not a big fan of the soup dumplings from here, the dumpling skin is really thick / dumpling is also quite big, which results in the dumpling tearing when being picked up, so a lot of that soup was lost. I’ve been eating soup dumplings most of my life so I’m pretty good at picking it up but these were just too “heavy” compared to Din Tai Fung.

It only tears if you’re not careful in picking it up. Perhaps this Yelper just sucks at picking up dumplings despite them claiming their elitism in eating soup dumplings for most of their life. Din Tai Fung dumplings are good, but they are simply different.

The skin is quite thick but the soup and filling is delicious. I am not sure whether it’s only me but the spoon is smaller than the bao and it makes eating experience super uncomfortable.

The spoon does fit the soup dumplings, but it the skin does hang over the edge of the spoon a bit. If you nibble the skin at the edge, you can drink the soup, then eat the dumpling. Perhaps this Yelper has a specific way they preferred, but I didn’t find it uncomfortable. It was just different compared to places like Din Tai Fung. Din Tai Fung dumplings are very small and arguably unsatisfying if you wanted more meat.

Revisions

  1. Nov 12, 2022 - Went to the Koreatown location and actually took pictures this time.
  2. Sep 9, 2018 - Initial revision for the Flushing, Queens location.