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Rickshaw Dumplings

In the past, it seems that there were some mixed reviews about this place. I went last night for a quick bite for the first time, mostly interested in sampling the chocolate soup dumplings. I orderd the chicken dumplings with salad, a thai iced coffee and naturally the chocolates. I went around 9 p.m. and there was no wait. The thai iced coffee was pretty standard, though a bit darker than I usually would take it. The dumplings were absolutly delicious (I ordered them pan fried). The dumplings were great on their own but the peanut dipping sauce a fantastic addition. I'm not usually a salad person, but also wasn't in the mood for soup. The salad was fresh, contained some sort of sauteed onion and with the thai peanut dressing, it really was on the whole a very satisfying meal. I only wished they would let you mix the types of dumplings.

After the dumplings, I was a bit full but had to at least try a chocolate dumpling. At first, I thought the texture a bit odd but once I bit in, that sweet, rich perfect chocolate oozed out and it all came together. What a fantastic treat...sinful but if you're a chocolate lover you must try. Does anyone know what type/brand of chocolate they use for the dumpling filling?
My meal totaled $15. Not the cheapest cheap eats but for a full meal, drink and dessert it is for sure cheap in NYC. I can't wait to go back and try the duck dumplings...

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  1. I've only been to Rickshaw once, about a year ago. I think I had pork dumplings and duck dumplings. I thought it was fine, although nothing really special. And even though it's just a block away from my apartment, compared to a subway ride to Chinatown, I have a hard time paying Rickshaw's prices when I know I can hop on the subway and get dumplings that I like better at Dumpling House for a fraction of the price (ignoring, of course, the $4 that I have to pay for the subway, since I don't use an unlimited ride metrocard!).

    1. thai chicken dumplings are good there. However, I can't gedt any of my college buddies to go there because its proximity to Chipotle. For them the comparative price/value ratio is too skewed. Evil, evil Chipotle. Maybe Rickshaw will get more attention now that Shake Shack is a reputed rathole.

      1. I'm with Blumie. I can't bring myself to go there when Chinatown is a quick subway ride away.

        Rickshaw isn'b bad, but a $9 lunch and I leave hungry.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Scott V

          I got to agree. With just a few additional stops, *poof* your in Chinatown. Cheaper and more authentic to boot!

        2. Dumpling Man on St. Marks is excellent and affordable. Shhhh...don't tell too many people. Plus, the owner, Lucas Lim, it such a great guy!

          1. I like Rickshaw, the best thing is their Veggie dumblings in soup. yum.
            Chinatown of course has the real deal, but if you don't eat pork (like me)
            it's really limiting. In most Chinatown spots, the Chicken dumplings are
            still served in a pork broth! Also, Chinatown kitchens don't emphasize
            a separation in preparation, so Rickshaw is a welcome alternative.

            1 Reply
            1. re: kvn

              Agree with you on this one since I'm on a low cholesterol diet and can't eat at someplace like Fried Dumpling that has only pork or shrimp dumplings. This is probably the only context in which something inauthentic and more expensive compared to Chinatown might be excusable.

            2. Again, just to reiterate, I went mainly for the chocolate soup dumplings...not sure if you can find those in Chinatown.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChowDiva

                those chocolate soup dumplings are pretty decadent. yummmy...

              2. as an aside, the green tea milkshake is really good.

                1. I work right next to Rickshaw, although I haven't been in a while. I think the best thing they serve are the chicken dumplings in the sate soup -- spicy, delicious and you can always get some dipping sauce on the side. I agree that Chinatown if always better, and the $4 Metrocard differential probably works out to break-even considering Rickshaw's prices, but it's been a good addition to the neighborhood.

                  1. went for the first time last night. GG Wife and I polished off 30 pan fried and chocolate dumplings (I had 19) and I had the green tea milkshake. Total cost: $31 (plus $20 bucks for cool tee shirt that says Rickshaw on the back and "nice dumplings" on the front-good conversation starter in bars). Verdict: the pork and chive compared favorably with Chinatown (I'm an Eldridge/Fried Dumpling fan-I hate St. Marks Dumpling Man). Wife loved the chicken thai basil. I thought the Peking Duck was best. Shrimp were OK. Chocolate soup dumpling were really Japanese mochi with molten chocolate inside and black sesame seeds outside-brilliant but need only eat one at a time (I had 4). Green tea milkshake had way too much ice and no milk. All in all I liked it and would go back, particularly for the duck and chocolate.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: guttergourmet

                      Went to check out the line at shake shack, obviously too long in this great almost california weather. Went to rickshawinstead and found a long long line too but manageable. Nice Hudson Valley duck dumplings in shiitake mushroom noodle soup. A bit expensive($10+ for 6 dumplings) but definitely tasty. Would like to try the chicken/thai basil in peanut sauce next time. Maybe without the noodle soup.

                      1. re: TBird

                        Vanessa's dumplings are way better.

                        1. re: kcijones001

                          I went last week to rickshaw and I hated it! I ordered the one of each of the dumpling shots. I received the dumplings within a minute and they were not heated evenly. some bites were cold and seemed like they were sitting there for a long time. the sauces were ok the texture of the dumpling and temperature was so off I was hungry but decided wisely to not order more. I love dumplings too I was so disappointed.

                          1. re: Aimliz

                            I went recently also, and thought this place was awful. I had pork dumplings, thin touch skins, tasted like they had been sitting around, tho it was prime lunch crowd. Also had miso soup which was salty to the point of being inedible, and I am a salt nut.

                    2. I like their non traditional dumplings, if i just want run of the mill pork i'll go to prosperity in chinatown (or better yet i have a ton of frozen ones from there at home). i find their pork dumplings to be really salty. I also don't really like the noodles they use in the soup, find them a bit gummy.

                      1. Signs that I should not have bothered tasting the dumplings:

                        1) I should have known better when I walked in and saw the cutesy signs on the wall with all the silly Asian puns on them.

                        2) Then again when I saw that all the photos of dumplings on the walls (which looked halfway decent) were fried, yet they only serve steamed dumplings on the menu.

                        3) Then again when I saw that the menu is your typical pan-Asian highly designed craphole fare (I.E., an obligatory "sezchwan" dish and "thai" dish, which translates to "a little spicier than normal," and "with peanuts").

                        4) When I got my bill and a dozen dumplings plus two drinks came to $19!

                        5) When I saw that rather than making the dumplings fresh, they have giant steamers of them stacked up a half-dozen high in the open kitchen meaning that by the time you get to the ones on the bottom, they are beyond overcooked.

                        6) When the steamed dumplings came on a paper tray with a little jar of sauce straight out of the fridge with a g-od-am sticker that was meant to be stuck on the tray, but was actually stuck on the corner of my dumpling instead.

                        7) When I tried to lift a dumpling off the tray and because it's moist dough on paper, the dough was stuck like glue, causing me to tear open the dumpling.

                        8) When I realized that even though it was torn open, not one drop of juice spilled from the inside of it.

                        Despite all these signs, I ate the dumplings, and they were truly horrible. Dry, overcooked, flavorless.

                        I was so dissappointed and angered by how awful these were that I felt like writing a letter to the management.

                        This is the kind of place where people with no taste go because they can't deal with non-English-speaking waiters in Chinatown. Avoid it at all costs.

                        Rickshaw Dumpling Bar
                        61 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: kenjialt

                          since when do they only serve steamed dunmplings?! I;ve always had pan fried there..HOw is that possible?

                          1. re: smokeandapancake

                            Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the place, but last time I was there, which was pretty recently, they offered all of their dumplings either steamed or fried.

                          2. re: kenjialt

                            This is similar to the new uptown Bahn Mi craze, watered down versions of the real thing for people who do not like the genuine article.