I'm not sure what the exact name of the place is--the sign above the storefront features three Chinese characters and the words "Dumpling House," though menus or business cards inside read "XSG Dumpling House." Anyway, it's on 53rd St. just east of Eighth Ave. I haven't noticed any other postings on this place; perhaps I'm the first.
I tried the fried dumplings this past weekend and thought they were fantastic--some of the best dollar dumplings I've had anywhere in the city. (In the same neighborhood, I've had dumplings at Kai Feng Fu and Family. In Manhattan, I've tried the usual suspects on Eldridge, Allen, Mosco, Mulberry, etc. Sadly, I don't make it out to Flushing too often.) I will happily eat potstickers from all of these places, but I thought the ones here were particularly good.
They were shaped relatively long and narrow, with a thin and pliant skin, fried just golden crisp on the bottom, housing a flavorful and juicy pork-and-chive filling. An order of four dumplings costs a dollar. With their more delicately textured skin, they seemed a little like a hybrid between Japanese gyoza and the more robust guo tie more common in these dollar-dumpling joints.
Also on the menu, shao bing sandwiches. Rather than the scallions and/or cilantro toppings I'm accustomed to, their version features salad-like toppings: shredded lettuce and carrot, and sliced cucumber, I believe. The top bun was doused with a tart sauce. I tried the beef sandwich on one visit; it was decent, but I could have used a few more slices of beef. The egg and ham I had on another occasion was pretty tasty--not gourmet, by any means--kind of like a Chinese Egg McMuffin.
I've had better niu rou shao bing (I'm still making my mind up about these alternate toppings), but the most notable thing about the sesame pancakes they used here was how fresh they were. Both times I got sandwiches, the pancakes were still warm and steamy; the first time, I actually watched them griddle one right up to order.
Has anyone else tried this place? It's just a few doors down (east) from the busy Eighth Ave. corridor (near the corner where Kokola Cafe is). It's a notch or two cleaner and brighter feeling than yout typical dumpling house (if you care about that sort of thing). I wonder if anybody likes the dumplings as much as I did, and I wonder what others' opinions on the shao bing might be. The proprietors told me it's only been around for a month or two, so maybe people haven't noticed it yet.
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