Two New Restaurants: Soup Dumplings and Make-Your-Own Hotpots

  Last modified on June 19th, 2024


Two new Upper West Side restaurants have popped up: build-your-own-hotpot restaurant MalaTown and soup dumpling spot Nan Xiang Express. (Thanks to Dave Cook at Eating in Translation for the tips).


MalaTown had its soft-opening this week at 929 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 106th and 107th streets. This is its first NYC location. Additional outposts can be found in New Jersey, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

MalaTown has a unique dining concept: a build-your-own hotpot station where you use a bowl and tongs to serve yourself. Customers can choose from “over 80 fresh ingredients” including raw and cooked meat, seafood, vegetables and noodles. When your bowl is full, it’s weighed and handed over to cook in your chosen base broth – or you can opt for a dry mix. There’s also a sauce station with garnishes to add when your hotpot bowl is ready. The restaurant has both dine-in and take-out options.

sauce station malatown

ILTUWS tried MalaTown’s classic beef broth with udon noodles, beef slices, chicken, corn, broccoli, shitake mushroom and fried egg. We took it to go and were impressed with how well it traveled. The broth remained piping hot, the meat was well-cooked and the vegetables tender.

nan xiang express

A short walk away at 2783 Broadway, between 107th and 108th streets, Nan Xiang Express is ready to go and signage indicates they will open to customers on Monday, June 3. The restaurant offers “authentic Shanghai-style comfort food” including soup dumplings, pot stickers, noodles and rice bowls. This will be their fifth restaurant in New York with other locations in Hell’s Kitchen, Williamsburg, Downtown Brooklyn and Forest Hills.


They addressed “Columbia University students and locals” in an Instagram post on Thursday, May 30 announcing their new location. The self-described “Best soup dumpling spot” has over 15k+ followers on Instagram and a loyal customer base. The restaurant’s website writes, “Nan Xiang Express is your neighborhood go-to dim sum spot. Our sister restaurant Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao first opened in 2006 in NYC and immediately made the Michelin Guide for nine years straight.”


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