I just had a great lunch at the Phoenix dumpling house... ordering way too much food for one person but what a happy struggle it was. Five Rol-Aids later I believe I can say that I enjoyed the soup dumplings as much... or more... than the ones I have had in Boston or at Joe's Shanghai in New York. While the volume of broth in each one was not quite as great as in Joe's dumplings, I thought it was richer and had a fresher ginger taste. Also, the skin was thinner and I liked that, although it did contribute to one of the little treasures losing its soupy goodness during transport from the steamer's cabbage leaf leaf liner to my spoon. The broth had a nice pork and sesame oil richness to it, a fresh tang of ginger, all backed up by solid garlic. Shredded fresh ginger came alongside the red vinegar dipping sauce... I thought that was a plus, too, as I had not seen that before. One other difference: the meatball really didn't hold together firmly; rather, it disintegrated into ground meat when one bit into it. This didn't bother me but maybe it would some.
I also had the scallion cake, which some other hounds have not been happy with, I read. Mine, while small, were perfectly crisp, not a whit oily, and very tasty. There were 2 in one order. Also tried the sticky rice in lotus leaf, which was pretty good, nothing too different from any other preparation. The teriyaki grilled eel was the least pleasant; maybe I just found out I don't really like eel. I didn't notice any flavor of grilling, the sauce was very sweet and the flesh unpleasantly mushy and somewhat strong and "fishy."
All in all, though, a tasy way to spend 45 minutes.
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