If you’re yet to experience the delights of xiao long bao, we forgive you. Allow us to introduce you. Xiao long bao get there name from xiaolong or “little steamer” baskets that the buns are cooked in. These Shanghainese style dumplings are distinct from many of the other dumpling types with a soupy broth built-in with the pork mixture used to fill the delicate skins. Imagine a burst of flavour with every bite of your dumpling that sends you straight to food heaven—this is the xiaolong bao experience.
We’re a pretty picky bunch here at The Urban List, so we’ve kept this list pretty tight. Here is where you can get Brisbane’s best soup dumplings:
Tucked underneath Queens Plaza, New Shanghai fancies itself into an old-school tea house—complete with cobbled floors, traditional Chinese furniture and lots of red—with a bar to boot. It is glass-fronted so you can see the chefs hand-folding your favourite dumplings, which are steamed fresh to order. Do try their xiao long bao but also take the time to enjoy their extensive variety of other dumplings on offer. You really can’t lose here.
A bit more modern than New Shanghai, Bamboo Basket’s decor is simple yet striking and also features a glass window front to view your dumplings-in-making (we love sticky beaking, especially when there’s food involved). Xiao long bao is their specialty so you can’t go wrong here! They do offer various other Nothern and Southern style dumplings which are all worth trying out. But we all know you came for the xiao long bao, so order it by the bucket load—it’s worth it.
This hole in the wall shop on Brunswick Street is easy to walk past but we can’t recommend them enough for their xiao long bao. Their soup dumplings offer a balanced flavour and burst as you bite into them. Treat them delicately though; the skin here is quite thin and if it bursts, your tears might flow out along with the tasty soup. Also try out their other Northern style fare, why not make a feast out of it?
Taste Gallery simply has good xiao long bao. We could leave it at that, but we’ll go on. Many say the xiao long bao here is the best in Brisbane in terms of both texture and flavour, and we definitely agree. If you try one dumpling to dip your toe into the pool of xiao long bao, make it at Taste Gallery.
Did we miss your favourite Brisbane dumpling joint? Check out our guide to Brisbane’s best dumplings, here!
Image Credit: New Shanghai