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White Bear – My Favorite Dumplings in NY

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Lau Jun 28, 2011 07:31 PM

**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2011/06/white...

White Bear is a no frills dumpling restaurant in Flushing. There isn’t a whole lot to say about the place other than they’ve got some very good dumplings.

They advertise about having Shan Dong style dumplings; Shan Dong is a province in China and one of the things they are known for is having good dumplings.

The place is basically a tiny rundown white room with about 4 tables and you can maybe fit 8 people in it. Most of their business is take out or people eating quickly. I generally get mine to go and eat at the park down the block.

There is a husband and wife team running the place. I don’t know if they speak English, but everything is written in English, so you’ll be fine by pointing. The woman can be a little surly sometimes, but is generally fine.

On to the food:

- Wontons in Hot Oil: This is the reason I come here. These are boiled wontons filled with pork and minced cabbage. They are topped with spicy red chili oil that I believe is homemade, pickled vegetables and diced scallions. Since they are boiled they won’t be as oily as most dumplings you get at $1 dumpling type places. The skins are reasonably delicate and the filling is always very good, perfectly minced with no odd pieces in it. The toppings are what really make these great; the combo of chili oil and the salty and sour flavor of the pickled vegetables go really well with the dumplings. These are comparable to the type of thing you can get in Asia. I highly recommend trying these. 8.5/10

- Frozen Dumplings: When I’m in Flushing I almost always big up a bag of 25 or 50 frozen dumplings at White Bear. They cook up great either fried or boiled. I usually eat them with soy sauce mixed with spicy sesame oil. These are a great snack at home. 8/10

I highly recommend trying this place out if you happen to be in Flushing and have some room in your stomach. I really think they turn out one of the better quality products in Flushing.

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

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  1. Cheese Boy RE: Lau Jun 28, 2011 11:16 PM

    Yep, I get the #6 Spicy Wonton Dumplings as a snack before I go eat somewhere else.

    Pic --> http://www.flickr.com/photos/15016974...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheese Boy
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      Lau RE: Cheese Boy Jun 29, 2011 04:31 AM

      yah thats what we usually do too depending on if we have room for them

    2. E Eto RE: Lau Jun 29, 2011 12:23 AM

      I gave White Bear a few tries, but I don't really care for their dumplings. Their #6 wonton in hot oil does look really good with the toppings, but it just tasted like... nothing. I was waiting to be hit with a little bit of spice, but it never came. I guess I just don't like this style of dumplings. I was hoping for something along the lines of the boiled dumplings from Lao Bei Fong (with their good chili oil), or the dumplings in hot oil at many of the Sichuan places around the city. But I guess it's suppose to be subtle rather than bold. Are there any other dumplings you like from their menu besides the #6?

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: E Eto
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        Lau RE: E Eto Jun 29, 2011 04:39 AM

        well they are more subtle than the types of dumplings you're talking about, they taste much more home style than most of the dumplings you get around NY, which is why i like them. While i like almost all styles of Chinese food, i do like alot of more sutble Chinese cooking as i feel like alot of it is more a testament to the skills of the cook, but this is a personal preference.

        It's mainly b/c of the way they prepare them if i take their dumplings home, fry them and eat them with sriracha they taste completely different, much more like other dumplings around the city.

        It's been a very long time since i've ordered anything besides the wonton in hot oil so its kind of hard for me to say, but i guess you're right that i should go back and re-try their other dumplings

        1. re: E Eto
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          ForestHillsFresser RE: E Eto Dec 25, 2011 02:48 PM

          I have to second this review. I asked for the Dumplings in hot oil. They guy said "You should get number 6." So, I got #6. They looked great, but I kept waiting for the "hot" but it never came. I liked the wontons themselves, but I was not a fan of the topping at all. Just no flavor in my opinion.

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

          1. re: ForestHillsFresser
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            Lau RE: ForestHillsFresser Dec 25, 2011 02:57 PM

            sorry you didn't like it, it's not supposed to be all that spicy its more for flavor as opposed to actual spice

        2. k
          kdgchow RE: Lau Jun 29, 2011 05:54 AM

          Love the wontons, have been thinking about getting the frozen dumplings. How do they differ from the wontons (skin? filling?)? Do you just get the pork ones, or are other fillings good as well?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kdgchow
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            Lau RE: kdgchow Jun 29, 2011 07:52 AM

            they're actually fairly similar, in fact i think they might exactly the same, but i almost fry them at home b/c its easier and i don't have all the condiments anyhow, so they taste alot different when you fry them

            i always get the pork and cabbage ones, but they never seem to have any of the other ones frozen anyhow

          2. CitySpoonful RE: Lau Jun 29, 2011 07:49 AM

            Lau, are there any veg. dumplings at White Bear? :)

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

            3 Replies
            1. re: CitySpoonful
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              Lau RE: CitySpoonful Jun 30, 2011 11:21 AM

              they do have them (if you look at my pics, look at the menu and they list them there), but i've never tried them

              1. re: Lau
                CitySpoonful RE: Lau Jun 30, 2011 01:12 PM

                Thanks -- I'm heading to Flushing tonight and just might swing by for a bag of the frozen ones. Those things are a godsend when you're too busy to cook.

                1. re: CitySpoonful
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                  Lau RE: CitySpoonful Jun 30, 2011 01:18 PM

                  yah they are pretty awesome

            2. Chandavkl RE: Lau Jul 2, 2011 10:18 PM

              I remember their really neat dumplings with a tofu based wrapper. Wonder if they still have them.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chandavkl
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                Lau RE: Chandavkl Jul 3, 2011 10:46 PM

                hmmm really? that sounds pretty interesting, ill look for it next time

              2. bolletje RE: Lau Jul 6, 2011 04:02 PM

                I just ate some White Bear dumplings out of my freezer. I cook them in boiling water for like 2 minutes and then pan fry them to finish. I make a sauce at home with hoisin, soy, black vinegar and sriracha and keep a bottle in the fridge to squirt over my cooked dumplings.

                My favorite dumplings from White Bear are the ones with sea cucumber, pork and shrimp.

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

                2 Replies
                1. re: bolletje
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                  AubWah RE: bolletje Oct 2, 2011 01:20 PM

                  sea cucumber dumplings at white bear? not on the menu in english

                  1. re: bolletje
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                    panjuice RE: bolletje Dec 26, 2011 06:17 PM

                    We pass by all the time and its nondescript place has never seemed inviting to us .. Prolly bcos we make our own dumplings a home and freeze them .. Will make a point to try the sea cucumber ones .. Tmrw^

                    Flushing has had a better selection of eats for the past 10-15 yrs now .. Some of the new immigrant flavor profiles are not to our liking .. Kinda like the buffet explosions everywhere.

                  2. Siobhan RE: Lau Oct 2, 2011 07:20 AM

                    Went by there last Wednesday at around 3:30pm and they were closed. Do they close on Wednesdays?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Siobhan
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                      Lau RE: Siobhan Oct 2, 2011 09:07 AM

                      hmm im not sure, ive never been there on a weds and its a mom & pop operation literally, so its possible that they are

                    2. p
                      petefeliz RE: Lau Oct 4, 2011 07:26 PM

                      My family and I --like Cheese boy get the #6 AND the #19, 20 or 21 (whatever they've got fried or steamed that day) before before we move on to eating elsewhere. White Bear won tons and dumplings & Nan Xian soup dumplings IMHO are the best I've ever had...

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

                      1. e
                        Elliott Hurwitt RE: Lau Dec 3, 2011 11:10 AM

                        I've been enjoying the frozen dumplings from BOTH White Bear and Best North Dumplings quite a lot, and wondering if there are any other equally good places to get these in Manhattan Chinatown, as that's much closer to home for me than Flushing. So far, I haven't had much luck with any of the Chinatown options, but maybe one of you know of something?

                        Also, Bolletje, would you be willing to share your recipe for the dipping sauce? rough proportions for the hoisin, etc. that might help me make my own?

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

                        Friendship Shopping Plaza
                        41-42A Main St, Queens, NY 11355

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: Elliott Hurwitt
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                          Lau RE: Elliott Hurwitt Dec 3, 2011 02:28 PM

                          the frozen dumplings at prosperity are decent, they aren't as good as white bear though

                          i also like the dumplings at 144 east broadway although im not sure if the sell them to go, you can ask them though

                          1. re: Lau
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                            Elliott Hurwitt RE: Lau Dec 3, 2011 04:40 PM

                            Thanks, Lau! I found Prosperity good if you get food prepared hot there and take it out, but the frozen dumplings just didn't do it for me the way the ones from Flushing did. Grateful to learn about 144 East Broadway.

                            1. re: Elliott Hurwitt
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                              Lau RE: Elliott Hurwitt Dec 3, 2011 05:05 PM

                              the dumplings at white bear are really wontons, so they're much more delicate and i think fillings are higher quality than properity

                              the ones at 144 east bway are different from either, id def recommend sitting down having a bowl of beef noodle soup at then trying the fried dumplings (the friend ones are better than the steamed....they're more similar to japanese gyoza actually

                              1. re: Lau
                                Silverjay RE: Lau Dec 3, 2011 05:26 PM

                                You can buy bags of frozen dumplings from Lan Zhou place at 144 E.Broadway. They are $8 for a bag of 50. They are really good. Smaller and thinner skin than gyoza. We steam them at home.

                                1. re: Silverjay
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                                  Elliott Hurwitt RE: Silverjay Dec 3, 2011 05:36 PM

                                  Thanks, both Lau and Silverjay. I'm really enjoying what I got at White Bear, which I almost missed, it's kind of around the corner from where I expected it to be. Curious now about the ones with sea cucumber in them. I'm definitely going to Lan Zhou real soon, now that I know what to get there! What would you guys use as a dipping sauce?

                                  1. re: Elliott Hurwitt
                                    Silverjay RE: Elliott Hurwitt Dec 3, 2011 05:42 PM

                                    We just use Japanese shoyu, a dash of chili oil, and a dash of vinegar. It's pretty much the way Japanese eat gyoza. But I also like the Chinese sauce they have at the shop. Definitely check out the place. It's good. It's ridiculously cheap as well.

                                    1. re: Silverjay
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                                      Elliott Hurwitt RE: Silverjay Dec 3, 2011 05:52 PM

                                      A thousand thanks; I'm practically there!

                          2. re: Elliott Hurwitt
                            bolletje RE: Elliott Hurwitt Dec 4, 2011 04:59 PM

                            hey, sure. I use about 2 TB black vinegar, 1 big tsp of hoisin, 1 tsp soy sauce and a squirt of sriracha.
                            They definitely have some kind of dumpling with sea cucumber frozen at White Bear. I just ate some out of my freezer :)

                            1. re: bolletje
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                              Elliott Hurwitt RE: bolletje Dec 4, 2011 06:31 PM

                              Thanks, Bolletje, and thanks again. So -- how ARE the sea cucumber ones, anyway? Worth a trip?

                              1. re: Elliott Hurwitt
                                bolletje RE: Elliott Hurwitt Dec 7, 2011 08:33 PM

                                They are dumplings with pork, shrimp and sea cucumber in them--I think they are the best ones there. They sell out of them pretty often so I guess a lot of people agree.

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

                          3. p
                            panjuice RE: Lau Dec 30, 2011 07:32 PM

                            Went back everyday since the 25th to try the sea cucumber version .. None, and no apologies, even tho they see us returning everyday .. Should have taken this as a sign haha!

                            Finally, today we split an order of 12pcs of spicy wonton .. 4.50 for 12 peices
                            That's what I pay in Shanghai but in RMB lol and that stuffing was twice as much.

                            Very disappointed, they par cooked/steamed them and just reheated when people place their order incase of 'rush hour' ..
                            The skin was thin to start, so to reheat this, the skin tasted mushy which for me ruined the whole dish.
                            I don't think I am a picky eater, but 'mushy thin skin' and 'wonton' don't go hang in hand.

                            If you must have this, best request 'cook to order'

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

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: panjuice
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                              diprey11 RE: panjuice Dec 30, 2011 08:15 PM

                              Had a similar experience a week ago and shouted at them, saying that I want to know/see how the dumpling was cooked. Other than that, it's one of the wontons in the neighborhood: tender wrap, juicy filling.

                              1. re: diprey11
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                                Elliott Hurwitt RE: diprey11 Dec 31, 2011 10:45 AM

                                Sorry to have dropped out of this thread for a while. I was able to buy a bag of these (sea cucumber etc.) and take them home in mid-December and enjoy them at home. They're good, but I didn't find them appreciably different from other pork dumplings (or wontons, if that's what these are) that I've had from White Bear and Best North Dumplings (I can never figure out their name) that I've purchased frozen and cooked at home. I found them quite good (caveat: I'm no Chinese food expert), but not life-changing enough to pitch a fit if they didn't have them some time. But apologies to others if I cleaned them out of those for a while. I'd think they'll make more in view of the demand.

                            2. j
                              jharawitz RE: Lau Apr 12, 2012 08:57 PM

                              I've tried to go to White bear (love the #6) twice in the last couple of weeks and both times they were closed (weekdays around 3 pm). Anybody know if this is permanent or temporary and if//when they will reopen If they are closed for good any one have a recommendation of another place I can get a good version of their #6?.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: jharawitz
                                erica RE: jharawitz Apr 13, 2012 07:26 AM

                                Was I hallucinating when I saw an awning for White Bear a few steps to the north of Fu Run on Prince Street near Roosevelt? Did White Bear move, or open another branch?

                                1. re: erica
                                  Steve R RE: erica Apr 13, 2012 08:40 AM

                                  The one virtually next door to Fu Run has been there for several years now. I always assumed that is the one written about here even though its not on Roosevelt Ave.

                                  1. re: Steve R
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                                    rschwim RE: Steve R Apr 13, 2012 10:45 AM

                                    I have a White Bear phone number from inside my frozen dumpling package... No guarantees who'll pick up...718 961 2322

                                    1. re: Steve R
                                      squid kun RE: Steve R Apr 13, 2012 12:06 PM

                                      Yes, that's the only White Bear. It's on the Prince St. side of a building that extends around the corner on Roosevelt.

                                  2. re: jharawitz
                                    Polecat RE: jharawitz Apr 13, 2012 06:57 PM

                                    It's alive and well, hopping this evening as I passed by.
                                    P.

                                    1. re: Polecat
                                      j
                                      jharawitz RE: Polecat Apr 15, 2012 05:08 PM

                                      so good to hear. Thanks

                                      1. re: jharawitz
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                                        LucidInterval RE: jharawitz Apr 15, 2012 07:06 PM

                                        The best ones are the chives and 3 seafood (san shien) in my opinion. The marinated meat store next to White Bear has a Chinese version of headcheese that's very addicting.

                                        1. re: LucidInterval
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                                          Elliott Hurwitt RE: LucidInterval Apr 15, 2012 08:11 PM

                                          Tell us more about the headcheese ...

                                          1. re: LucidInterval
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                                            Elliott Hurwitt RE: LucidInterval Apr 15, 2012 08:12 PM

                                            What are the 3 seafoods? Are we back to the sea cucumber thing here?

                                            1. re: Elliott Hurwitt
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                                              LucidInterval RE: Elliott Hurwitt Apr 16, 2012 04:27 PM

                                              Ah, just looked at the place's pictures on the web, the 3 seafood is actually my own translation, and not a very good one at that. It refers to pork, shrimp, and sea cucumber and is No. 20 on the menu. I know that sometimes they have dumplings with those 3 items and chives, those are the best.

                                              The store immediately next door sells all sorts of braised, aromatic meats, but my favorite is the head cheese, made of several gelatinous materials from the pig's head as usual but with a Chinese flavor profile, likely soy, Chinese herbs, and five spice.

                                              1. re: LucidInterval
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                                                Elliott Hurwitt RE: LucidInterval Apr 16, 2012 08:26 PM

                                                Thank you, Lucidinterval

                                                1. re: LucidInterval
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                                                  Lau RE: LucidInterval Apr 18, 2012 10:21 AM

                                                  ah interesting, ive always meant to pop into that place, but never got around to it

                                                  1. re: Lau
                                                    squid kun RE: Lau Apr 18, 2012 11:09 AM

                                                    A while back, someone mentioned the smoked chicken there. It's been on my list for years; still haven't stopped in ... http://www.chow.com/digest/4029/homey...

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