Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Small Flushing Dumpling Crawl

Regrets in life:
1. Not going to Flushing enough
2. Not having a big enough stomach to eat everything in Flushing

Anybody who is anybody should go to Flushing and do a dumpling crawl.  Like get on all fours.  Go spot to spot.  Ignore weird looks.  Devour too many dumplings.

The gang met up in Flushing ages ago (too long ago), and this was what we ate:

1. Tianjin Dumpling House - Golden Shopping Mall (home of the original Xian Famous Foods)

Tianjin makes dumplings to order, which is the coolest thing you can imagine, and which we would definitely have to try next time - I mean, squid dumpling can be a reality?!

And while they offer a variety of prepared foods like duck heads and innards, we stuck to the dumpling menu, which had several options, including their famous lamb and squash dumplings, which no one was game for (pun intended as always),

and instead stuck with the classics of the egg and glass noodle dumplings

were light and lovely, tasting so, so healthy.

The pork and chive which always, always hits the spot, especially with the slightly thicker and chewy wrapper here that was quite delicious.

Ask for a side of their house sauce which is just pure garlicky goodness that adds a spicy punch to every bite.

The quintessential chili oil is a great complement too.

We enjoyed the golden blobs of pumpkin sesame balls, served in a very slightly sweetened broth,

perfect glutinous chew and satisfying ground black sesame.

2. We also tried a bit of the pork dumplings at Lan Zhou, which took some convincing to get a plate of.  These dumplings had a bit more funk, reminiscent of red wine and a thinner wrapper, which makes them go down all more easily, but I did prefer the chewy pork from Tianjin.

3.  We took a stroll around the block to White Bear, a literal hole-in-the-wall 

manned by a husband and wife team who just churns out

these gloriously white beauts.

The dumplings are more like rounds of pork wrapped in pristine rice crepes and dressed only in gritty spice, vinegar and chili oil.  It's not as spicy as it looks, but it's as tasty as you can imagine.  Completely unique texture than any other dumpling you've ever had, it's definitely recommended as your destination dumpling.

4.  We made our final stop at Sifu Chio, renowned for their authentic Hong Kong style noodles and wonton.  Our vegetarian eater opted for coconut tapioca pudding (cold and creamy)

while we tackled a couple bowls of wonton noodles with the brainy dumplings I attribute to Hong Kong.

Upon first bite, you'll find a large shrimp hugging its little ground pork friend for dear life, making it a terrific little turf and surf dumpling to devour.

The broth and noodles, lovely with a few healthy spoonfuls of chili sauce, and tasted pretty close to the bowls I had in Hong Kong (*sigh* of happy remembrance!).

Every time I go to Flushing, I'm reminded how much I love it, how much I need to visit it more often, and how great Chinese food really can be.

Tianjin Dumpling House
Basement Store #33, 41-28 Main St, Flushing, NY 11355

Lan Zhou Noodle
41-28 Main St Flushing, NY 11355

White Bear
135-02 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354

Sifu Chio
40-09 Prince St Flushing, NY 11354

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