TravelNoise: Yaso Tangbao, New York City
I don’t know about you, but I get excited about soup dumplings. Even more so, I attach myself to every restaurant that can do soup dumplings right. I hadn’t found any in Brooklyn that really excited me until I visited Yaso Tangbao, and believe me when I say I’ve marked it as dumpling-lover territory. If you happen to be in downtown Brooklyn and need a soup dumpling on the fly, head to Yaso Tangbao immediately.
Conveniently located right off the Jay Street stop amidst the commotion of takeout restaurants and clothing shops, the storefront of Yaso Tangbao welcomes you in. Upon entering, you’ll notice the typical industrial vibe many fast-casual New York restaurants boast, but Yaso Tangbao offers something contradictingly (sic) personal. With an open kitchen and the menu (with photos) as part wall decoration, you’ll feel like this place has a soul, and when you’re about to eat soup dumplings, soul is what you need.
The menu, by the way, is comprised of well-priced baos, soup dumplings and rice and noodle dishes. You can order what you’d like at one of the few kiosks lining the restaurant or at the counter. My guest and I decided to approach the counter to ask the staff what they would recommend, though everything looked delicious. He suggested we try the assorted pan-fried baos ($6.25), the sampler of soup dumplings (ranging from $3.50 to $4.95) and the fried chicken fillet over rice with egg and curry sauce ($11.25). We sat at one of the long tables in the middle of the restaurant and anticipated our feast, noticing the vinegar-based soup dumpling sauce and soy sauce in respective condiment containers and thinking that was a nice touch.
First came the baos in pork, chicken and veggie varieties. The fillings succulent and gingery while the bun was fluffy and adorned with crunchy sesame seeds. Up next were the steamy soup dumplings in four flavours: pork, spicy pork, chicken and blue crab and pork. The soup wasn’t too hot (which my tongue has paid for in the past), full of concentrated flavour and nicely complemented by the vinegar-based sauce. Finally, the fried chicken rice dish arrived in all its glory. The savoury curry sauce paired nicely with the crispy, golden-fried chicken, and the fluffy rice underneath soaked up all the yummy goodness for good measure. It was hefty enough of a dish that my guest and I struggled to complete it, though we tried our best.
We’re not gonna lie — we loved the buns and soup dumplings, but the rice dish blew us away. Basically, Yaso Tangbao isn’t just great for a quick bite. Feel free to slow it down and savour. But, you know, you can do both here. Maybe that’s what’s so great about Yaso Tangbao — it’s the kind of place that lets you move at your own pace.
Address: Address: 148 Lawrence St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Telephone Number: (929) 337-7599