I love dumplings of all kinds. Any dough pocket filled with stuff is alright by me. I’m especially enamored of Asian dumplings, whether jiaozi, mandu, or gyoza. Back in March, Jeff and I took a quick weekend jaunt to New York City, and decided it was finally time to visit Flushing in Queens. Our mission: try as many dumpling places as we could manage.
Our first stop was White Bear, a tiny hole in the wall very close to the Flushing Main Street LIRR station. They have a small menu, but the thing you want to get is #6 – wontons in hot chili oil. It is a revelation in flavor. I didn’t find it too spicy, and I am no longer sensitized to spicy food. I wanted to eat plates and plates of it.
Find it: White Bear on Yelp
Yoz Shanghai Restaurant
Next we followed various internet directions to Yoz Shanghai, which is inside the Golden Shopping Mall. Again, it’s a hole in the wall and somewhat difficult to find. One of the things to note about Flushing is that many establishments especially in the malls don’t have signs with English names. This spot is on the ground floor and has a yellow sign. We waited for a table and then ordered a plate of boiled pork and leek dumplings. They were fairly satisfying.
Find it: Yoz Shanghai on Yelp
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao
Finally we stopped in at Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. We wanted to go to more places, but time was growing short. We got one order of pan friend dumplings, pictured above. We also got an order of xiao long bao, which are soup dumplings.
My best advice for eating XLB, as they’re known, is to put it in the spoon, poke a hole in it with your chopstick and let the broth spill into the spoon, and blow it off carefully before eating it. Otherwise, you are likely to burn the crap out of your mouth.
Nan Xiang was more of a sit-down restaurant than the others we went to. The dumplings were definitely delicious.
Find it: Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao on Yelp
But nothing could come close to the first thing we had – the wontons with hot chili oil at White Bear.
We also tried a bubble tea place which was fairly good. I loved visiting Flushing. Stepping off the train at the Main Street LIRR station, the air was redolent of char siu (barbecued pork). It was the most like Asia of any place I’ve been outside of Asia. It was really nostalgic for me.
I highly recommend taking the trip, even though it’s far, if you love Chinese or Korean food and find yourself with several spare hours when visiting New York. Get those wontons at White Bear!
Have you been to Flushing?