The pork and crab soup dumplings were wonderful. I worry that I wont find the right thing on the menu, but they just plain out ask if I want the soup dumplings when I sit down. I only need to select which kind. I can do this. Even armed with the technique (courtesy of NancyH, thanks), I make a disaster of the first dumpling. I slurp gamely for a while, then end up with the whole searing dumpling in my mouth. I am too proud to spit it out (and besides, I dont want to let go of it). I am horrified to see the girls behind the counter pantomime my squirrel-puffed cheeks, but at least someone is getting a laugh out of this. I now have a blister in my mouth to balance out the carnage wreaked by my dentist, affectionately know as Slasher, the day before. I settle into a routine of lifting, poking, sipping, incising and enjoying, loving the silky, slippery broth. I love the dipping sauce with its strips of fresh ginger just as much, heavenly stuff this. My last dumpling is nearly as disgracefully executed as my first, although lots cooler. I must be getting cocky.
I have also ordered shredded eel with yellow chives, which is good enough, but not good enough to finish. It improves with the generous addition of the chili sauce on the table, but I am struck by that old devil, the Oh, I shoulda ordered Another time.
I have to confess that I walked afterward to Vietnam Bánh Mi, 369 Broome, to pick up my first Dac Biet to see if it would survive the boat ride home; and in case the dumplings wore off; and because I was there. It seemed to survive well enough, although it would have been better eaten right way, of course. An English bulldog named Casey took a real shine to me on the ride home, too. Half of it made a great midnight snack, and the other half a great breakfast. The Bánh Mi, not the dog.