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Patty Chen's Dumpling Room

Snowflake Sep 13, 2013 10:18 AM

A quick lunch, No. Worth the wait, Yes!
I just had the first of many leisurely lunches at the Dumpling Room. We started with the Beijing Ravioli and the Soupy Pork Buns. They were so good that we wanted more so we placed an order for Veggie Dumplings to go.
I had had Patty’s dumplings at All Asia so I couldn’t wait to taste some of her other creations. The soupy pork buns hit the spot. I could eat them every day. Since the dumplings are made to order be prepared to wait.

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  1. peregrine RE: Snowflake Sep 13, 2013 01:46 PM

    Where is this place, please?

    2 Replies
    1. re: peregrine
      Allstonian RE: peregrine Sep 13, 2013 01:47 PM

      Central Square, Cambridge - formerly Pu Pu Hot Pot.

      1. re: peregrine
        divinebaboon RE: peregrine Sep 16, 2013 02:41 PM

        907 Main St
        Cambridge, MA 02238

      2. jgg13 RE: Snowflake Sep 13, 2013 02:39 PM

        When you say a wait, how long are you talking?

        4 Replies
        1. re: jgg13
          trufflehound RE: jgg13 Sep 14, 2013 04:49 AM

          Soup dumplings generally take 20 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cool enough to eat so there's half of an hour lunch.

          1. re: trufflehound
            jgg13 RE: trufflehound Sep 14, 2013 06:49 AM

            I was aski specifically about e experience here, ie is t longer than one might expect for dumplings

            1. re: jgg13
              Snowflake RE: jgg13 Sep 16, 2013 05:47 AM

              When I was there Friday, they said it would be about 45 minues. It was a full house and their first friday being open.

              1. re: Snowflake
                jgg13 RE: Snowflake Sep 16, 2013 02:25 PM

                Cool, thanks. I find myself in central square frequently - but with the sort of time windows where 15 mins or so could make or break my chances of reasonably being able to go there so I was curious if we were takling 20 mins, 30, 40, or more.

        2. MC Slim JB RE: Snowflake Sep 14, 2013 06:01 AM

          I only went to All-Asia once or twice in its very early days, and don't recall it as being very good. Did I miss the good part of the menu, or did a new chef come along later, or did they start slow and get better?


          27 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB
            tatsu RE: MC Slim JB Sep 16, 2013 01:12 PM

            Food wasn't always a central part of the All-Asia experience and they've tried several formats throughout the years. Patty's dad was the star cook at one point, I know, only on certain days, and he did head Pu Pu Hot Pot back in the day. Patty and her husband Marc are an entertaining and entrepreneurial couple, everyone who know them loves them. None the less, Patty is the real deal, from Taiwan and has cooked all her life. I've had her food at events and she even made dumplings on the spot for me once at All-Asia when I came with a mutual friend. Organization is not their strong point, so I can see long delays on opening day.

            1. re: tatsu
              dulce de leche RE: tatsu Sep 16, 2013 01:17 PM

              Is the older man who used to run Pu Pu Hot Pot Patty's dad? He was such a great guy, super hospitable.

              1. re: dulce de leche
                femmevox RE: dulce de leche Sep 16, 2013 01:25 PM

                There was a great guy in the kitchen (who sometimes waited tables, too) and who was super hospitable.

                And a surly, beleaguered front of the house manager who was no relation, I'm pretty sure.

                Where have they gone? I miss them, and my staving off a cold infusion of their hot and sour soup.

                I looked at the menu, and I love dumplings. But--no soup? No noodles? No steamed buns? No hargau? Really, how long will can they last?

                1. re: femmevox
                  opinionatedchef RE: femmevox Sep 17, 2013 07:15 PM

                  <I looked at the menu, and I love dumplings. But--no soup? No noodles? No steamed buns? No hargau? Really, how long will/ can they last?>

                  My thoughts exactly. I was going to guess they want to get their feet under them but it sounds like they've had restnt for years............

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    Jenny Ondioline RE: opinionatedchef Sep 17, 2013 07:59 PM

                    On the other hand, I've long thought that Boston needs a dedicated dumpling restaurant that serves a quality product. (The biggest joke about Gourmet Dumpling House, other than the fact that people stand in line to eat there, is that their dumplings are just plain awful.) If the dumplings are good, I'm happy for them to take my money, and they can ignore all the other things they're "supposed" to have.

                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                      Infomaniac RE: Jenny Ondioline Sep 18, 2013 05:31 AM

                      I share the same thought. If the dumplings are good, I'd be happy to visit frequently.
                      It's not like we need another place that serves Har Gau dumplings....plenty of them around already.

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                        jgg13 RE: Jenny Ondioline Sep 18, 2013 05:47 AM

                        Right. I'd be sad if they were forced to reconcept away from dumpling restaurant and towards something more closely representing what people want out of an ameri-chinese restaurant.

                        1. re: jgg13
                          femmevox RE: jgg13 Sep 21, 2013 07:55 AM

                          The things I mentioned didn't have anything to do with being an "American-Chinese restaurant."

                          Typically the places that serve dumplings in Chinatown (to Chinese people!) also have steamed buns and congee.

                          IS a restaurant that just serves dumplings and nothing else authentically Asian? Love to know from someone who knows.

                          My guess is that it's more contemporary Asian trendy, like maybe some recent restaurants in Hong Kong. I doubt there are restaurants with a menu like Patty Chen's in China.

                          1. re: femmevox
                            jgg13 RE: femmevox Sep 21, 2013 10:59 AM

                            Define authentic. Are you suggesting that in all of asia there might not be a single eatery that only serves dumplings?

                            1. re: femmevox
                              kobuta RE: femmevox Sep 21, 2013 11:54 AM

                              On the contrary - dumpling specialty places are far more common in Asia (at least in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the few spots in China I've hit few and far between). In general I find these places more open and conducive to specialist vendors than in the states, where there is a mentality that you need mass market appeal and have a little bit of everything on the menu, even if it's not your strength.

                              One of my favorite places in HK is a small chain which pretty much only sell tangyuan (the little rice ball dumplings), in different flavors and varieties.

                          2. re: Jenny Ondioline
                            fara RE: Jenny Ondioline Sep 20, 2013 11:28 PM

                            Exactly. It was such a dissapointment for me at GDH. They were gross. And we ordered like 2 orders of dumplings, which is a lot plus other food. I mean you can get decent enough dumplings in plenty of other places. But a really great dumpling restaurant--I can't wait to try it, just don't tease us again!

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                              jgg13 RE: Jenny Ondioline Sep 21, 2013 05:27 AM

                              Isn't the chinese name of GDH something completely different and not related to dumplings?

                              Kind of like how Thailand Cafe became a total misnomer but the chinese name was something else.

                              1. re: jgg13
                                kobuta RE: jgg13 Sep 21, 2013 11:42 AM

                                Yes, their name translates to "south-north taste/flavor/style" and doesn't refer to dumplings at all. Same with Dumpling Cafe too - their name I think is south-north peace/harmony.

                                I've never found GDH's dumplings gross, but I haven't made many trips given the redonk lines. I thought their shandong pan fried dumplings were pretty good, but their xiaolong bao only meh. I found the local Taipei Cuisine xiaolong bao (in Quincy) far better than GDH.

                            2. re: opinionatedchef
                              jgg13 RE: opinionatedchef Sep 17, 2013 08:44 PM

                              They've actually had at least to restaurants for years - all Asia and pu pu were both the same family

                              1. re: jgg13
                                jgg13 RE: jgg13 Sep 18, 2013 05:46 AM

                                Argh - s/to/two. stupid ipad.

                              2. re: opinionatedchef
                                cambridgedoctpr RE: opinionatedchef Sep 18, 2013 06:32 AM

                                OC, i ordered dumplings and convinced them to let me come back and pick them up. They do have soup, hot and sour and miso soup though the portions were small. I liked the dumplings which i steamed to reheat; i especially liked the vegan dumplings.

                                I did not try them, but i assume that soupy pork buns are steamed buns.

                                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                                  opinionatedchef RE: cambridgedoctpr Sep 18, 2013 04:05 PM

                                  thx c. BTW, i do believe that 'soupy pork buns' are those 'soup dumplings' that you bite into and the broth comes squirting out.

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                    cambridgedoctpr RE: opinionatedchef Sep 19, 2013 11:03 AM

                                    i did not try them; from what i understood, they are not soup dumplings.

                                    by the way, given how soup dumplings are made; they are ancient hypermodern food. yummy, to boot.

                                    1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                                      Prav RE: cambridgedoctpr Sep 19, 2013 02:32 PM

                                      what could "soupy pork buns" be if they are not xiao long bao?

                                      1. re: Prav
                                        cambridgedoctpr RE: Prav Sep 19, 2013 02:36 PM

                                        i did not have them; i will try them.

                                        1. re: Prav
                                          viperlush RE: Prav Sep 19, 2013 07:19 PM

                                          Had them tonight. They are not xiao long bao. No liquid and had a thick skin. But they were sealed with a twist and not folded over like the others we tried. Still tasty though.

                                          1. re: viperlush
                                            kobuta RE: viperlush Sep 20, 2013 04:31 PM

                                            So soupy pork buns with no soup. This is when I really wish they had a Chinese menu (that is with Chinese characters - not some secret menu for those in the clan).

                                            1. re: kobuta
                                              saria RE: kobuta Sep 20, 2013 08:15 PM

                                              Could they be sheng jian bao?

                                              1. re: saria
                                                opinionatedchef RE: saria Sep 20, 2013 10:50 PM


                                                according to this, those are the soup buns w/ gelatin inside that melts.

                                                1. re: saria
                                                  viperlush RE: saria Sep 21, 2013 05:38 AM

                                                  That is closer to what they looked like. But, no liquid or undissolved gelatin.

                                                  1. re: viperlush
                                                    kobuta RE: viperlush Sep 21, 2013 11:35 AM

                                                    In all fairness, most shengjian bao I've had aren't nearly as soupy as xiaolong bao, but the filling shouldn't be dry. Perhaps this is more of an execution error, but I wouldn't translate shengjian bao into English as soupy pork buns either.

                                                    1. re: kobuta
                                                      saria RE: kobuta Sep 21, 2013 03:29 PM

                                                      I've had sheng jian bao with no soup (Andrea Nguyen's recipe doesn't include it at all, for example), and they're more steamed bun (being yeast-raised) than dumpling, so I wondered if they were maybe closer to that than xiao long bao based on how they were described.

                          3. g
                            Gabatta RE: Snowflake Sep 16, 2013 05:53 AM

                            My niece and nephew will be crushed that there is no longer Pu Pu Hot Pot to giggle at when visiting.

                            1. j
                              joth68 RE: Snowflake Sep 16, 2013 05:57 AM

                              I hit this up last night around 7:30 for dinner. According to the host, that was their first official day of being open. Had the veggie dumplings, taipei, kimchee, and emperor.

                              The Good: All were good, with the kimchee and emperor being the favorites. Look forward to going back and trying the rest.

                              The Bad: Service was SLOW. To be expected on opening day but worth noting. We were there almost two hours. At one point, Patty came out to apologize to the restaurant for the pacing and looked visibly stressed. Every dumpling is made to order which I'm not sure is sustainable if they want to turn tables.

                              Overall: Delicious dumplings and I am excited to go back in a month or two when service kinks are worked out.

                              1. u
                                Uncle Yabai RE: Snowflake Sep 17, 2013 06:02 PM

                                Who is this Patty? Is she related to Joyce?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                  tatsu RE: Uncle Yabai Sep 17, 2013 06:07 PM

                                  Pretty sure it is a common Chinese surname, and not related, but haven't asked directly.

                                2. l
                                  lossless RE: Snowflake Sep 17, 2013 07:59 PM

                                  Eager to try it soon. Is it really open until midnight 7 days a week? If so, wow.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: lossless
                                    viperlush RE: lossless Sep 19, 2013 07:20 PM

                                    I think they are trying to get a liquor license and stay open even later.

                                  2. v
                                    valcfield RE: Snowflake Sep 22, 2013 11:06 AM

                                    Unfortunate to read: J. Kenji López-Alt ‏of Serous Eats just tweeted "Followed up a great brunch with possibly the worst dumplings I've ever paid $27 for. Don't bother with the new Central Square spot..." (the brunch was at Craigie).

                                    26 Replies
                                    1. re: valcfield
                                      dtremit RE: valcfield Sep 22, 2013 03:39 PM

                                      Yikes. And he seems to adore GDH, for what that's worth.

                                      1. re: dtremit
                                        DrewStarr RE: dtremit Sep 23, 2013 06:57 AM

                                        You appear to be confusing Dumpling Cafe with GDH http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/07/du...

                                        1. re: DrewStarr
                                          dtremit RE: DrewStarr Sep 27, 2013 02:49 AM

                                          Aha! Thanks for the clarification.

                                      2. re: valcfield
                                        KWagle RE: valcfield Sep 23, 2013 04:26 AM

                                        I've never heard anyone say anything good about Pu Pu Hot Pot. So this doesn't actually surprise me much.

                                        1. re: KWagle
                                          MC Slim JB RE: KWagle Sep 25, 2013 05:38 AM

                                          Pu Pu Hot Pot was cheap, decent American-Chinese that was open on Tuesdays whenever I forgot that Mary Chung is closed on Tuesdays, which happened more often than I would like to admit. (Thailand Cafe changed this dynamic while its good-Sichuan phase lasted.) That's a sort-of good thing to say about it, no?


                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                            jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Sep 25, 2013 05:59 AM

                                            the lunch specials weren't a bad value

                                            1. re: jgg13
                                              MC Slim JB RE: jgg13 Sep 25, 2013 06:02 AM

                                              Its restrooms were not disgusting, and waters were sometimes promptly refilled.


                                            2. re: MC Slim JB
                                              bear RE: MC Slim JB Sep 25, 2013 06:57 AM

                                              I got the rice cake dishes at Pu Pu Hot Pot a couple of times, and they were tasty. Definitely on a Tuesday when we forgot that MC's was closed.

                                              1. re: bear
                                                MC Slim JB RE: bear Sep 25, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                I never got slapped by a waiter there (when I didn't deserve it).


                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                  femmevox RE: MC Slim JB Sep 25, 2013 10:27 AM

                                                  In praise of the Pupu Hotpot--

                                                  I really really loved their chowfun. They would make it for me as requested with slabs of fried tofu and vegetables. Wok hei and oyster sauce. Haven't found any I like as well elsewhere.

                                                  At the end of the evening, they'd give me a whole vat of hot and sour soup with my takeout, even when I just ordered a small.

                                                  The skinny, surly, anxious front-of-house guy complaining on days when there was no foot traffic and yelling at me when I complained that they'd raised the prices.

                                                  The smiling cook who spoke almost no English and sometimes also waited on table.

                                                  Great clientele--Chinese students from MIT, Nobel laureates,
                                                  the street hustler who sold used books in front of the Central Square post office coming in to get his takeout, serious solo scholars eating fried rice and reading philosophy, little girls with their grandparents there for an afternoon treat--it was sort of "great good place" at a price point that most folks in Central Square could afford.

                                                  I actually miss it a lot.

                                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                    bear RE: MC Slim JB Sep 25, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                    Or spit in my soup (at least while I was watching.)

                                              2. re: KWagle
                                                viperlush RE: KWagle Sep 25, 2013 07:07 AM

                                                They delivered. MC's doesn't.

                                                1. re: viperlush
                                                  jgg13 RE: viperlush Sep 25, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                  They brought food to me although I don't know I'd say they ever *delivered*.

                                                  sorry, bad pun.

                                                  But yes, often lost in any discussion of central square area chinese is what you state - MC doesn't deliver. It seems like a regular occurrence that there'll be a thread looking for delivery options and people will start chiming in w/ MC. (I'll admit I go a notch beyond simple 'delivery' when such things matter as I refuse to get delivery from a place that's not on Foodler)

                                                  1. re: jgg13
                                                    StriperGuy RE: jgg13 Sep 25, 2013 09:48 AM

                                                    What's so great about foodler?

                                                    1. re: StriperGuy
                                                      mkfisher RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 09:52 AM

                                                      I also refuse to go beyond Foodler. Just like the ease of use. Lots of good options. They already have my credit card and tipping preferences saved. Also they have great rewards. Sitting on a $50 credit at the moment.

                                                      1. re: mkfisher
                                                        StriperGuy RE: mkfisher Sep 25, 2013 10:15 AM

                                                        Wow, who knew. You wouldn't go beyond foodler even for something really delicious?

                                                        Wow these internets really are a big deal.

                                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                                          Nab RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 10:21 AM

                                                          Most of the Chinatown restaurants are not on Foodler but recently a small consortium started this gamechanger !


                                                          No, not 5-spice pastrami.

                                                          1. re: StriperGuy
                                                            mkfisher RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                            If say Doowee and Rice delivered to me and it wasn't on Foodler, I would do that (sadly I'm outside their radius). With Zoe's being closed, this might change. Need to find a new place for American-Chinese.

                                                            1. re: mkfisher
                                                              jgg13 RE: mkfisher Sep 25, 2013 10:37 AM

                                                              I'm ever so slightly out of their range (boo!) but I think most of their items are things which would really not travel well. At least that's how I cry myself to sleep at night

                                                            2. re: StriperGuy
                                                              jgg13 RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 10:36 AM

                                                              If it was really delicious I wouldn't be wasting delivery on it

                                                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                Jenny Ondioline RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 11:18 AM

                                                                As others have said, if I can avoid talking on the phone at any point, I will.

                                                              2. re: mkfisher
                                                                Boston_Otter RE: mkfisher Sep 25, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                I've started using GrubHub more than Foodler after several incidences of lost orders; when I called the various places I'd ordered from, they told me that Foodler was notorious for not sending them orders on time, and that they vastly preferred when customers used GrubHub.

                                                                1. re: Boston_Otter
                                                                  Gabatta RE: Boston_Otter Sep 25, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                                  Any time I've had a complaint with Foodler, I have been offered a full credit for the item or order in question (whether late or incorrect).

                                                                  1. re: Gabatta
                                                                    Jenny Ondioline RE: Gabatta Sep 25, 2013 02:16 PM

                                                                    Same here, although it only happened once, and I merely never ordered from that place again. (I'd ordered a calzone and they'd sent me a pizza with the same ingredients.)

                                                                    1. re: Gabatta
                                                                      Boston_Otter RE: Gabatta Sep 25, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                                      Me too, I've always had great customer service from them. Then again, GrubHub has been equally helpful. It's honestly more about what restaurants I'm ordering from.

                                                                      The issue I have with both sites is that it's very difficult to customize items at times. Simple substitutions or changes ("no onions please") are easy, but if I want to add bacon to a sandwich or want an extra side of blue cheese -- things that take three seconds to request over the phone for a small upcharge -- they just can't be done unless the restaurant has specificially set up their listings to allow it (and most don't).

                                                                2. re: StriperGuy
                                                                  jgg13 RE: StriperGuy Sep 25, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                  Convenience. It used to be that some nontrivial percentage of the time I'd get off the phone not even sure if the person understood what I meant, this takes care of that confusion.

                                                                  My payment is directly through them so my CC is in one company''s hands, not several.

                                                                  Their customer service has been such that whenever I've had issues with a specific place they take care of things (even if its just giving me an extra 15 bucks for my trouble).

                                                                  And most importantly I hate using the phone and in the Internet age now I don't have to.

                                                                  I'm generally not expecting top quality out of delivery (its always degraded) so if I miss a place or two it's not going to bum me out.

                                                        2. m
                                                          mkfisher RE: Snowflake Sep 26, 2013 05:18 AM

                                                          They made a quite funny post to their Facebook page last night. Talking about all the issues they've encountered in the first couple of weeks.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: mkfisher
                                                            jgg13 RE: mkfisher Sep 26, 2013 05:32 AM

                                                            I'm sure they mentioned this, but when I walked by yesterday there was a sign up saying that they'd run out of stock every day

                                                            1. re: jgg13
                                                              mkfisher RE: jgg13 Sep 26, 2013 05:40 AM

                                                              Actually, don't remember that in the post (but there were a bunch of items so I might just be forgetting it). I'm not on Facebook otherwise I'd just copy it over to here. Wife showed it to me.

                                                            2. re: mkfisher
                                                              MC Slim JB RE: mkfisher Sep 26, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                              It's pretty tragicomic, and a good example of why you should skip the shakedown cruise:

                                                              "Dear Everyone:

                                                              Yes, we have been open, officially for 10 days, and everything is not perfect.

                                                              1st problem: Tickets were running up to an hour, in the first couple of days, as we had no griddle,

                                                              Where are we now? 20 minutes at lunch and 10-12 minutes at dinner.

                                                              2nd Problem: We mislabeled the Juicy Buns as "Soupy Buns" ATTENTION EVERYONE, WE DON'T SELL SOUPY BUNS. WE DON'T MAKE XIAOLONG BAO. We sell " Juicy Buns" They don't have soup inside, and have a thicker skin, but are also DEELISH!

                                                              3D problem: POS was crashing 3 times per hour

                                                              Solution: POS issues will soon be resolved.

                                                              4th problem: Every Single appliance died in the first 5 days. Dishwasher, Mixer, Griddle, Stove, Food Processor, Reach-in Freezer, Coffee Maker, Steam Table...seriously, "the Gods must be Crazy"

                                                              Solution: Everything has been replaced and/or repaired.

                                                              5th problem: Our walk-in refrigerator is a freezer..and we did not have a replacement freezer to hold the small quantitie of frozen items

                                                              Solution: We got a new upright freezer and are converting the walk in to a cooler, tomorrow.

                                                              It's really hard to stock-pile fresh made dumplings, in racks, without a refrigerated space. Stockpiled dumplings had to go in the walk-in freezer, in morning, and then brought out, with enough time to thaw for cooking...very difficult.

                                                              6th problem: Some dumplings looked like other dumplings, so orders got mixed up.

                                                              Solution: we have made distinct shapes, skin color and cooking style, so no dumplings get mixed.

                                                              Thank your for your patience. Sorry for any inconvenience.

                                                              Patty Chen and family"


                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                jgg13 RE: MC Slim JB Sep 26, 2013 07:43 AM

                                                                I find the whole soup/juicy dumpling thing to be pretty funny. Even "juicy" implies XLB to me as that's a phrase commonly used around here. I won't even get into the bit about how people are reporting the filling is dry and crumbly on the juicy dumplings.

                                                            3. c
                                                              cambridgedoctpr RE: Snowflake Sep 28, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                              i was there on friday to pick up some veggie dumplings; the place was nearly empty at 6 30; that is not a good sign.

                                                              1. Prav RE: Snowflake Sep 29, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                I walked in there at 10:45 on a weekday night and asked if I could put in one order of dumplings to take-away...she said there is a 45 minute delay, I laughed and left.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Prav
                                                                  DrewStarr RE: Prav Sep 30, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                  was that before or since the above mentioned facebook post?

                                                                  1. re: DrewStarr
                                                                    Prav RE: DrewStarr Oct 1, 2013 02:54 AM

                                                                    After - though I hadn't seen it (or was aware they were on FB). It was more of a friendly mutual "heh, I know, 45 minutes, crazy, right?" laugh rather than a sneer. ;)

                                                                2. lipoff RE: Snowflake Feb 15, 2014 05:19 PM

                                                                  I don't mean to add insult to injury here, but I had a really hilarious meal here the other night. The short answer is that it is most definitely not worth the wait, even if there were no wait, which there most certainly is not.

                                                                  It took five minutes to get seated in a mostly empty restaurant, and then more than ten minutes to order.

                                                                  Coconut bubble tea is served in a cute coconut shaped mug, but tasted like watery coconut water with squishy boba. It was a lot better than the water, which tasted off.

                                                                  But not as off as the dumplings. The waitress got both of our dumpling orders wrong, so it took 35 minutes before the first correct dumpling, the "dumpling room" (shrimp, pork and chives) arrived. Two of the six dumplings were uncooked to the point of having raw pork and raw shrimp inside.

                                                                  Thankful for the divine protection afforded to me by following the spirit of the laws of kashrut, I had ordered the "Papa Chen's veggie" (chives, egg and rice noodles), which came out 45 minutes after being ordered, and still undercooked and gummy, but at least not dangerous.

                                                                  Other than the dirty plates, broken China, peeling wall paint, reused wooden chopsticks, I will say that the dumplings looked pretty, and the fried shallots (?) on top were a nice touch.

                                                                  Their website says they close at 11:30 PM, but the waitress sent away two different parties who tried to come in just before 10 PM. As people left the waitress didn't clear off the dirty dishes from the table, just let them stay there until closing time. Patty Chen emerged from the kitchen briefly to turn up the volume on the music when her favorite song came on, which stayed loud through the rest of the meal.

                                                                  The one saving grace to that meal was that Toscanini's is next door, and nothing gets rid of the taste of a hilariously bad meal and hilariously poor service than a pint of delicious cardamom ice cream.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: lipoff
                                                                    bear RE: lipoff Feb 16, 2014 07:28 AM

                                                                    Sorry you had to go through that, but it is pretty awesome to read!

                                                                  2. c
                                                                    cambridgedoctpr RE: Snowflake Feb 16, 2014 07:04 AM

                                                                    the dumplings are good; i just bring them home and steam them myself.

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