hong kong: yixin, searching for soup dumplings
I love xiao long bao and have said that they would probably be on the list of items I would request for my last supper. For a while now they have been gaining more and more notoriety here in the US and are often called “soup dumplings.” But whenever Grace hears them referred to as soup dumplings she rolls her eyes like Crocodile Dundee ready to say “that’s not a
knife soup dumpling.” So on this trip back to Hong Kong she felt it was time to show me what she thought was a real soup dumpling.
We headed out to Yixin for dim sum. The restaurant had an older location in Happy Valley (now closed), but it’s new space in Wan Chai is bright and modern. Grace had asked her parents to call ahead to make sure that they still served and the soup dumplings, and they did.
The dumplings arrive two to a steamer couched inside of a metal spoon. To serve the dumpling is lifted and dropped into a small bowl. I have had tang bao (soup dumplings) at dim sum before, but these were more skillful and delicate than any I had seen before.
The skin was delicate and soft. With just a gentle coaxing the dumpling erupted with soup and crab. The soup is rich and set off well with a touch of red vinegar. The wrapper is really quite special considering the liquid filling inside.
It was skewered pieces of pump crispy eel drizzled with honey. The taste was simple, but very good. The eel meat was juicy and tender but had a crunchy crust. And the honey accented the sweet flavor of the eel.
I’ve had lots of roast duck in my life and a lot of roast duck even on this trip and Yixin was near the top. Crisp skin, thick rich juicy meat and nicely rendered fat.
One of Grace’s aunties goes to Yixin every week. Well, I can see why.
Shop 3-4, G/F, Shanghai Industrial Investment Building,
48-62 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai