According to Eater and other sources, one of the top destination restaurants for Xiao Long Bao, Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao, in Flushing Queens is closing. The reports say that rising rents in downtown Flushing are chasing out small restaurants like Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao. An article in Patch quotes John Choe of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce, pining the blame on the recent increase in the minimum wage. Choe claims that the restaurant was losing workers because they were now making too much money to qualify for the public benefits they received under the old minimum wage. Obviously one expects Chambers of Commerce to find arguments against raising the minimum wage and of course against food, worker and environmental safety regulations.
I ate at Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao 7 or 8 years ago, before I began this blog, and I remember it being excellent. This closing is a blow to the general NYC foodie scene and the dumpling eating scene.
The NY Times posted a beautiful slide show of dishes from Mama’s Noodle House in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn where the chefs wrap 1,000 dumplings a night.