Inspired by Yos original Soup Dumplings post I went to the Phoenix Dumpling House a little over a week ago around 9:30, place was fairly crowded and I was the only non Asian. Ive eaten soup dumplings from the three, I am aware of, Chicago places they are available, Ed's, Moon Palace and Phoenix Dumpling House and find PDH the current leader of the pack.
I found PDHs soup dumpling skin a bit more 'refined', lighter than both Ed's and MP, but in no way fragile, and there is a significant 'burst' of soup. In fact the first dumpling I ate was so soupy and so hot that I was taken somewhat by surprise by the intensity.
My only minor criticism of PDH would be the fact that the slivered ginger was tired, old, verging on dried out and neutral tasting. Well, that and the fact that the waitress would have preferred my ordering egg roll and fried rice, she seemed certain that I would not enjoy soup dumplings. She actually came over to warn me when I reached for the chili oil,
I also had an order of Shanghai meat and vegetable dumpling, which was served in a bowl of light chicken broth and steamed sticky-rice roll. The rice roll was short grain rice filled with dry shredded pork and, as Vital Info would say, Chinese donut (what is typically served with congee) and the occasional small piece of pickle.
Physically PDH is modest, though service is brisk and the open kitchen, which I wish was visible from more of the room, is a treat. I am looking forward to many visits to PDH, though in conjunction with Eds, not the exclusion.
Phoenix Dumpling House
2131 S. Archer Ave.