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Dumpling Shops, Hong Kong

Hong Kong
China's insider take:

No matter how many McDonald's and KFC franchises open up in Hong Kong, savory dumplings are the city's fast-food staple. The ubiquitous dumpling shops offer the full range of regional variations.

Din Tai Fung, a branch of the famous Taiwan shop, is well known for its delicate xiaolongbao, little purses of meat and soup wrapped in dough and steamed in bamboo baskets. They are a meal unto themselves and are often washed down with Chinese tea (third floor, Whampoa Gourmet Place, Whampoa Garden, Hung Hom, Kowloon; 852-2330-4886;

Another variety, the half-moon-shaped jiaozi, is drier inside but just as filling and tasty. One of the best places to try it is the mom-and-pop shop Wang Fu, where you can choose from a variety of fillings, including the popular traditional pork-and-chives and special creations like tomato-and-egg. They are served alone or with noodles; each order comes with a complimentary glass of soy milk (Whampoa, Jade Center, 98-102 Wellington St., Central; 852-2121-8006).

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