Drunken Dumpling, helmed by the spawn of 63-year-old former Joe’s Shanghai Chef Qihui Guan, set the food blogosphere on fire with the introduction of XL XLB — a soup dumpling the size of your face — best enjoyed with two straws.
With lines that rivaled Dominique Ansell’s circa 2013 Cronut queues, the gigantic XLB was proclaimed to be the most coveted item in the city by Eater and The Chew, selling out within the first 15 minutes of shop opening for four consecutive months. Despite its famous dissenters, including Anthony Bourdain and Eater’s own critic Robert Sietsema, Drunken Dumpling toppled every high-traffic food-stagram feed.
The XL XLB saw standalone-concept imitators from Washington, D.C. all the way to Sydney, Australia… and even made “Miss January” in New York Magazine’s 2018 calendar.
Chef Guan has returned with a counterpoint to the XLB, via a collaboration with Brunch Boys’ Jeremy Jacobwitz dubbed the “XS”: Size 0 dumpling poppers topped with chili oil.
More traditionalist, but still oozy and textural in an outsize way, are the lattice-style baozi, or Potstickers with Crisp Skirt. Drunken Dumpling has also added the Choco-Bao, sesame seed chocolate-filled buns.