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May 13, 2012 07:03 AM

Dumpling Cafe choices for a take-out party?

We are hosting a party for 20-30 people at a non-restaurant location in Chinatown next weekend, Our plan is to order 1, 2 or 3 orders of each of 5-7 menu items. Not all of our guest will share our own taste for spicy to very spicy dishes, so we can't just order our own favorites.

What we get on pretty much each visit are:
Mini Juice Buns with Pork (XLB)
Pork and Leek Dumplings
Taiwan Style Eggplant (Spicy)
Beef with Longhorn Pepper (Spicy)

We're definitely going to get a several orders of the XLB and some of the other dumplings. We'll also probably get one order each of the two spicy dishes for those who can take the heat.

So my question is what else to get. We need at least a few more not spicy or not too spicy dishes (but still flavorful - not americanized) for the less adventurous. What has everyone tried there? There are a few non-meat eaters so at least one or two non-spicy veggie dishes would be good, along with a chicken dish or two. We don't normally get fried rice, but might go for that if someone knows of one which they do well.

I might get a couple of orders of salt and pepper SS crab from Peach farm to add to the mix but I don't want to go to more than those two restaurants, depending mostly on Dumpling Cafe.

Any suggestions appreciated.

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  1. I dont think XLB travel well and haven't been as happy with their other dumplings. I like their grilled izakaya type items like the taiwanese chicken leg. It's really more of a butterflied fried chicken leg on a skewer. RE SS crab, difficult dish to share with many, so better to get the salt and pepper mixed pork, shrimp, squid.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gourmaniac

      i would agree, xlb will probably break by the time you get them home, depending how carefully they wrap them (keeping them from sticking together etc). some other ideas would be fuzhou fried rice from Jade Garden, and Peking duck two ways (w/ pancakes) from New Jumbo, good finger food. maybe some fatty char siu from Hong Kong Eatery, or baked char siu bao from Winsor.

    2. How about some stir-fry noodle dishes? They have a vegetarian noodle dish and I thought that was pretty good.

      3 Replies
      1. re: y2000k

        Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

        As for the XLB, I wasn't clear but they only have to travel 2 blocks and will be put out to serve immediately. I'm thinking they should make it that far without incident.

        Barleywino - re the Peking Duck two ways - it's fairly pricey - how many people do you think could get a small serving - one of 6 or 7 items on their plate - from one order?

        Again barleywino - what distinguishes Fuzhou fried rice from, say, Yang Chow from DC or HKE? Also, you're referring FuChow fried rice on the menu, right? Just checking.

        Gourmaniac - same question re the taiwanese chicken leg. If they're on skewers, I'm guessing not too many (4? 6?) per order, esp since it's listed under appetizers and not too expensive.

        Thanks again for all the help.

        1. re: markin617

          With no other dishes, the duck feeds probably 3-4 people, each person eating maybe 3-4 filled pancakes (including duck beansprout stirfry) apiece. So with other dishes to choose from, and each person having 1 pancake apiece, maybe 1 duck feeds 10-12 people. You can request extra pancakes too. The fuzhou fried rice has diced chicken, rock shrimp and dried scallop in a shitake mushroom sauce over shrimp/egg fried rice.

          1. re: markin617

            The chicken leg comes as two whole deboned legs per order and perhaps not practical for your gathering. I like BW's suggestion of Peking duck withe extra pancakes and it's worth it to get the stir fried duck meat with vegetables.

        2. I've probably spent more time at Dumpling Cafe than any other Chinatown restaurant over the last six months, just love it. A few of my favorites already cited (and I don't recommend XLB for takeout, either); here are a few more:

          Roasted duck buns (the duck is roasted, not the bun)
          Sauteed julienned dried bean curd with Chinese celery & peppers
          House special clam meat with pork and chives
          Szechuan style flounder
          Pork with bamboo tips
          Salt and pepper shrimp with head
          Pea pod stems with garlic

          1 Reply
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I love the pork with bamboo tips and the peapod stems too.
            If the XLB only need to travel 2 blocks they will be fine. I've had them travel further and still delicious. If there's some way to ensure they're served piping hot then all the better -- maybe just some good communication with the ladies at Dumpling Cafe. I'd rather a pretty close to perfect XLB than none at all!