From Mott to Moonta - Chinese Dumplings in NYC

Dumpling Diaries by Camellia

Having spent most of my time as a student in Adelaide I can tell you a thing or two about social dining in times of permanent financial difficulty. And no, it doesn't involve eating home brand beans on white toast for 5/7 nights a week.

My favourite go-to locations were always around Gouger and Grote streets. The bustle and feel of a middle to upper class dining community peppered with some oh so sweetly cheap and generous Chinatown delights.

Dumplings of course, a staple. I even managed to find a sit down (table service) spot with dishes under $10 (Bing's, get onto it).

Dumplings from Dumpling King

I figured New York would be pretty much the same deal with people constantly yapping about how expensive this place is. I assumed the food prices would match up at a fairly consistent rate. How wrong I was.

Here I discovered wonders beyond comprehension, first, a meal for under $10 was commonplace, then with further exploration a new world of food for $5 and under begun to blow my mind.

Spicy Wontons from Vanessa's Dumplings

15 pan fried pork dumplings for THREE DOLLARS. No catches, no gimmicks. And because of the cultural differences you don’t even reeeeeeally need to tip in Chinatown…. But you should! And why wouldn’t you. So begun the death of my enthusiasm for cooking at home.

A fun spot for something a bit spicy is Vanessa's Dumplings on Eldridge Street in the Lower East Side (where it meets Chinatown). The spicy wonton's are the must-eat here but if you're savvy you can just ask them to add the spicy sauce to any order of dumplings you get - I highly recommend it. Also, they do a mean duck stuffed shallot pancake.

If you’ve visited or lived in the New York city, you might have heard about a little place called Prosperity Dumpling (sadly now in remission). It’s a great spot and a really fun experience, but if you want to avoid the lines and save an extra dollar (a larger margin at such a low price point), then head over to C & L dumplings on Chrystie Street, it’s never got a line, fast/cheap service, seats and tables available and they make the most insanely delicious peanut butter noodles ($2). It’s like the Bing’s of Dumpling King! Go look that up.

Lunch Haul from Prosperity Dumpling

The common texture of the dumplings here often involves a thicker wrapper and a nice fat helping of filling. It’s less common to find the thin-skinned variety, I assume because of regional differences in the bulk of the Chinatown patrons.

The thinner skin variety are sometimes found, but far less often and are usually just made using store bought wonton wrappers, which is a disappointment.

If you feel like dumplings now, please go indulge in some Dumpling King with the spacious and tidy view of Chinatown Mall in sight. Appreciate that the smell of rotting food isn’t wafting past you in 32 degree 100% humidity weather, don’t worry about the extra $6, and this time, be happy that you’re not in New York.

Dumpling King Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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