Few foods are as fun to eat—or as dangerous to one’s attire—as soup dumplings (aka juicy buns). Pucker-topped dumplings filled with broth, and either pork or pork with crabmeat, they explode in your mouth—or down your shirt—when you bite into them. But the flavor, enhanced by a vinegared soy sauce with slivered ginger, is so luscious most diners don’t mind the mess. And the best place in Manhattan for them is this bustling eatery, which draws a mostly local crowd. Other Shanghai specialties are worth trying, too, like sautéed eels with chives or the scallion pancakes wrapped around hoisin beef and coated with fried egg.
- Pauline Frommer