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Any one check out Eton for dumplings yet?

deepyarn Jun 25, 2008 08:54 AM

There is a new handmade dumpling spot called Eton on Sackett just off Henry. Has anyone tried them yet?

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/restau...

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    sarapeater RE: deepyarn Jun 26, 2008 10:22 AM

    it opens July 1st

    7 Replies
    1. re: sarapeater
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      ssy216 RE: sarapeater Jun 27, 2008 04:51 AM

      Haven't tried them yet but I've heard good stuff so far...def going to the grand opening on july 1... Here's an interview with Eton Chan:

      After a brief stint as a broker in Manhattan, Eton Chan enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in Soho. Upon completion of his courses at the institute, he began his hands-on training in the culinary world by working first at En Japanese Brasserie, and then soon graduated to Cafe Gray and then Asiate at the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel. Most recently, Chan was at Southgate at Jumeirah Essex House. With such an impressive resume of culinary endeavors under his belt, one can't help but ask what initially sparked his interest in food and where his focus lies. Chan replies, "I grew up watching the chefs at my parents' restaurant make dumplings since I was young". He continues, "I've always known that I wanted to focus on Asian cuisine based on French techniques".

      He ultimately decided to concentrate on great tasting Asian street foods. The menu at Eton is short and simple. Customers have the option of choosing from three different dumpling options, four hand-pulled noodle options, and shave ice with a variety of flavors and toppings.

      As for the dumplings, Chan says, "I started making them for my wife, Krista, at home. Then I would make it for the cooks at Asiate and they would eat them up, even the chef liked them". He also started making the dumplings for the clients at his catering business and they enjoyed them as well. Soon, it became apparent his home-made dumplings were addictively popular among friends and family. Chan wanted to take his passion for cooking, and the food, to the next level.

      "So...here I am, with a product that my wife and I think would be a great seller; how can we bring it out?" Ultimately, Eton decided on a concept of selling dumplings with shave ice and hand-pulled noodles. "We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and fell in love with Hawaiian shave ice". Feeling as though there was a lack of presence of shave ice in New York, Chan said to himself: "Why not combine all these foods in one shop? Who says you can't?" And so he did, just in time for summer. The rest of the story will continue on July 1st, 2008 at 3:00 PM at Eton in Carroll Gardens.

      Eton Grand Opening:
      Tuesday July 1, 2008 - 3PM
      205 Sackett St at Henry St, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

      1. re: ssy216
        deepyarn RE: ssy216 Jun 27, 2008 07:00 AM

        Thanks for the heads up, it looks like a great addition to the neighborhood.

        1. re: ssy216
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          contempt RE: ssy216 Jun 27, 2008 12:20 PM

          I'm more excited by the shaved ice! I haven't had great shaved ice since a small hole in the wall place in Baltimore. If he offers marshamallow fluff as a topping, it's the real thing. (yeah, it sounds gross but it's good).

          The only peculiarity with Eton will be the location. He's taken over that old pharmacy/notary space that looks tiny. But the proximity to Naidres should help draw them in.

          1. re: contempt
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            the_state RE: contempt Jun 27, 2008 02:20 PM

            oh wow, i didn't realize that was the space. i feel like i just passed that place and saw it boarded up w/ piles of junk on the inside. given the time frame it's gonna be a bare bones operation, design wise. not that i care, i'm glad to have something that's not another sushi, thai, italian bakery or pizza place in the area. a welcomed addition!

            1. re: the_state
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              the_state RE: the_state Jun 30, 2008 08:51 AM

              i'm thinking of a diff place (spot on henry, directly across from naidre's front door).

              regardless, i'm excited to check out eton this week. it could be bad news for me, living 1.5 blocks away...

              1. re: the_state
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                chow_gal RE: the_state Jul 2, 2008 06:18 AM

                That's not it. As noted, it is on Sackett (205), not Henry. I ran by it this morning. Opposite side of Sackett Street that Naidre's occupies, between Henry and Hicks, closer to Henry.

                1. re: chow_gal
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                  the_state RE: chow_gal Jul 2, 2008 11:51 PM

                  yeah i kinda figured that out. see mini review below :)

      2. t
        the_state RE: deepyarn Jul 1, 2008 07:51 PM

        swung by eton tonight. they were having an opening party and giving away free food. the menu is very small, only serving 3 types of dumpings (pork & beef, chicken & mushroom, and tofu w/ lentil & mushroom), and shaved ice (really nice, plenty of flavors - standard american fruity sugary stuff and semi exotic asian flavors... cool toppings - mochi, red bean, condensed milk, fruit, etc).

        they were giving away pork dumplings (very tasty) and shaved ice w/ syrup (very refreshing, not too sweet). prices are a little high, at $3.50 for 5 dumplings and $3.75 for ices, but the quality is definitely there. hours are 11:30-11:30 everyday, which is great for an area where bodegas close at 10pm.

        3 Replies
        1. re: the_state
          Puppimus RE: the_state Jul 3, 2008 10:45 AM

          Hey State, what about the hand-pulled noodles they advertised during construction? Did you see any sign of those? Are they going to be in soups?

          1. re: Puppimus
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            seb RE: Puppimus Jul 3, 2008 11:39 AM

            the NYT (I think) said that the noodles will arrive when the weather is colder

            1. re: Puppimus
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              the_state RE: Puppimus Jul 3, 2008 12:53 PM

              according to the little menus that were handed out, soups are "seasonal". guess that means we'll have to wait until the fall (which is fine with me... i'd much rather have shaved ice than hot soup at this time of year).

          2. c
            curly30 RE: deepyarn Jul 3, 2008 03:02 PM

            Tried Eton last night with a few friends and we were in dumpling heaven! It's kind of a brilliant concept--with its unlikely pairing of (short) menu items. There were no noodles and no tofu/lentil dumplings. But most of us ordered the pork/beef dumplings, and we were not disappointed. They were truly made to order--I'm not sure whether that was intentional as we hit during a rush and soon after they ran out of shaved ice. But the brief wait was well worth it--fresh, juicy, tasty goodness. Perfectly browned. We couldn't try the shaved ice because the aforementioned depleted supply, but I wasn't too disappointed. The dumplings are what will keep me coming back, personally, and II will definitely be back, and often.

            3 Replies
            1. re: curly30
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              contempt RE: curly30 Jul 4, 2008 05:49 AM

              If you loved their dumplings, you'll love their shaved ice. I thought the shaved ice was even better! About 15 different flavors and lots of toppings like ice cream, red beans, mochi, etc. The syrups they use aren't too sugary and the ice is perfectly shaved and melts on the tongue. They'll definitely do well in the summer time heat.

              Also, it's turning into a great place for kids. The shaved ice comes in these plastic "flowery" cups that the kids can save for building sand castles of playing at the local playground sprinklers.

              1. re: contempt
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                seb RE: contempt Jul 7, 2008 06:20 AM

                I have to disagree. I loved the dumplings when we went on Sat. night, but could not eat more than 3 bites of the shave ice. The syrup hurt my teeth it was so sweet (we tried pineapple & coconut) and in an unnatural way. The staff was really nice, but the cashier was a little spacey. She was just standing at the register, staring out the window, while every table was dirty. She finally came out with a bar rag after we started wiping down our own table. But, the dumplings were excellent!

                1. re: seb
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                  artichokeheart RE: seb Jul 7, 2008 08:18 AM

                  I picked up some dumplings for lunch yesterday. I got the beef/pork dumplings and the vegetable dumplings. They were great. The owner said the soups would start in September, when the weather is consistently colder. I need to go back and try the shaved ice. I think it's a great, quality addition to the neighborhood. I just wished they did delivery.

                  http://artichokeheart.wordpress.com

            2. g
              gangly handful RE: deepyarn Jul 8, 2008 10:49 AM

              Tried the chicken and pork/beef dumplings last week. Both were excellent. They have a lot of juice in them, which tends to explode out of the dumplings. Maybe this attests to how fresh they are. I'll be back.

              4 Replies
              1. re: gangly handful
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                bhill RE: gangly handful Jul 8, 2008 11:26 AM

                mmmm... sounds like soup dumplings.

                Are they round or crescent-shaped?

                1. re: bhill
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                  gangly handful RE: bhill Jul 8, 2008 11:43 AM

                  I wouldn't call them soup dumplings in the traditional sense. They're not injected with soup and I don't think you could really eat them in the same way (i.e., bite off top, slurp out soup, eat delicious remnants). They're just really juicy.

                  They are more round than crescent, more like a large shumai than a potsticker.

                  1. re: gangly handful
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                    sarapeater RE: gangly handful Jul 9, 2008 05:39 AM

                    the dumplings at Eton are potstickers

                    1. re: sarapeater
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                      gangly handful RE: sarapeater Jul 9, 2008 07:31 AM

                      Oh, you're right of course. I was just describing the shape, which i think is more rounded than your typical potsticker. No doubt, they cook like potstickers.

              2. v
                venezuelan RE: deepyarn Jul 8, 2008 11:51 AM

                Went here on Sunday, didnt get the dumplings but tried the shaved ice, which was great!
                I'll def be going back, def need to try the veg dumplings next!
                Even better that they're open until 11:30!

                3 Replies
                1. re: venezuelan
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                  oswaldb12 RE: venezuelan Jul 8, 2008 02:32 PM

                  We went the other night & had the dumplings (don't forget to sample the condiments). All three varieties were remarkably light tasting, yet filling. Highly recommended. Eton (a really nice & helpful guy) says they will be getting a much needed phone soon. A great addition to the neighborhood.

                  1. re: oswaldb12
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                    contempt RE: oswaldb12 Jul 9, 2008 09:51 AM

                    Does getting a phone mean Take Out service soon? The only negative would be the wait, since they're making it fresh while you're there (in addition to the other people who ordered before you).

                    1. re: contempt
                      o
                      oswaldb12 RE: contempt Jul 9, 2008 02:09 PM

                      I think the phone is for take out....seems like a few of the kinks are being worked out.

                2. r
                  robotcoupe RE: deepyarn Jul 9, 2008 10:08 AM

                  I tried them yesterday. Just sampled the beef/pork. Very tasty, nicely seasoned, super fresh. I don't know if they were supposed to be browned, but mine were more steamed than pan fried with just a bit of color. My only issue was with the packaging. They came in a styrofoam clamshell container (I had them to-go and ate them immediately outside). It was not the ideal container because the dumplings were sort of crammed in it and tore when separated. Also the container was awkward to eat from when you add in the sauce bit. I managed to spill the sauce and almost lost the dumplings. Still, torn or not, maybe a bit awkward to eat, they were delicious.

                  I did not really think much of the shaved ice. I had green tea. Found it to be a bit cloying but I tend not to like sweet drinks, so perhaps I just didn't get it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: robotcoupe
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                    oswaldb12 RE: robotcoupe Jul 9, 2008 02:05 PM

                    They're supposed to be brown on the bottom..they're lightly pan fried & then steamed. I agree a different (& more eco-friendly) packaging would be great.

                    I haven't tasted the shave ice (as in Hawaiian shave ice...not shaved).

                  2. o
                    Old Spice RE: deepyarn Jul 12, 2008 06:16 PM

                    Checked out Eton's dumplings today. Very good. While I loved the filling (I chose the pork, beef, and cabbage version), I was just thrilled to find a local dumpling where the wrapping was thin and tender. Not the usual thick, leathery stuff. Nice sauces too. I picked up ginger-vinegar and a spicey chili sauce. Will definitely try the chicken and vegetable/tofu versions.

                    And the people working there were very nice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Old Spice
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                      geezoh RE: Old Spice Jul 13, 2008 06:09 PM

                      We also went this weekend- great dumplings that we watched being made, awesome spicy plum dipping sauce. So excited to have another under $5 lunch option!!!

                    2. a
                      abr269 RE: deepyarn Jul 15, 2008 09:53 AM

                      went to eton TWICE over the weekend (once by myself to scope it out, once with a friend who was DYING to go and wanted to split all the different kinds).

                      the dumplings were always made fresh right after we ordered. the meat in both the pork/beef and chicken was juicy, flavorful and extremely fresh. i wish there had been more mushrooms in the chicken ones but the owner said they were still working on how much of each ingredient to order. overall 9.5/10. as was said before the dough was not too thick and not to thin, and complimented the generous portions. they were perfectly seared / steamed, nice and warm, and GIGANTIC.

                      an order of five was definitely enough to leave me full and happy. oh don't forget to try the plum sauce!

                      eton is sure to make lots of CG/CH residents happy (and full) for a very long time. it was lovely to see so many smiling faces coming in and out. people even thums up-ed on their way by. great experience over all.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: abr269
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                        MShapiro RE: abr269 Jul 15, 2008 12:31 PM

                        GIGANTIC - please explain? Other posters made it sound like they're the size of pot stickers, albeit very good ones.

                        1. re: MShapiro
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                          jmh RE: MShapiro Jul 15, 2008 02:13 PM

                          Gigantic is probably a bit of an overstatement -- they are inded about the same size as regular pot stickers. At 5 for $3.50, though, it's a generous serving for the price.

                          1. re: MShapiro
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                            abr269 RE: MShapiro Jul 19, 2008 10:19 AM

                            the dumplings were much larger than your average 5-for-1 in chinatown, rickshaw dumpling etc. they were more on par with dumpling man in the east village - which i think are much larger than a regular pot sticker/dumpling.

                        2. j
                          jmh RE: deepyarn Jul 15, 2008 10:31 AM

                          Another thumbs up for Eton. Went in last night after dinner to try the shaved ice, and we decided we could find room for an order of dumplings as well. We did the beef/pork dumplings. They were very fresh and flavorful, as reported, and cooked to order. The shaved ice was good too -- a little on the syrupy sweet side, but nothing wrong with syrupy sometimes.

                          I like this place. The model could not be simpler, but everything is executed well and the people are very pleasant. Great addition to the neighborhood.

                          1. n
                            nvo RE: deepyarn Jul 21, 2008 06:15 PM

                            Love the place. We've eaten/snacked there several times per week, and it's interesting to see the fine tuning on the dumplings since 'day 1':

                            Overall, the wrapper have gotten even more delicate in the past two weeks, which might be the reason why the chicken- and meat-dumplings had to cut back on the soupy juice ... they have to walk a fine line, otherwise the little guys burst open during preparation.

                            I am not sure if they have gotten saltier, but sometimes i wish they had a tad less salt so that i could enjoy all the different dipping sauces.

                            Great news for us regulars: Eaton now serves a 'seasonal' dumpling in addition to his 3 standard types. Flavor of this week: mushroom!

                            Also, they switched to more environmentally friendly paper bowls and takeout boxes. And their new pre-order phone number is: 718-222-2999

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nvo
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                              JonL RE: nvo Jul 22, 2008 01:00 PM

                              There is not much to add and I bore myself with a "me too" but....picked up a double order to go this afternoon. Pork/beef and chicken/mushroom. It is no reflection on the serving size that I ordered two orders---I'm just a pig. A very hungry one who loves dumplings. They were lovely. Semi-translucent wrapper. Very well-stuffed---nice amount of filling. I would not describe what I had today as juicy. Pretty solid. The beef/pork were actually a bit dense. I don't know my stuff well enough to diagnose it but it seemed to me that it would have benefited from more cabbage (which I say only because I believe that's an ingredient) to loosen the filling up a bit. A very solid mass of ground meat. I will be back without hesitation---these were not a problem at all. Tough call which dips to use---I took home one of each and mixed & matched although ultimately I don't think there is a better match in the world than a dumpling and a vinegar sauce.
                              My thanks to Eton for a job well done and to his mom for her nice welcome to the shop.

                            2. Ljubitca RE: deepyarn Jul 22, 2008 07:00 PM

                              I am going to be a partial debbie downer so be forewarned.

                              But the good news first
                              -They are lovely people
                              -The site is lovely

                              And my gripe, they served the vegetarian dumplings and the pork ones in the same container. This to me is sort of well - a crime. The whole point of the difference is that these items are well different - the veggie was for me who doesnt eat meat the the pork for my husband. I couldnt contain my awe when coming to pick up my takeway order - the worst was that I then felt like I couldnt make them feel bad about it because they were so nice. But they didnt seperate them for me and I did confuse them when I got back home. And that is the reason folks these need to be separated.

                              So I think its a cardinal rule that you seperate veggie food from what isnt. And they do need to get some other kind of containers. Those are containers are for boardwalk fries folks. Also I dont have any issue with the price but I think that we all keep obsessing about the size because they are a bit on the small size. And as another poster pointed out - the veggie ones were kind of dry and could use the help of something more cabbagey just to help facilatate masticulation.

                              So thats it - I guess I have to request separation if I chose to return but since I bit into the pork one due to the "mixed company" not sure if I will.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Ljubitca
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                                Nehna RE: Ljubitca Jul 23, 2008 05:56 AM

                                Interesting -- we had all 3 including veggie when we went and they specifically did put the veggie (though it wouldnt have mattered to the 3 meat eaters we are) in a separate container and we remarked to each other that it was thoughtful.

                                So maybe it was a mistake...

                                I think it would be an easy enough thing to note, next time (if you go again), that you'd like them separate. Not that you should have to, I agree. But an easy enough mistake to avoid in the future. Not everyone, afterall, orders veggie because of an aversion to meat :) Especially when they only have the 3 fillings to choose from.

                                I personally think they are totally ample in size. Anything bigger would be hard to eat as street food (which they kind of are, with such a small area to eat in).

                                1. re: Nehna
                                  Ljubitca RE: Nehna Jul 23, 2008 05:55 PM

                                  It must have been a mistake and I am willing to overlook it because they were so sweet. Maybe because I only ordered two orders and not 3? Anyway I took my order home so the eating on the street was not an issue. But if I did it would be cumbersome if they were bigger.

                                  1. re: Ljubitca
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                                    Nehna RE: Ljubitca Jul 24, 2008 06:44 PM

                                    We had fun, btw, trekking over to the bar below Alma to eat the majority of our dumplings. It was horribly hot in Eton when we went (not sure if the AC was not working or just ineffective), so was a nice place to sit and eat what we hadnt finished on the walk over ;)

                                    And that could be...maybe we just ended up luck of the draw having our veggie ones separate. I would mention it next time to the chef and would think he'd fix that, seems like such a nice guy.

                              2. c
                                contempt RE: deepyarn Aug 6, 2008 07:58 AM

                                A nice review in the New York Times today. Congrats Eton.
                                http://events.nytimes.com/2008/08/06/...

                                1. citysweettooth RE: deepyarn Aug 13, 2008 02:15 PM

                                  Eton is great, I love all of their dumplings especially the chicken. It's best to call ahead to avoid a wait as they do make everything to order. I also had the shaved ice for the first time (watermelon) and loved it! I'm not really a big ice fan so was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Sweet but not cloying or syrupy. The ice was also fluffy and light which I liked. I did a comic about it for The L mag.
                                  http://www.thelmagazine.com/lmag_blog...

                                  1. Peter RE: deepyarn Aug 13, 2008 03:25 PM

                                    Swung by Eton today with a friend to try it out:

                                    -- Had 2 orders of dumplings. One pork/beef and one chicken.

                                    -- Both were perfectly tasty, but could have been browned on the bottom a bit more.

                                    -- The portion, 5 for $3.50, was perfectly reasonable and a good value.

                                    -- I wish they let you get more or less... say 1 for $1.50, 2 for $2, 3 for $2.50, 4 for $3, 5 for $3.50, etc. I suspect they might eventually get there.

                                    -- The sauces they had were tasty -- eventually it would be nice to have a few more non-traditional choices.

                                    -- Eton, the owner, seemed very spacey. I sat for some time and ate and watched. At times he was literally staring of into the distance in mid-transaction.

                                    -- They need better staff to keep up. The guy making the raw dumplings was s-l-o-w.

                                    -- The shave ice.... ok, this is new to me. It sounded intriguing and it's what brought me there. I got a regular with pineapple and cherry. No toppings.

                                    It was... lame. It was a snoopy sno-cone from my childhood. The flavors seemed cloying and manufactured and artificial. If they had used real pineapple juice I bet it would have been GREAT.

                                    Am I missing something? Does the fluff or condensed milk transform it? Help me out here.

                                    (Oh, and the price was insane. $3.50 for some shaved ICE with a few cents of flavored sugar water? Ice cream, which made form EXPENSIVE ingredients like cream and eggs and vanilla is approximately the same price.)

                                    All in all, if they can get the production issues down so they have some level of efficiency, and if they can survive the winter when I suspect their highly profitable shave ice sales will plummet, I think they might make it work.

                                    Peter
                                    http://www.FlashlightWorthyBooks.com

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Peter
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                                      jmh RE: Peter Aug 13, 2008 04:19 PM

                                      On one level, I see where you're coming from on the shave ice. It's basically frozen water with flavor just like a snoopy sno cone or an Italian ice. But I don't think it's fair to call it lame if you didn't even try the toppings. I had it with the mochi and thought it was pretty good, syrupy sweetness and all. Besides, at the end of the day I don't think people get shave ice for the artisinal ingredients -- they get it because it's kind of like eating a snoopy sno cone. Then again, you're probably right that he could expand his audience if he offered some natural fruit juice options in addition to what he has now.

                                      As to the price, I'm guessing it's just a supply/demand thing. Given the target audience, he probably figures he won't make too many more sales if he lowers the price to $2.00 or $2.50. And $3.50 doesn't seem like as much as it used to when it won't even buy a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk anymore.

                                      p.s. - I think the little jab at the owner was unnecessary. He seemed like a really nice guy when we talked to him, and he obviously had it together enough to cook in some pretty serious kitchens (see ssy216's post above) and to get this place off the ground. Also, I think he at one point posted in this thread (although his post appears to have disappeared) so I think he follows this discussion. Anybody who brings good dumplings to Sackett/Henry is ok in my book.

                                      1. re: Peter
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                                        chocolatefancy RE: Peter Aug 13, 2008 05:07 PM

                                        The owner, who is very friendly, told me he will be having pho type soups in the fall/winter w/fresh noodles. I haven't found him to be "spacey." I've been there about 4 times and he seems very on top of things. Give him a break--the place is open 7 days a week and he works pretty hard. He always asks me how I like the dumplings.

                                        1. re: chocolatefancy
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                                          Brigita RE: chocolatefancy Aug 14, 2008 06:22 AM

                                          I would have to agree. My husband is already a fan of Eton and his dumplings. I am also (the chicken ones with the hottest of the sauces), but he is a dumpling freak so I trust his judgment. Eton, the owner, deserves a break. He is operating a labor of love start-up in a residential part of the neighborhood, working like a dog and trying to make everyone happy. And the product is good and will continue to improve. I give him a space-out given that he probably hasn't slept in months and won't for the next 6.

                                          Also, Eton has also gone out of his way to introduce himself to all the other local businesses. I hope he continues to do well, and a nice, cold winter should give him the boost needed to get the improvements he wants. Need to make money to spend money.

                                          1. re: chocolatefancy
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                                            Nehna RE: chocolatefancy Aug 14, 2008 11:43 AM

                                            oh yum, pho would be awesome

                                            I thought the owner was great, friendly, on our one visit. I just wish they were a closer one from Boerum Hill ;)

                                            1. re: Nehna
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                                              bhill RE: Nehna Aug 14, 2008 03:38 PM

                                              Ha, I was thinking the same thing. "Eton on Smith" would be awesome!

                                              ; )

                                              Still a nice walk though, especially on a nice summer evening.

                                        2. Bob Martinez RE: deepyarn Aug 14, 2008 09:54 AM

                                          This is driving me nuts. "Shave ice" vs. "shaved ice." Lets ask Google -

                                          "shave ice" - 182,000 hits.

                                          "shaved ice" - 823,000 hits.

                                          OK. I'm not crazy.

                                          Moving on, I've got a question. "Shaved ice" has been a staple in Hispanic neighborhoods for as long as I can remember. Even today the carts go up and down 5th Ave. in Park Slope every summer. (In the interview quoted above Chan says otherwise - "Feeling as though there was a lack of presence of shave ice in New York..." I'm not sure how he missed it.)

                                          Are the ices they're selling at Eton significantly different? Or is it a case like Sriracha. Most people didn't notice the stuff until David Chang started using it.

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: Bob Martinez
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                                            jmh RE: Bob Martinez Aug 14, 2008 10:27 AM

                                            I think the ice Eton is selling is a subspecies from Hawaii. Eton is quoted in the article quoted above saying: "We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and fell in love with Hawaiian shave ice." It appears that when referring to the Hawaiian ice the preferred nomenclature is "shave ice" not "shaved ice" -- see the following from http://whatscookingamerica.net/Histor...

                                            "Shave ice can be found everywhere in the Hawaiian Island - in coffee shops, mom and pop stores, shave ice stands, lunch wagons, crack seed stores, and especially at any and all public events. In Hawaii, shave ice is thought of as a snack and a thirst quencher. No trip to Hawaii is complete with tasting shave ice.

                                            Mainlanders call them snow cones, but locals in Hawaii call it shave (not shaved ice). Unlike a mainland snow cone, shave ice is not ground ice. The shave ice is so fine that flavorings are absorbed into the ice rather than settling to the bottom of the cup as with a snow cone. In other words, it is the gourmet's snow cone in tropical flavors. In Hawaii, shave ice is sold in cone-shape cups.

                                            An authentic shave ice starts with a block of ice that is spun across a razor-sharp blade (which shaves the ice creating a soft snow-like texture. Then it is packed into a paper cone, and flavored syrup is poured over the ice. Just as everyone has a favorite store, there are favorite flavors, too. Strawberry. Coconut. Lime. Li hing mui. Bubble gum. Liliko'i. Of course, if you can't decide on just one, go with the ever-popular rainbow shave ice."

                                            1. re: jmh
                                              Bob Martinez RE: jmh Aug 14, 2008 11:07 AM

                                              "It appears that when referring to the Hawaiian ice the preferred nomenclature is "shave ice" not "shaved ice" "

                                              I just asked Google again -

                                              A search on "shave ice"+Hawaiian returned 160,000 hits.

                                              A search on "shaved ice"+Hawaiian returned 237,000 hits.

                                              Closer, but "shaved" is still the majority usage.

                                              Anyway, enough with the grammar. I guess I need to buy samples from a street vendor and Eton and do a taste comparison of Hawaiian vs. Hispanic..

                                              1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                Steve R RE: Bob Martinez Aug 14, 2008 02:21 PM

                                                jmh is correct... in Hawaii, the term used is "shave ice". It's like taking your coffee "regular" or going to a supermarket for "appetizing" in NYC. Aloha.

                                                1. re: Steve R
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                                                  hhhippo RE: Steve R Aug 14, 2008 03:22 PM

                                                  I third jmh and Steve R's usage. You can find a majority on Google, but that doesn't mean it's correct. From an NYT article, 2005: "Across East Asia shaved ice - shave ice, it is usually called - mixes the refreshment of ice cream with a continent's worth of variety. Sold as a snack by street vendors or as a dessert in restaurants of every caliber, it can be as simple as watermelon juice splashed on ice and as outlandish as slush doused with cornflakes, whipped cream and colored jellies."

                                                  At its best, "shave ice" (as noted above, that's how it's commonly referred to in Hawaii--I've had it in the Philippines as well) has a very flaky, snowy consistency, not crunchy. The ice is shaved into soft, fine flakes by a machine, and they melt in your mouth without too much chewing or crunching. In a good shave ice, the flavorings meld into the ice, but the ice maintains this soft, snowy texture. If you're not fond of artificial or processed flavors, you might not like a lot of the typical varieties of condiments added to the ice. They tend to be very sweet and syrupy.

                                                  If you can't see yourself paying that much for ice with condiments poured over it, you can buy a cheap plastic machine with a hand crank and shave it yourself. They sell for $10 or so in larger Asian markets. You can find jarred versions of many of the traditional flavorings and toppings at the same stores. Doing it yourself requires some forethought, as you usually have to freeze the ice first in a mold so that it will fit in the shaving machine.

                                                  1. re: hhhippo
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                                                    noisejoke RE: hhhippo Aug 14, 2008 09:24 PM

                                                    We live in Kensington, minutes from Sunset Park. Depending on day/time, getting down to Eton would be more of a haul for us - and not nearly as easy to park. Reading this thread I can't get a grip on what's going down. Is he replicating a typical dumpling house in an upscale neighborhood and charging a few cents more, or is he doing a "nouvelle/boutique" version that makes it worth a trip? Something akin to the Momofuku pork bun in concept?

                                                    Help a brutha out, yeah? Thanks!

                                                    1. re: noisejoke
                                                      Peter RE: noisejoke Aug 14, 2008 10:26 PM

                                                      Is Eton worth a "haul?"

                                                      These are very nice dumplings -- a fine addition to the neighborhood that will make many people very happy. And from what I saw yesterday, the kids around there are going to be buying a LOT of shave ice. But I don't think it's worth a "haul" unless you're obsessed with dumplings.

                                                      Just to be clear, this place isn't really a restaurant. There are no servers. There are no dishes or cutlery. It's take-out containers and plastic knives and forks. You order at the counter and sit at one of the 4 or 5 tables for 2. The entire place is maybe 13 feet by 12 feet.

                                                      Now, if you're 50% obsessed with dumplings and 50% obsessed with shave ice... then that's a totally different story. ;)

                                                      Peter
                                                      http://www.FlashlightWorthyBooks.com

                                                      1. re: Peter
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                                                        noisejoke RE: Peter Aug 15, 2008 06:09 AM

                                                        Thanks Peter, I understand it's a dumpling place. But, like I wrote, I live a lot closer to Sunset Park than Cobble Hill. So, to simplify it , are the offerings really different than Xu Feng, or Family Dumpling or Dumpling House? Are these upscale or re-thought versions?

                                                        1. re: noisejoke
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                                                          sarapeater RE: noisejoke Aug 15, 2008 06:42 AM

                                                          Eton is a professionally trained chef (French) of Chinese descent. If 'upscale' means all the ingredients are perfectly, evenly chopped and combined, and of high quality then, yes, these are upscale dumplings. They also have handmade thin wrappers, which may or may not also qualify as 'upscale'

                                                          noisejoke, I get the sense you are trying to talk yourself out of going. if the trip is already overwhelming you, I'd say stay in sunset park. and if you happen to be in carroll gardens, swing by and you'll likely like what you eat.

                                                          1. re: sarapeater
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                                                            noisejoke RE: sarapeater Aug 15, 2008 06:53 AM

                                                            Sarapeater - thanks for the detail.

                                                            But I was not "talking myself out of going." That would seem contrary to the point of my inquiries, and this board. I'm trying to get a sense of how these dumplings are different from other dumpling places - those that by design also have "homemade" wrappers.

                                                            I certainly go farther afield than CG, but will visit there at least for Italian food. My question is, should I visit this place for Chinese food or something new-fashioned for a different sort of neighborhood.

                                                            1. re: noisejoke
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                                                              JonL RE: noisejoke Aug 15, 2008 07:05 AM

                                                              My full compliments to and appreciation of Eton and his dumplings.

                                                              These dumplings are set apart from the standard local Chinese take-out dumplings in that the wrappers are handmade (as opposed to pre-made wonton wrappers) and they are....good. Frankly, I enjoy even commercial take-out dumplings but I absolutely acknowledge the superiority of Eton's.
                                                              No, these are not anything special, as compared to excellent dumplings elsewhere and they are not a creative departure from the traditional. If one has access to this sort of dumpling elsewhere, they do not merit a trek. That is not intended as a negative. Just what it is. I wish Eton the best of fortunes and continued success. But it should not be suggested that there is something different going on here other that that this is an outside-the-mold enterprise (a non-frozen-yogurt-non-bistro-non....ubiquitous-fill-in-the-blank storefront) in a neighborhood that is fortunate to gain this asset.

                                                          2. re: noisejoke
                                                            citysweettooth RE: noisejoke Aug 15, 2008 11:16 AM

                                                            They're not totally traditional as they have beef/pork, chicken/mushroom, and lentil/tofu. Then there is a 4th type that changes daily I think. A few days ago there was an amazing beet/goat cheese/spam dumpling on offer! Another reason to call ahead.

                                                            1. re: citysweettooth
                                                              Bob Martinez RE: citysweettooth Aug 15, 2008 12:11 PM

                                                              You don't see many Spam dumplings anymore.

                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez
                                                                Steve R RE: Bob Martinez Aug 15, 2008 05:40 PM

                                                                Nope (and I think I know why). You're not getting the Hawaii theme here, are you? Shave ice and spam .... staples on the islands. Now if he can just add some poke, I'm there.

                                            2. Ljubitca RE: deepyarn Aug 16, 2008 09:14 AM

                                              Does anyone make prune/plum dumplings - I know I know - they are not Chinese - those are eastern european - but I still thought I would put it out there.

                                              As for Eton dumplings they are ok and if you live around here they are convenient and tasty no need to take any tours or buses.

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                                                brooklyndude RE: deepyarn Aug 27, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                I went by today and they are closed until 9/4. It looks like they were doing something to the kitchen, hopefully the preparations are being done so they can serve noodles.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: brooklyndude
                                                  lambretta76 RE: brooklyndude Aug 27, 2008 09:01 PM

                                                  I overheard Eton telling another customer that they were closing for a little bit to do some renovations to make the dining room a little more inviting. But yes, he also mentioned the noodle soups for the winter.

                                                  The dumplings are very tasty (I don't know where I stand on the beet and goat cheese one - I wish it had a little hint of truffle oil in it - but the others are quite good) and the shave ice is just amazing (pineapple with condensed milk is my favorite at the moment).

                                                  1. re: brooklyndude
                                                    EJC RE: brooklyndude Sep 10, 2008 12:26 PM

                                                    Unfortunately they were still closed last night. Anyone have an ETA on their reopening? I'm going into dumpling withdrawal :)

                                                    1. re: EJC
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                                                      jmh RE: EJC Sep 10, 2008 12:34 PM

                                                      They were open last Thursday when we stopped by for shave ice. It looked like the interior renovations were done.

                                                      1. re: jmh
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                                                        oswaldb12 RE: jmh Sep 11, 2008 06:50 PM

                                                        I hadn't been to Eton's since it reopened...nice renovations...much better packaging...more people working...biweekly special dumplings...and if possible...the dumplings were better than ever! Eton said the noodles are coming next month...mark your calendars.

                                                      2. re: EJC
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                                                        boccalupo RE: EJC Sep 15, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                        They did reopen after Labor Day weekend, however they are now closed on Tuesdays which is why it was closed when you went.

                                                        Can understand them needing a day of rest once a week.

                                                        1. re: EJC
                                                          EJC RE: EJC Sep 21, 2008 04:59 PM

                                                          Tonight, with a completely empty dining room, we were told that there'd be a 40 minute wait for 2 orders of dumplings - and that we should have called ahead. It really put me off that $3 street food can not be spontaneous, and that they have no policy in place to make walk-in customers a priority.

                                                          You'd think that with all of Eton's press, he'd expect folks to visit from other neighborhoods... I've now struck out in my last three attempts at trying to eat Eton dumplings (renovations, closed tuesdays, and now ridiculous waits), and I'm a bit frustrated.

                                                          1. re: EJC
                                                            lambretta76 RE: EJC Sep 22, 2008 06:41 AM

                                                            I think you're expectations are unrealistic, although a 40 minute wait is a bit crazy. (Typical wait times are generally 10-15 minutes.) If things are the same as they were, all items are made fresh to order. That means the dumpling skins are cut, rolled out, filled, and then steamed. It's not like the places in Chinatown that make thousands and freeze them (although I like them, too.)

                                                            Consider Eton gourmet dumplings, not street food, call ahead next time you want to try them, and enjoy. While the skins may be thicker than I'm used to, the flavors are fantastic, and I'm excited about trying the lump crabmeat and corn ones that I've heard have been added to the rotation.

                                                            1. re: lambretta76
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                                                              Brigita RE: lambretta76 Sep 24, 2008 06:08 AM

                                                              Whaaaaat? Wow. Crabmeat and corn??? I'm in!

                                                              1. re: Brigita
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                                                                Brigita RE: Brigita Sep 25, 2008 05:41 AM

                                                                Tried them last night. You can only get them as part of a sampler with two of each of the others. They are very good.

                                                                1. re: Brigita
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                                                                  oswaldb12 RE: Brigita Sep 25, 2008 07:13 PM

                                                                  We also had the crab & corn the other night. They were truly wonderful. These are most definitely not your ordinary dumplngs.

                                                                  1. re: oswaldb12
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                                                                    curly30 RE: oswaldb12 Sep 25, 2008 07:41 PM

                                                                    woah, i've got to try! thanks for the info.

                                                              2. re: lambretta76
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                                                                Nehna RE: lambretta76 Oct 22, 2008 04:49 PM

                                                                Agreed. Why should walk ins be a 'priority'? Ahead of those who bother to call ahead? I'm not saying you should have to but I fail to see why you would take precedence over someone who called ahead...that's like saying a restaurant should give priority seating to walk ins as opposed to those who make reservations.

                                                                We've only been once and it was a substantial wait but we felt the great dumplings were worth it and the wait was more gentle than nearly Lucali's pizza for sure.

                                                        2. t
                                                          trelawney8 RE: deepyarn Oct 19, 2008 10:45 AM

                                                          Does anyone know the current special dumpling?

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: trelawney8
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                                                            boccalupo RE: trelawney8 Oct 20, 2008 06:22 AM

                                                            Last evening I stopped by and they had lobster dumplings as the special. Needless to say they are rather pricey.

                                                            1. re: boccalupo
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                                                              MShapiro RE: boccalupo Oct 20, 2008 11:53 AM

                                                              Boccalupo -

                                                              Someone mentioned they'd start serving soups when the weather got cooler, were any on the menu?

                                                              1. re: MShapiro
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                                                                boccalupo RE: MShapiro Oct 21, 2008 12:52 PM

                                                                They will stop serving ices on 10/31. I am assuming they will start doing noodle soups after that date. They are not on the menu yet. I will ask about it next time I am in and post the info on this thread.

                                                                1. re: boccalupo
                                                                  citysweettooth RE: boccalupo Oct 22, 2008 02:41 PM

                                                                  I think Nov. 1 is when the soup starts

                                                                  1. re: boccalupo
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                                                                    boccalupo RE: boccalupo Nov 2, 2008 04:22 PM

                                                                    They are now serving hand pulled noodles in broth. Just the noodles in broth is $4, noodles and dumpling in broth for $8. They will also offer a special soup topping that I imagine will change on a frequent basis. Last night it was short rib.

                                                                    I haven't tried the noodle soups yet. Looking forward to trying them soon though..

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