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Nan Xiang and Zebra Lounge

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 by in Culture, Eat & Drink, New York | 0 comments

 

Nan Xiang Dumpling House place setting. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Nan Xiang Dumpling House place setting. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

Nan Xiang Dumpling House is a Shanghainese restaurant in Flushing known for its pork soup dumplings, or xiao long bao. Growing up, I used to come here with my family to savor dumplings, rice cakes and scallion pancakes. The bustling restaurant is conveniently located near Main Street, a central hub where you can find the 7 subway train, Queens buses and even the Long Island Railroad all within walking distance.

I found myself back in Flushing with some friends last weekend for a wedding. During downtime between the ceremony and reception, we entered Nan Xiang Dumpling House with ravenous appetites.

 

Scallion Pancake. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Scallion Pancake. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

First up: Scallion Pancakes. These are done right – maintaining the thick, fluffy and crispy texture, yet not slogged with oil. R remarked on how good they were.

 

Rice Cakes with Shredded Chicken. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Rice Cakes with Shredded Chicken. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

Next came the Rice Cakes with Shredded Chicken. This is generally a solid dish. There’s something so satisfying about digging into a chewy rice cake. I also love the Korean version (ddukbokki).

 

Pork and Cabbage Noodle Soup. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Pork and Cabbage Noodle Soup. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

The rice cakes were quickly followed by the Pork and Cabbage Noodle Soup. I believe these were fresh, hand-pulled noodles: at least they certainly tasted like it!

Aside: For breakfast, my mom is partial to Nan Xiang’s sweet soy bean milk (dou jiang) with crispy fried dough, similar to a cruller (yo tiao).

 

Steamed Pork Buns (Xiao Long Bao). Photo by Sarah Tung.

Steamed Pork Buns (Xiao Long Bao). Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

For the grand finale, we ordered one set of Steamed Pork Buns and one set of Steamed Crab Meat and Pork Buns. Each order came with six pieces. The pork bun’s broth was piping hot, meaty and bursting with flavor (how do I always manage to burn my tongue?). I didn’t try the crab meat; one of our friends who sampled it was just “OK.”

While Joe’s Shanghai makes a decent xiao long bao, Nan Xiang is still my favorite for the Shanghainese delicacy. Now if only it weren’t so out of the way…

 

Zebra Lounge lights. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Zebra Lounge lights. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

After the evening wedding, some of us wanted to keep the party going! We hadn’t gone to karaoke with a big group in awhile, so we found a classy lounge nearby called Zebra Lounge. It had a VIP room to hold all of us, featuring four flat-screen LED TVs, a private bathroom, lots of plush seating, and glow-in-the-dark mics!

 

Signature Cocktails. Clockwise, from L-R: Lychee Mojito, Sparkling Elder Flower Blossom, Passion Fruit Mojito. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Signature Cocktails. Clockwise, from L-R: Lychee Mojito, Sparkling Elder Flower Blossom, Passion Fruit Mojito. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

The inventive drinks really hit the spot. I ordered the Passion Fruit Mojito (Passion Fruit Malibu Rum, Bacardi Limón, Fresh Mint and Lime Juice). R had the Lychee Mojito (Bacardi Limón, Lychee Juice, Fresh Mint and Lime Juice), but he said it was “too sweet” for his liking. Our friend K sipped on her Sparkling Elder Flower Blossom (what a fancy name!), which contained Citron Vodka and St. Germain with Fresh Strawberry.

 

Passion Fruit Mojito. Photo by Sarah Tung.

Passion Fruit Mojito. Photo by Sarah Tung.

 

It seemed my Passion Fruit Mojito was such a hit among our friends that I noticed it appeared four or five more times during the evening.

After two hours of playing rockstar, our hoarse voices told us it was time to head home. But just you wait, Flushing, I’ll be back!

***

Nan Xiang Dumpling House
38-12 Prince St
Flushing, NY 11354
Neighborhood: Downtown Flushing
718.321.3838

Zebra Lounge
136-11 38th Ave
Flushing, NY 11354
Neighborhood: Downtown Flushing
718.886.7366
z2nyc.com

 

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