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9 best restaurants for xiaolongbao in Hong Kong

By Ching Yuen 9 April 2020 | Last Updated 10 June 2022

Header image courtesy of Artit Wongpradu (via Shutterstock)

Originally published by Ching Yuen. Last updated by Jen Paolini.

When eating a xiaolongbao, one must always be careful, as these scrumptious Shanghainese steamed soup dumplings are delicate things. Minced fillings and a cube of gelatinised broth are folded into a thin layer of dough, and a round of steaming liquifies the broth into hot soup. It takes years to master the art of folding these soup dumplings and it also takes practice to pick them up with your chopsticks and eat them without spilling soup everywhere! Here are our top picks of the best xiaolongbao in Hong Kong.

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Photo: Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung

No xiaolongbao list is complete without Din Tai Fung! Hailing from Taipei, it has branches all around the world now and the quality of its XLBs remains top-notch. At the majority of its shops, you will be able to see the chefs hard at work through a window into the kitchen, decked out in white uniforms and hats, folding xiaolongbao with 18 layers at lightning speed and weighing them before they go in the steamer to ensure consistency. Din Tai Fung’s steamed pork dumplings ($66) remain the signature dish, though you can also try out the steamed black truffle and pork dumplings ($190) to spice things up.

Din Tai Fung, locations across Hong Kong

Photo: Dim Sum Library

Dim Sum Library

A creative modern rendition that nonetheless hits the spot is the dan dan xiaolongbao ($72) offered at Dim Sum Library. Unlike other doughs, this one here is bright orange, from the colouring of the dan dan flavours. Each xiaolongbao comes in its own little basket. If you are used to dipping your XLB into vinegar before biting in, this version won’t need it, because once you slurp up the dumpling, the spiciness of dan dan noodles will take over.

Dim Sum Library, locations across Hong Kong

Crystal Jade

Crystal Jade’s standard xiaolongbao ($39) is packed with minced pork and broth, though this chain restaurant is also known to shake things up with seasonal ingredients, such as diced abalone or hairy crab roe to add a sweet and savoury flavour to the xiaolongbao. Remember to dip it in the vinegar that comes as an accompaniment for an even better experience, as the sourness perfectly cuts through the savouriness of the pork!

Crystal Jade, locations across Hong Kong

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Photo: Paradise Dynasty

Paradise Dynasty

Although pork is the traditional filling, xiaolongbao can come in many different flavours. Paradise Dynasty knows how to provide variety with its Speciality Dynasty xiaolongbao ($138), a basket of eight dumplings that includes flavours of pork, cheese, Sichuan peppers, garlic, crab roe, foie gras, and more, presented in a rainbow display that Instagrammers cannot get enough of. Despite the gimmicky appearance, the xiaolongbao are folded with skill and precision, with paper-thin dough and broth that pack a punch.

Paradise Dynasty, locations across Hong Kong

10 Shanghai

Now for something a little different: 10 Shanghai offers a pan-fried xiaolongbao ($68) that presents a different texture altogether. Served on a hot metal plate, the xiaolongbao is served sizzling so the bottom is crispy and crunchy, but the rest of the dumplings still retain the same soft and succulent texture. Use the tiny spatula provided to lift the xiaolongbao off the plate, but let it cool down a bit before biting in lest you burn your tongue.

10 Shanghai, Shop 101, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay

Spring Moon

For a xiaolongbao splurge, look no further than Spring Moon. It has taken the concept of the XLB and elevated it to create the steamed Sicilian shrimp and minced pork dumpling ($108). Although the price tag is above average, you can expect a giant xiaolongbao that comes in its own bamboo basket. Its peculiar colour comes from the Sicilian shrimp broth and roe filling that is mixed within this deluxe dumpling.

Spring Moon, 1/F, The Peninsula, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2696 6760

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Shanghai Lane

For a taste of old Shanghai, head down to Shanghai Lane, which is famous for serving the best of Shanghainese cuisine, such as pork dumplings, dan dan noodles, and, of course, XLBs. Low-rise wooden tables and stools aside, this no-frills restaurant dishes up a classic xiaolongbao ($40) which serves as the perfect side dish for the dan dan noodles, making for a classic Shanghainese meal combo for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Shanghai Lane, locations across Hong Kong

Photo: 霞飛會館 Xia Fei Society (via Facebook)

Xia Fei Society

Quality xiaolongbao is usually found in establishments that focus on serving Shanghainese food, such as Xia Fei Society. Its basket of xiaolongbao ($60) is classic stuff, with a delicate dough that’s so thin, you can almost see the broth shining through the bottom.

Xia Fei Society, 4/F, Century Square, 1–13 D’Aguilar Street, Central | (+852) 2522 7611

Yè Shanghai

If you are scared of breaking through the xiaolongbao skin before you get to savour it, Yè Shanghai has come up with a solution. Its steamed pork dumplings ($60) are served in a bamboo basket, and every plump xiaolongbao sits on top of a slice of carrot to prevent them from bursting easily. Its rich broth goes well with ginger and a vinegar dip, so be sure to layer on the condiments before you pop the xiaolongbao into your mouth for the perfect flavour.

Yè Shanghai, locations across Hong Kong

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Ching Yuen

Editor

Having lived in Hong Kong, Beijing, and London sure is a fun fact whenever people try to guess Ching’s accent. She loves switching between all these language channels and her “mother tongue” is just determined by how many drinks she’s had for the night! She loves movies, travelling, and exploring cities, from hidden alleys to gourmet dining, so feel free to hit her up if you need any suggestions for dinner!

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