Xi'an Famous Foods, a Chowhound destination for cumin lamb buns, spicy liáng pí noodles, and other Chinese street eats, has another winner: lamb dumplings (pictured), imported from the menu at Xi'an's slightly upmarket cousin, Biáng! "Fantastic," stuartlafonda raves. He describes plump boiled dumplings in thick but tender skins, six for $5, bathed in hot-and-sour broth with slow-burn heat and sprinkled with sesame seeds and some slivers of green.
As Xi'an switches things up, little-mentioned Cantonese favorite Congee stands its ground—and that's just fine. This Chinatown kitchen's on its game, jen kalb says after a recent revisit, knocking out top-notch versions of its special fried chicken; sautéed silver fish, dried squid, and Chinese celery; and water spinach in fermented bean curd sauce with garlic and chile. Congee (not to be confused with Congee Village or its little sister Congee Bowery) also does right by its namesake chicken congee with black mushrooms, Polecat says. "Wanted to give a shout-out to this place," jen adds. "Need to get back and start working through the menu."
Xi'an Famous Foods [Chinatown]
67 Bayard Street (between Mott and Elizabeth streets), Manhattan
98 Bowery (between Grand and Hester streets), Manhattan
Photo from Xi'an Famous Foods