From Carroll Gardens to Park Slope, the Chinese restaurants of Brownstone Brooklyn have long set the bar depressingly low. This spring, though, there's cause for hope. Dumplings & Things—which opened last month with a snackish menu of noodles, stuffed bao, and, of course, dumplings—is the first decent Chinese place in the Slope in many years, says Barry Strugatz.
He recommends pork belly bao, pork-and-cabbage steamed dumplings, and braised beef or pork belly with noodles (go with wheat, not rice, he suggests). Miss Needle, who likes the wontons in hot oil, is "happy to have them in the neighborhood." Some fault mushy noodles and bland, sparse dumpling fillings. But remember, guys, you're not in Flushing. "Not the best Chinese food in the universe," as Barry sizes up Dumplings & Things, "but maybe the best in P.S."
By the neighborhood standard, Sun Luck does the job for araess, coming through with clean, tasty Chinese cooking at a fair price. Among other things, choy sum with black mushroom and sub-gum wonton soup (thickish skins but otherwise not bad) make this his local go-to spot. "Granted they do add Western veggies as filler," araess notes, "but this is good Americanized takeout—better than the others I have had in the Slope area."
And Miss Needle, who's learned the importance of selective ordering, has sniffed out a smart takeout pick at Red Hot: chow mein Chinatown style, which comes with the sauce packed separately so the pan-fried noodles won't get soggy. "Mind you," she advises, "it's not destination food—you'll find better renditions in the Ctowns. But if you're looking to stay in the neighborhood, that dish is not a bad choice."
Dumplings & Things [Park Slope]
375 Fifth Avenue (at Sixth Street), Brooklyn
Sun Luck [Park Slope]
197 Fifth Avenue (between Union Street and Berkeley Place), Brooklyn
Red Hot [Park Slope]
349 Seventh Avenue (at 10th Street), Brooklyn