I realized recently that I wasn’t quite sure where to get dumplings in Chinatown. I mean, I know where to get dumplings, but I didn’t know where the BEST ones were. I know where to get the BEST dumplings in Flushing, but… I needed a dumpling crawl to get my bearings and figure out which place to pledge allegiance to. The FBMers were more than happy to join – this time Hungry, TC, and BeerBoor were the participants.
Our first stop was Tasty Dumpling. I’d asked around and this was the only place I hadn’t heard of in the past; the other places, everyone talks about.
Once we went in, I was surprised; despite the small space, it was pretty popular and there were a lot of people ordering dumplings. They were out of the pork & cabbage dumplings, so we all ordered pork&chive dumplings, fried.
The order came out quickly – 5 dumpings for a mere $1.25 – and each dumpling was fried properly with a crisp bottom.
However, the flavor was lacking a little bit, and the skin a bit too thick. The meatwads could have been juicier, which was fixed with a quick dip in the dumpling sauce found in the bottles on the table, but … eh.
We also opted to try the boiled pork&cabbage dumplings, figuring that the innards would be the same as the fried pork&cabbage ones, except… you know, boiled.
They were not good. Actually, they were pretty terrible. Thick skins that were mushy, soggy from the boiling, and the inside was incredibly bland. The others were adding hot sauce to make them better, but I opted to just not eat anymore.
Our next stop was Prosperity dumpling, where I’ve heard many people say have the best Chinatown dumplings. Another tiny hole – even smaller than Tasty Dumpling, actually.
The pork&chive dumplings here were 5 for $1 (!!!) – yeah, you thought Tasty Dumpling was cheap; Prosperity is cheaper. Again, properly fried.
The skins were thinner, and the innards were juicy, tasty. These didn’t require any sauce. I really enjoyed these – I also got a cold soy milk (housemade) that was refreshing, though unsweetened – so be warned if you get it, it’s not sweet. The dumplings were much better than the Tasty Dumplings.
No outside photo because it’d started raining steadily by this time, but our next and last stop was Vanessa Dumpling, just down the street from Prosperity, and another place that people talk about all the time. In fact, I posted briefly about the 14th Street location when I posted about Crocodile Lounge, and TT has posted about the 14th Street location itself as well.
Vanessa’s was by far the largest of the three places, with an actual full menu of other items as well. We stuck to dumplings though, as we were starting to get full… Since they had both pork&cabbage and pork&chives, though, I split an order of each with BeerBoor. Pork and cabbage first, which I thought were alright.
Then the pork&chives. These were fried alright – I dislike it when they stick and the skin rips.
These were better than the pork&cabbage in my opinion, but I tend to prefer pork&chives (which I find more flavorful in terms of dumplings, though I like cabbage in general) anyway. They still needed a bit of vinegar (as you can see on my plate), so though these had more chives than any of the other places, the flavor was muted. The skins also weren’t quite as good as Prosperity’s.
After we left Vanessa Dumplings, the skies opened up and it poured torrentially on our walk to the train. Eek.
Yvo says: While each place had its good points (Vanessa had the biggest seating area and an actual full menu of food items; Prosperity had easily the best dumplings, and were the cheapest), there was one clear winner. Prosperity Dumplings had the best dumplings in terms of overall taste and you can’t beat that price point. Yum!
all are good in their own ways, but Prosperity Dumplings had the best of the bunch