Before soup dumplings became a thing, and #xlb became a hashtag, Joe’s Shanghai was world famous in Chinatown NYC. Joe’s Shanghai is a Chinese restaurant with a multi-page menu, but most people go there for the soup dumplings, the xiao long bao.
Compared to Din Tai Fung, the dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai are dead ugly, and this time, they seemed uglier than ever. They were big and bulky, and some of them were leaking. And please don’t get me started on those lettuce leaves in the bottom of the soup dumpling tray..
Maybe they’ve just given up. Maybe they thought screw all that too-pretty-to-eat Insta-friendly food! We’ll make the ugliest xiao long bao the world has ever seen! I don’t know, but one thing is sure. In spite of the aesthetical shortcomings, Joe’s Shanghai is still one of the best places in New York to get soup dumplings. What sets them apart from the other places I’ve tried is the soup. It’s creamy, slightly salty, with a distinct taste of crab. Highly addictive. Expect to come back for more.
The soup dumplings with crab meat and pork are $8.75 and a 15% service charge is automatically added to the bill (cash payment only). Hot tea is included.
Joe’s Shanghai, 9 Pell Street, Chinatown, New York