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Ligaya Mishan Finds Flawless Soup Dumplings on an Otherwise Inconsistent Menu at The Bao

Ligaya Mishan reviews the East Village hot spot dedicated to xiao long bao.

Foursquare/Diana L.

This week Ligaya Mishan weighs in on The Bao, the popular new East Village soup dumpling spot. Those dumplings, she says, are spot on:

Other specimens in town tend to the thick, to prevent leaks; here the dough is ultrathin, less armor than envelope for the broth - pork-stock jelly, which melts into soup as the dumplings steam - and the ball of minced pork at the center, loose and yielding, as if itself in midmelt.

The rest of the menu is a mishmash of "greatest-hits Chinese" dishes, some great (fried chicken, pickled string beans), some not so great (bitter melon, salt and pepper shrimp). The Bao, 13 St. Marks Place