If you love visiting New York City for its insta-famous food trend du jour, look no further than the latest, Drunken Dumpling. The new Chinese soup dumpling hotspot is doing something sizably different, and New Yorkers can't get enough.
The dumplings, or xiao long bao in Chinese, are quite literally the size of your face. Made of thin dough wrapped around a hot broth filled with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables, they are both visually arresting and uniquely interactive. The only way to consume such a dumpling – after you’ve snapped the requisite #dumplingselfie, of course — is to poke through the dumpling skin and sip the brothy concoction with a straw.
Mother-son team Qihui Guan and Yuan Lee, launched the dumpling spot at 137 First Avenue after Yuan realized he had to share his mother’s cooking with the world, according to Drunken Dumpling’s Instagram account. The jumbo dumpling, aka the XL XLB, is sweeping the city, consistently selling out within 15 minutes of the store opening. It doesn’t help that it’s a labor intensive process, and the authentic Chinese chef hand-crafting them can only make about 25 per day.
Lee says they are working on expanding their kitchen space, and their Facebook page lists a job opening for “someone dynamic who is interested in learning how to make dumplings," so the long lines and potential disappointment may soon abate. If you’re willing to risk it, try arriving around 11.30am, before opening. You can also buck the trend and order a dish of regular-sized soup dumplings, which come four to a serving and are equally delicious as their XL cousins.