My search for the best dumplings in New York continues….

KUNG FU LITTLE STEAMED BUNS RAMEN, 811 Eighth Avenue (between 48th and 49th Street), Hell's Kitchen

For my dumpling reviews, it’s been a while since I’ve ventured much further outside one of this city’s Chinatowns. I especially did not expect to find myself in the Theater District for legitimate dumplings.

But that’s exactly where Kung Fu Ramen sits – on Eighth Avenue just a few blocks away from most of the big hotels and splashy Broadway theaters.

Dumplings on Broadway

It’s an unassuming little restaurant with just a handful of tables that are filled at most hours. It’s owned by a young actor from China who cut his teeth at Lan Zhou Handmade Noodle in Flushing. Here he specializes in both hand pulled noodles and steamed buns.

Xiao Long Bao at KUNG FU STEAMED BUNS RAMEN

While I love some good noodles, I was here for the buns – aka xiao long bao, aka soup dumplings. I sat at the little bar and quickly gobbled them down. They were pretty great, as good as anything I’ve tasted in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Pork and Crab Soup Dumplings at KUNG FU LITTLE STEAMED BUNS RAMEN

Each bun was impossibly soft. I found it incredible that they weren’t completely falling apart. It was even difficult getting them on the spoon. But somehow the thin buns held rich, fatty broth that exploded on the spoon. Also inside was a delicate mixture of ground pork and bits of crab.

Inside the Soup Dumpling

The only complaint I might have is that they were a tad greasy, but these are after all made from pork fat. Adding on some of the black vinegar sauce helped to tame the richness. The flavor was delectable and the experience was fun as always.

And Noodles Too

I do need to return to check out the rest of their menu, but I know the buns will always be an option. Add this to your pre or post theater list. While it’s in the middle of all the madness, the local business is a haven for authentic food in a neighborhood of theme restaurants and tourist traps.

Does Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen make the best dumplings in NY? They are certainly the best in the Midtown area and perhaps well beyond that. The thin skins and rich broth make for an explosive experience. 8 out of 10.

KUNG FU LITTLE STEAMED BUNS RAMEN
811 Eighth Avenue (between 48th and 49th Street),
Theater District
(917)388-2555
kfdelicacy.com
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Category: Dumplings

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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