I'm still in New York, where I never miss a chance to eat pork soup dumplings at the Human Vacuum's neighborhood Chinese restaurant (at the corner of 24th St. and 9th Ave). These dumplings (officially called xiao long bao) come in an oversize bamboo steamer and are served with chopsticks and a soup spoon.
There are several tricks to eating these babies:
1) Patience: If you eat them right when they emerge from the kitchen, you'll burn your face off.
2) Technique: You can eat each dumpling in a single juicy, magical bite, or you can perfect the more subtle consumption system of holding the dumpling in a soup spoon, and using your chopsticks to hold the dumpling while biting a small hole in the side to suck out some soup. Repeat twice, then eat the remaining pork filling and dumpling skin from the spoon.
3) A Black Shirt: No matter what you do, you're going to get pork broth all over yourself. Just accept it.
Like many, I believed for years that the soup was piped into the finished dumplings through the opening at the top of the swirl of dumpling skin. In fact, each dumpling is filled in advance with a small amount of ground pork and cube of fatty pork broth that's been chilled into a kind of aspic. When the dumplings are steamed, the block melts and become a fabulous, rich broth.
Apparently these little guys were ultra-trendy in the 90s. But I wasn't. So I missed them the first time around. Thank god they live on in Chelsea, at least.
For those who would like to learn more about the proud history of the dumpling, go here for various dumpling flow charts, like this one depicting Modern Unified Dumpling Theory: