Xiao long bao are often called Shaghai soup dumplings, but they're actually considered a type of baozi--the name given to China's varied range of steamed buns like char siu bao and ge bao. Inside the almost translucent skins is a mix of meaty filling and an aspic jelly that becomes liquid when the dumplings are steamed. Taiwanese dumpling house Ding Tai Fung are often credited with bringing xiao long bao all around the world, but these delicious parcels can be a little harder to find in Adelaide.
Noodle Kingdom are known for cheap eats and hand pulled noodles, but take a look at the entrees and you can also start your meal with a plate of xiao long bao. They might not have the same precision at somewhere like Ding Tai Fung, but the meaty-soupy mix is still incredibly satisfying.
James Buns is a newer store who specialise in xiao long bao. They have a much longer menu with a range of different dishes from noodles to other dumplings, but xiao long bao are the focus of their trade.
An unlikely spot to find a hard to track down food is in the middle of your average food court. Tea House Yum Cha is in the centre of the Rundle Place food court. They have ridiculously long wait times, and the service isn't always the best, but they're your best bet for finding xiao long bao in the centre of Rundle Mall.
These are a couple of places we know serve xiao long bao, but we have suspicions there are more spots hiding over town. If you're a xiao long bao aficionado let us know where you find them in Adelaide, and if you've got a favourite spot let us know which ones are must tries and which ones we should avoid.
The test of a good xiao long bao is the amount of soup/gravy in the bao. Each Xiao long bao must have about a half tablespoon of a delicious light soup in it. The xiao long bao skin must be of the right thiness so that it tastes light and yet the weight of the soup will not make it break when the little bao is picked up with chopsticks. The trick to eating xiao long bao is not to wait. As soon as it comes to the table, eat it otherwise it'll start sticking to the plate or chopsticks and break.