From northern China, a goddess of dumplings named Sun Le has come to New York, where devotees actually line up outside her home in Queens to buy her wares. Since fall, those dumplings have also been sold at TKettle, an East Village bubble tea shop that proudly touts these snacks from a master chef, six for $4.25 (before tax).
They are as good as advertised, and then some, promises kathryn: “tiny, jewel-like pouches of delicious pork, sea cucumber, and shrimp. Perhaps the size of a half dollar, they come lightly steamed, piping hot. Inside, you can see tiny bits of shrimp peeking out. The filling is wonderful, sweet, fragrant, and spiced with flavors that I’ve never had in a normal dumpling before. I’ve had dumplings in Asia that didn’t even make as strong an impression.”
kobetobiko appreciates the freshness of the meat and the optimal meat/vegetable ratio in the filling, but is less impressed overall. “Nice but not blown-away kind,” she concludes, though a clear step above places like Dumpling Man down the street. “To me the best part was that you can enjoy dumplings at a clean and civilized environment, unlike the ever-so-crowded dumpling places in Chinatown.”
TKettle Drinks [East Village]
26 St. Marks Place (between Second and Third avenues), Manhattan