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best chinese dumplings

  • t

anyone have recommendations for the best chinese dumplings??

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  1. Check out Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House, on 86-08 Whitney Ave in Elmhurst. It's a tiny place, and sometimes gets crowded, but you can usually find a seat at one of the counters...

    You can get four amazing, doughy, dripplingly juicy Pork and Chive dumplings for $1.00 (!), and 8 fresh-as-can-be Vegetable dumplings (like the produce was choppeed up in front of my eyes my last time there) for $2.50...

    They also offer frozen dumplings made on premises in packages of 40 (for vegetable) or 50 (for pork) for only $10. Very easy and tasty at-home meal, I've found...

    --jr

    4 Replies
    1. re: James Rogan

      There is a little place beside Flushing Library [I think it's 41st Road [just off Main Street go west].
      Astonishing dumplings - the pork-veg dumplings are so compressed,intense with flavor - it's like they're reward space food after successful EVA.
      like JR's place,it's 4 for $; definitely 8 is enough for quite a meal. Not bad-$2 for a great and sufficient meal?

      1. re: Mi

        They're both my favorite dumpling places in the whole NYC - I like the Flushing place for their guo tei (potstickers) and Lao Bei Fang for the steamed dumplings.

        Also, in Flushing in one of the malls on Main st. Shangdong dumplings - the lady used to mostly sell frozen dumplings from a basement, but now she has a counter and tables.

        1. re: welle

          "in Flushing in one of the malls on Main st. Shangdong dumplings"

          It's the Golden Shopping Mall: 41-28 Main Street, street level floor, not far from the corner of 41st.
          P.

        2. re: Mi

          that place is the one across from the Starbucks? and next door to Chao Zhou (the place with the big noodle bowl on the corner)? they have great dumplin's, shen-jian-bao, shiao-lung-bao and also to-fu-hwa and other goodies. this is one of the original walk-n-eat dumpling places that opened in flushing and still good!

      2. James is right. I've been meaning to say good things about Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House for a while. I've gone there more than any other restaurant since it opened about 4 years ago. The husband and wife team that run the place took over the place more than a year ago from an old man who started it. The old man must have taught them all the tricks because they didn't miss a beat.

        To add to James post. They make my favorite pork & chive fried dumplings in the city. They're perfectly cooked (i.e. crispy and juicy in all the right places).

        For their steamed dumplings, they also make a type of dumpling that is rare in the city - a pork and dill dumpling (called "Hui Xiang" on the menu).

        Another recommendation would be their triple delight dumpling which includes big chunks of shrimp, ground pork, and (I think) chive.

        Their other dishes are alright but all their dumplings are stellar. If they were lifted up and dropped down in the middle of Taipei they would still be regarded as a very good dumpling house, so we're lucky to have them here in Queens.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Dave G

          While everyone raves about the dumplings, I don't think they get enough credit for the beef stew with hand pulled noodles, which is top notch. Don't get me wrong, I have their dumplings in my home freezer. When especially hungry, a bowl of noodles paired with 4 dumplings makes for one of the best meals in Queens for around $5. I prefer their fried dumplings over the steamed (which are actually boiled), but the pork and dill sounds dillicious.

          1. re: Joe MacBu

            i mostly go there for noodles too. also their version of jia jan mein is delicious. but the best thing is this cold chopped pork appetizer with hot peppers and cilantro (they run out fast of it).

            1. re: welle

              Do you know the menu # for the pork appetizer?

              I had the hui xiang dumplings (boiled) last month (tastes like dill, but some say it's fennel). They're extremely addictive. I tried to get some last weekend, but a family had bought it all for Chinese new year. I'll have to stock my freezer with it (50 for $12).

              1. re: Joe MacBu

                I'm not sure if it's on the menu, they usually have a plastic tub of at the window covered with saran wrap. It's hard to miss if they have it. You have to into little chewy bones and ligaments though.

                1. re: welle

                  I'm not so much into little bones, but I'm definitely into ligaments. I was there today to pick up the frozen dumplings, but didn't see the pork appetizer on the menu. I'll look for it next time.

                  1. re: Joe MacBu

                    I went to Lao Bei Fang this past weekend for the first time in months, and they still had the cold pork thing. The thing is though, they had it under the counter and my BF had to ask specifically for it in Mandarin. We got last scraps (still good!), and after us at least 2 chinese people asked for it. They also serve the pork as a sandwich in a sesame bing, maybe you can find that on the menu?

                    1. re: welle

                      Think you could have your BF write out the name of the dish in pinyin?

                      1. re: Joe MacBu

                        Ti Gu Rou - roman approximation. let me know if you still need chinese characters.

          2. re: Dave G

            "...For their steamed dumplings, they also make a type of dumpling that is rare in the city - a pork and dill dumpling (called "Hui Xiang" on the menu). .."

            Tasty Dumplings in Manhattan's Chinatown on Mulberry across the street from the Columbus Park also offers Pork & Dill dumplings..a combination I also like..except that they only offer it frozen for take out, and not for to eat there.

            1. re: Dave G

              Has anybody here actually disliked the hui xiang dumplings? To me, the dill makes it taste too central asian (or eastern european) to me, which is why I prefer the standard napa/pork dumplings.
              On another note, are there any good versions of lamb dumplings? I would like to try those as well.

              1. re: spchang

                i liked the lamb dumplings at best north dumpling shop.

            2. all of my favorite dumpling places are in flushing.

              the best guo tie (pan-fried dumplings) are at shandong dumpling, located on street level inside the golden shopping mall (41-28 main st at 41st road) and at zhu ji guo tie, which is the little stand on 41st ave, 1/2 block west of the starbucks on main street. there's no english on the sign, but you can't miss it - it's the red awning with the chinese characters. they have very good sheng jian bao (pork buns) as well - try to wait for a fresh batch, when they're especially good.

              my favorite boiled dumplings are at best north dumpling shop, which is located inside the prince shopping center on roosevelt ave between prince and main streets. all of the selections are good, but the star is definitely the suon cai and pork dumplings.

              5 Replies
              1. re: surly

                On your suggestion, we tried the sheng jian bao's at that stall today. They were good, but my wife thought the fried bottom was a bit too tough. We still prefer the ones in the J&L mall on 41-82 main better, it's the first stall on the right as you go in, let us know if you ever try them what you think. Although those are 3/dollar as compared to 4/dollar.

                1. re: spchang

                  sorry, didn't see your post until just now.

                  i know that stall at j & l - the first one on the right, which is actually two stalls combined into a single large one, if i'm not mistaken? i believe it's run by some folks from fujian province.

                  my friends and i actually stopped by that stall recently for some sheng jian bao (pork buns). and they were definitely good, albeit much different than the ones at zhu ji guo tie, or most northern chinese dumpling stalls for that matter. we were actually unsure at first if we'd accidentally ordered the wrong thing, but we eventually concluded that these were simply made in a different style.

                  i don't know if like these or the ones at zhu ji guo tie better - it's hard to compare because they're different. but i will say that i never found the fried bottom at the latter to be too tough; if anything i like the crispiness. but i will allow that they taste much better when they're fresh out of the pan. perhaps that accounts for the difference in our experiences.

                  take a look at the first two pictures attached with this post. the sheng jian bao we ended up with at j & l mall were bigger and fluffier than what we're used to, not to mention more lightly seared on the bottom, with just a bit of crispness. very tasty, but also different from what we'd been expecting. are these the same ones that you're referring to? and if so, is this a typical way to make these buns in fujian province and/or taiwan?

                  the latter two photos are of stall's signs. the first one is, presumably, the name of the business, while the second includes both the name as well as the full menu.

                  i also ordered a bing at this stall, but will post a description and pictures on a different, existing j & l mall thread ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/339644 ) so as to keep this one focused solely on dumplings.

                   
                   
                   
                   
                  1. re: surly

                    That's indeed the place and you did get the correct items. In honesty, I found the zhu ji guo tie place's sheng qian bao to be more like taiwanese style. The ones in taiwan were good, but had to be eaten straight off the pan similar to your suggestion. This was part of the reason that I was impressed by the j&l mall version, they seemed to last better than I expected. Although to be honest, they used to be crispier than the last batch I got, so maybe they're cook has changed or at least changed how crispy they make them.

                    Incidentally, these baos actually reheat okay via a mixed microwave/pan cooking method. Microwave for a minute in a bag and then using a cast iron skillet, pan fry in a small amount of oil until crisp on the bottom. About as good as fresh.

                    1. re: spchang

                      wow, good to know. especially the part about how the j & l buns reheat well. thanks for the tip.

                      have you tried anything else from this stall?

                      1. re: surly

                        Only their steamed napa & pork buns. The filling is nice, but there is too little of it. So it's mostly bread with a little bit of meat. Although if you (like me) really enjoy bun dough soaked in pork juice and don't care as much for the meat itself, it might be your thing. Nothing else really caught my eye.

              2. You should check out Joe's Shanghai. They're known for their soup dumplings.

                http://damnedgoodfood.blogspot.com

                1. The best dumplings I've ever had are in the tri-state area, but not in the 5 boroughs. Petite Soo Chow, in Cliffside Park, NJ (just over the GWB) has great soup dumplings and fried dumplings. The soup dumplings are made fresh to order.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Matt M.

                    pettie soochow's soup dumplings are definitely the best we've had in the ny/nj region of late. definitely better than any of the joe's shanghai locations as well the other places we've tried in chinatown, flushing, and elsewhere. joe's has definitely declined since its heyday, to the point where noodle house (nanxiang xiaolong bao) on prince street is probably a little better.

                    actually, there's this newish place on 40th rd between prince and main that has a hilarious sign - it says something to the effect of "we have better soup dumplings than j..'s". hmm, i wonder who "j..'s" could be? LOL. i guess they don't want to be sued.

                    my friend went into that place recently and said that their soup dumplings were ok, perhaps on the level of joe's, but nothing special. ultimately, though, we both like pettie soochow much better any of these places.

                  2. does anyone know where to get really good steamed bbq pork buns in brooklyn? even better...anyone know where to get them for my home freezer?