Monday, September 1, 2014

Dumpling Domination

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


Tasty Dumpling on Urbanspoon Prosperity Dumpling on Urbanspoon Vanessa's Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

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Comments

24 Responses to “Dumpling Domination”
  1. TT says:

    I can haz dumplingz?

  2. Monique says:

    I used to frequent tasty dumpling pretty often since its right next to my office but got really tired of them. Started going to Fried dumpling around the corner which is the 5 for $1, but poorly made. I hear good things about prosperity- might have to give them a try.

    also, even though its been years since i have had it, i have good memories of tasty’s wonton soup…. and scallion pancakes. But im not expert lol.

    • Experts are made from repetition! The only reason I know a lot about dumplings is because I eat them constantly. Just start ordering something every time you see it on the menu and you’ll be expert in no time; that’s how I brought myself up to speed with banh mi, banana pudding, fried pickles…

  3. lia says:

    you need to try the fried dumplings at T&T Restaurant (fu zhou food). It is in the same plaza as gold city supermarket on kissena blvd in flushing. It is small but the food is nice and hearty (don’t order the stir fry noodle/rice cake stuff, they are nothing special). instead order their cheaper small eats stuff off the menu. (buns, taro cake, oyster cake, etc are good too) best thing: no tipping~

  4. CG says:

    Although, I haven’t been back there for a while since moving to Queens, I have to say Prosperity is pretty good.
    Just a little note on pricing, Tasty & Vanessa’s prices are the same.
    5 for $1.25 vs 4 for $1.00?

    • Whoops- I usually write the posts first and edit later, and my original draft, I remembered the prices wrong… so when I cleaned it up later, I removed parts of those references but not all of them. Thanks – I’ll fix that!

  5. Hungry says:

    I’m glad we decided to skip dinner after the last dumpling place. Too full. And darn rain.

  6. eric says:

    Going to agree with you on prosperity over Vanessa’s, though the new prosperity on Clinton St. Is much more hygienic than eldridge. Lets just say I’m not easily grossed out but I am never going back to eldridge locale.

    Vanessa’s does have superior noodle soup and seasame pancakes ( beef stew noodle soup minus cilantro and duck pancake highly recommended.) Prosperity only does fried dumplings well. Rest is vastly lacking.

    • Glad you agree with me, dear :P I don’t want to know about how dirty it is… they had their letter grade up, it must not have been so bad for me to notice! But yes, I know how much it takes to gross you out (cough… cough)… so don’t tell me!

      Thankfully, this is a dumpling round-up, so other foods didn’t sway any decisions :)

  7. Darren says:

    You should try Lam Zhou on E Broadway too. Their dumplings rank near Prosperity’s and they have more seating as well as delicious hand-pullled noodles. However, they can’t beat the 5 for $1. I think LZ runs about $3.50 for 12.

    • Hi Darren! This was solely for places with dumplings as the focal point of their menu; I actually agree completely that Lam Zhou has better dumplings properly fried (the other people with me that night were probably sick of me saying that, haha). Lam Zhou’s price point was the same when I went – $3 for 12, so 4/$1 (though I don’t think they let you order just 4) and the same price as Vanessa’s. I’d just eat all 12 and call it a night… actually the first time I went, I ate all 12 and a bowl of hand pulled noodles, all for lunch by myself and went back to work… hahaha! Thanks for the info – look for a more comprehensive dumpling write up SOON!!! :)

      • Darren says:

        Oh I totally took myself on a dumpling crawl one day. Lam Zhou was my last real stop. [Tasty Dumpling, Fried Dumpling on Mosco Street, Vanessa's, Prosperity, LZ... and then some dumpling waste of time on Allen]. At Lam Zhou, I ordered the dumplings and could not resist a bowl of the beef hand pulled noodles. I was not disappointed. They were both delicious and they have all the sauces you could want.

  8. T.C. says:

    Damn that downpour that night. Oh well, free shower!

    Dumplings outing was cool. Prosperity was very good.
    Boiled ones at Tasty were terrible. Blergh.

  9. Skippymom says:

    I guess it is just me [and yes I am juvenile] but the word “meatwad” makes me giggle and I SO have to figure out how to work it into a sentence.

    Thanks Yvo.

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  1. [...] dumplings), and that would have helped my impression of them, but as it was, I’d recently Dominated Dumplings in Chinatown, so these had nary a chance to [...]

  2. [...] done with friends where we just pick 3-5 places and walk around the city, eating one type of food (dumplings, hand pulled noodles, cheesesteaks [ok that's a different city and involved driving], fried [...]



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