Monday, February 27, 2012

The dopest of soup dumplings at Nan Xiang (南翔小籠包)

From afar

Before I start spitting fire about the dopest soup dumplings I've had outside the pacific rim, let me just say this "Lin-sanity" nonsense has gotten out of hand. In one of the more unexpected moves by my own mom, I got an email about a week ago with a YouTube link to a post-game interview, with the only text in the body of the email saying "He went to Harvard and he's so humble. Why can't you be more like Jeremy?" Damn mom. Solid burn, 8.5/10, who the fuck is cutting onions?! As I begrudgingly watched the video that my mother linked to in the e-insult, I was flooded with a torrent of raging emotions - I was confused, saddened, disturbingly aroused, but most of all neglected - unloved almost. Which is surely how my blog feels when I don't update for weeks at a time. Well, I'm sorry. Well weep no more. Anyway, while I'm saddened and confused, do you know what you shouldn't be confused about? Where you should go eat this weekend (unless you're Jewish and can't eat pork or something). Go to Nan Xiang, a place that serves pockets of porcine treasure that, while not confusing, are most certainly disturbingly arousing. For your mouth... I guess.

Something you might be thinking - "hey butthole. I thought you said people who described things as 'the best' are all wrong and are no-talent assclowns?" That's still true. If you notice, I said 'dopest.' That's different from 'best.' These shits are hauntingly delicious, and if you want to disagree with my opinion? Well... them's fightin' words.

Soup dumpling

Holy fuck look at those bitches. Skin so thin it's like "whoa." Then inside you have a metric ass-load of juices and whatnot just waiting to explode and burn the skin on the roof of your mouth. Shit is so intense... it's just like camping. Know how all those bootleg second-rate soup dumplings in Manhattan's Chinatown have a stupid nub on the top where the chefs pinch the shiz shut? They don't do that at Nan Xiang. They're consummate pros at the dumpling closing game. In all seriousness, the soup dumplings here seem to do everything right (although I'm still a bit peeved at the cabbage sticking to the bottom of each one). The skin is tender, and borderline translucent - to the point where you can see the soup tumbling gently inside. Then you have the soup broth, which is so full in flavor that technically it could probably be served on its own. Combine that with a ball of pork that's surprisingly smooth in texture, but heavy on flavor. Shit son, it's basically the result of if Jesus went on Top Chef and waffle stomped everyone in an Asian quickfire challenge for dumplings. It's that good.

Seafood pan-fried udon

This made no sense. Why in the hell did I go to a soup dumpling place and order pan-fried udon? Oh I know, because my Korean friend is something of an idiot, and said he had a craving for it. The great thing about Nan Xiang is that, even if you have some sort of dickweed friend who for one reason or another isn't raging harder than a rhino on speed for soup dumplings, then there's still other shit on their menu that caters to the contingency of 'unawares' who order from the chef's special section. Admittedly, this dish was pretty pimp. Oil-laden noodles tossed delicately with shrimp, chicken, and greens? I won't deny that it tastes good, I'm just saying you'd be an idiot if you went here to get it.

Stacked them

"So what exactly should I be ordering then, you nimwit?" Calm your hormones. Let me get to that. Something that's both somewhat authentic and also bad for you - the scallion pancakes with beef (牛肉夾蔥油餅). It's like this... there's two types of scallion pancakes, the ones that are pan-fried in oil that are kind of limp, lethargic, and more often than not, kind of soggy with oil - and then there's the kind they have here. Fucking deep fried glorious pockets of carb, scallions, and heart disease. Not that both don't have their place in the cavernous space of my stomach, but the latter is clearly far superior. Now what happens when you take an already delicious platform of fried flour and shove it the fuck full of delicious delicious beef? That's a stupid question. I buy it and I eat it. You should too. I don't want to die of a heart attack alone...

Spicy beef and tripe

You still haven't creamed yourself yet? Have I failed to entertain you?! Of course, my idiot Korean friend went ahead and ordered a random appetizer that he was completely oblivious about. Luckily, it was chilled marinated sliced beef with spicy tripe. "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while," as my old physics professor told me. This dish was shockingly refreshing, delicious, and offensive (in a good way) all at once. Tripe has a weird textural quality to it that I don't normally love - too crunchy and elastic, yet not soft enough to chew through - but in this application it was more than okay. The spicy marinade and thin-ass slices of slow soy sauce cooked beef in a cold application is simply boner-inducing. With each successive time that I burned my mouth like a dumbass by shoving a whole soup dumpling in my mouth, I chilled the flames of passion ignited on my throat with the cool comfort of sliced cow stomach. Fuck yeah.

tl;dr - Jeremy Lin, stop making me look bad you asshole. Also, stop being so goddamn humble. In other news, Nan Xiang serves up some of the sickest soup dumplings you'll get on this side of the Pacific, pair that with some beef filled scallion pancakes and spicy tripe and it's a more exciting experience than watching a unicorn mounting a bear in front of the Eiffel Tower. Yeah. Better.

Nan Xiang Dumpling House (南翔小籠包)
38-12 Prince Street, New York, NY 11354


Robyn said...

I don't know why I was compelled to check, but I Googled "These shits are hauntingly delicious" just to see if anyone else has ever ever written that phrase. ...Nope.

Anyhoo. Sounds like you can contribute to :[

Ben said...

Did you ever try Din Tai Fung in Taiwan? How do they compare?

joanh said...

yum! this looks good. and yes, linsanity has gotten out of hand. i was just thinking the other day how funny though that of course he's overachieving and setting the bar too high so that future asian americans who might get into the NBA would always be compared to him ("but he didn't also graduate from Harvard" or "he didn't make the cover of sports magazine 2 weeks in a row). LOLZ

FlyingPeg said...

To Ben: I've been to Din Tai Fung in Taiwan and their soup dumplings (xiao long bao) are overrated and overpriced.

To Nicholas: Can't wait to try Nan Xiang next time I'm in New York. Damn, those dumplings look fantastic. By the way, what your mom wrote in the e-insult sounds like something my mom would write. Luckily, my mom doesn't email.

Christine said...

I didn't know they had a Nan Xiang restaurant in NY. When I went to Shanghai, the one thing I really wanted to do was have the XLB at a Nan Xiang.

Those soup dumplings are so obese, it's beautiful! The scallion pancakes look extremely dense. Did they weigh you down afterwards?

Yi @ Yi Reservation said...

Nan Xiang serves one of the best soup dumplings in NY and that's been confirmed by some of Shanghainese friends!

Those are some nice shots you have there!

Danny said...

it really takes someone who pays attention to notice the little nubbin. it actually really never bothered me because i never noticed it. haha

Nicholas said...

Robyn - indeed, only I would say that "shits are hauntingly delicious." That's part of my charm.

Ben - all too many times. These aren't as good, but relative cost-wise, those are asscrack expensive. I can get 20 soup dumplings for $6 in Taiwan normally, but I had to pay that for 8 at DTF. Not worth it, really.

joanh - ugh, I didn't even apply to Harvard...

FlyingPeg - werd. See? At least you agree with me. Although I don't think they're overrated - they are mad sick - just overpriced.

Christine - haha, you clearly don't read my blog very often. I can eat far more than this. This was a warm-up for more eating...

Yi - indeed, and thanks!

Danny - how can you not?! It's right there, all mocking you with its textural inconsistency. RIGHT AT THE TOP.

Unknown said...

Hey there, came across your blog while doing my Taipei food research. I'm enjoying every speck of sarcasm in your blog. Keep it up!

Patrick said...

question: what is your favorite place for lunch in chinatown? cheap fast and delicious!

Ms. Lam said...

Those look so good! I love soup dumplings! And scallion pancakes ... so simple yet so good, but it seems so hard to find some good ones nowadays!

Nicholas said...

Jasmine Chia - haha, that's deceptive! I'm not really that sarcastic. I'm just bad at writing, I swear.

Patrick - Wah Fung man. Wah Fung. Always.

Lamchop - the trip out to Flushing is worth it, I think, for these...

Darren said...

Flushing every weekend starting in June!

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