Despite the soup dumpling craze hitting hard (perhaps too hard) in other parts of the country, xiao long bao aren’t all that common in DC proper. So, you might want to gorge yourself at Maketto’s new XLB dinner series. The weekly Wednesday meal, which launches March 6, promises all-you-can-eat soup dumplings plus other dishes for $40 (plus tax and gratuity) per person.
Chef Erik Bruner-Yang has been playing with other limited-run special menus recently, such as Yang’s, a short-lived hot pot pop-up (say that fast). The XLB dinners will be hosted in Maketto’s kitchen with two-hour seatings beginning at 5:30 PM and 8 PM. In addition to the soup dumplings, diners will round out the meal with four additional (not unlimited) dishes like crystal shrimp dumplings, roasted eggplant with whipped tofu, Chinese broccoli, and a Taiwanese pork chop. Ticketed, non-refundable reservations are available online.
If you’re on the hunt for soup dumplings outside a prix-fixe format, chef Peter Chang is famous for his giant version (a.k.a. “Peter’s Big Bun”) at his namesake restaurants, served with straw for sipping out the hot broth. (He also serves smaller versions there and at Q by Peter Chang.) We’re also fans of the chicken and pork-and-crab soup dumplings at Rockville’s Bob’s Shanghai 66 as well as the delicious pan-fried versions served at Shanghai Taste on weekends.