Details: Located at 135-33 40 Rd, Flushing, NY 11354. Official site is https://www.shanghaiyougarden.com/
Shanghai You Garden is undoubtedly the most popular and most desirable place to get soup dumplings in Flushing. After finally visiting this place, I’ve discovered that there are two reasons for this: the food quality is slightly better than its primary competitors (Nan Xiang and Joe’s Shanghai) and because they give you free soup dumpling (or Peking duck at the Bayside location) if you order a low minimum amount of food.
There is almost always a wait for this place. In addition to the countless Chinese people lining up, this place also has a bunch of non-Chinese people coming here. It’s a real cluster-hell of a tourist trap. Considering that they don’t do reservations, you better get here early, put your name on the list and wait at least twenty minutes to over an hour if you want a table. This is during peak meal times, of course.
We ordered the scallion pancake wrapped in beef, the turnip puffs, the sauteed tofu with preserved egg yolk and shrimp, and a soy milk (we ordered a sweet soy milk but they go the order wrong). The most important thing is that they gave us a free basket of soup dumplings, which they do for everyone. I don’t know if there is a minimum spend for getting it, but every table I saw got it. We also got a complimentary bowl of fermented rice dessert soup. Total price of the meal was around thirty dollars after tax.
Worth mentioning is that in addition to standard soup dumplings and snacks, this place has an extensive number of regular non-dim sum related dishes. Things like wine chicken or braised pork. This is something that competing soup dumpling places almost never have. You can have a decent dinner here that does not center on soup dumplings.
Service here is hit or miss. They forgot on of our dishes and had to reorder it. We asked for a spoon and a small bowl a couple of times and they instantly forgot it. The place is really busy so expect your waiters to instantly forget everything you ask for.
The interior is surprisingly large considering the small store front. There are a lot of seats inside, though there are usually more people than available seats. It’s also somewhat well decorated.
Overall, this place was okay. It’s so busy that I doubt I will ever return, even with the free soup dumplings and fermented rice soup. In terms of quality of the food, the food is definitely better than competing soup dumpling places and there are more options. However, the soup dumplings themselves are about average, but they’re still free.