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Sep 22, 2007 03:35 PM

Forget Rickshaw Dumpling on 8th St.

What a disaster! Especially after the anticipation while they opened months behind schedule.Why did a friend tell me ( the other branch) wasn't bad? I ventured into the 8th st. one and got some of the steamed "szechuan chicken" ones. You can order them just in a container, in soup or on a sald. The salad looked really dry and aged, so I went with the simple unembellished dumplings. Basically cold, maybe one degree toward tepid, they were really hard, with the edges the consistency of dry cardboard. I guess the idea is, once they're in the soup they'll warm up. The chili vinaigrette looked right, with a color that promised some chili oil, but once I poured it, I discovered it was this watery yuck, with no real kick. A large group of young Asian college kids were at a table trying various fare. They were laughing and groaning at how bad it was. I wish I'd gone across the street, for the small steamed dumplings at Cafetasia, which have a little garlic flavor and perfect consistency.I mistakenly thought if a place specializes in dumplings, they'd be better than at an all around restaurant. Wrong! Also, you surrender your receipt when you go to the pick-up window, so you have no recourse when you come back after discovering the dumplings are cold and revolting. The staff was totally green and clueless. They had a medium long line and only one register was open. A girl was trying to get the second one up and running, unsuccessfully. The manager was staring vacantly as he counted out a bunch of ones he had just gotten with which to make change.This was at 8! Gee, you might've wanted to think of that before you opened.

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  1. I agree. I went to the 23st branch soon after it was opened. Nothing special. And I never went back. Although, passing by there every day, I do see that they are busy.

    1. I'm sorry to hear the new location is such a disaster. I've picked up food from the 23rd st location many times, and have always found it to be tasty and consistent. Your cold, dry dumplings are definitely not how they should have been, ie, they don't use the soup to warm them up. I would travel with an order of the dumplings w/ salad from 23rd st on the subway at night to the west village, and they were always still hot when I got home. You also get to keep your receipt at the other place.

      Sounds like they need a few extra weeks for training on 8th st... I'm definitely going to wait.

      1. There are plenty of fast food-style places where you don't walk away with a receipt. I have never known that from preventing anyone from seeking redress for bad food.

        1. While doing the touristy thing last Summer, my daughter had a strong desire to try Richshaw and she especially loved it, but I liked it too! Sorry to hear the new one doesn't measure up...and about the original one not to your liking

          1. Even the 23rd st branch is quite mediocre in my opinion. I was disappointed by how bland and overly thick the wrappers on the dumplings were, and the broth was salty and flavorless. If you go here expecting something like Dumpling Man (which is far superior), you'll be sorely disappointed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jeanki

              I respect everyone's opinion regarding Rickshaw v. Dumpling Man v. whatever, but do you really think that Rickshaw's wrappers are thicker than Dumping Man? I've eaten at both several times, and the one thing that I like about Rickshaw is that the skins are quite thin. I don't know how anyone could think the opposite...

              1. re: jakew8

                I reiterate, the wrappers for the standard pork dumpling that I had were DEFINITELY thick and doughy, unlike the dumpling man ones i had which are more like typical chinatown dim sum style ones. perhaps i got a bad batch, but I was not hallucinating. but i agree with the comment below that perhaps the fusion ones at rickshaw are better, which i have not tried yet.