There's the skin hanging off the roof of your mouth, tears coming to your eyes, ohmygod I just took a bite of a hot slice of cheese pizza burn, and that's a one. And then there's what happens to the inside of your mouth when you dare eat a fresh out of the steamer New Green Bo soup dumpling as soon as it finds its way to your table, and that's a ten.
The kitchen at New Green Bo didn't just content themselves with their explorations of the temperature boundary between gas and plasma, even in the days of the apocryphal million-dollar McDonald's coffee. No, they've even left the consumption of these delicacies to the experience (or ignorance) of the diner. In case you don't know: Lift the dumpling to your spoon, take a bite and then suck out the soup. Finish by greedily devouring the pork and its wrapper from your spoon. Heaven help those who try to eat the entire soup dumpling intact.
The service at New Green Bo is as perfunctory as the decor, in the grand tradition of most great Chinatown restaurants. But you're not there to eat clean tables or friendly waitstaff; You're there for white-hot pork simmering in its own juices within an al dente, but not too chewy, dumpling wrapper. And, though they probably can't take credit for it, the owners were thoughtful enough to be located across the street from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, leaving you with a cool and delicious dessert option once you've had your fill.
My advice: don't miss New Green Bo's soup dumplings, as they are worth the risk of injury, and the winner of the Independent Food Award: Food Worth the Risk of Injury. Be sure to wait a moment before taking your first bite. Just don't wait too long!
New Green Bo, 66 Bayard Street (between Elizabeth and Mott Streets), New York, New York, 212-625-2359.