HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >

Battle of the Potstickers

echoparkdirt Jan 9, 2014 10:32 PM

Say one was looking for the best fried pork dumplings in DC....

Where would one go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. ipsedixit RE: echoparkdirt Jan 10, 2014 08:09 AM

    Just speaking for downtown DC (not the burbs), either Toki or The Source.

    Avoid anything in Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Worldwide Diner RE: ipsedixit Jan 10, 2014 06:30 PM

      Then at least save some money....do Toki.

    2. e
      Elyssa RE: echoparkdirt Jan 10, 2014 09:36 AM

      The dumplings at Toki are amazing---they have that crisp bottom that gets it just right. Get it as an appetizer and then enjoy a big bowl of ramen.

      1. h
        hamster RE: echoparkdirt Jan 10, 2014 10:06 AM

        Dumplings are much better at China Bistro (Mama's Dumplings) in Rockville.

        I actually really disliked the dumplings at Toki, though I only tried them once. Blah filling and terrible sauce on top.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hamster
          SandyCat RE: hamster Jan 11, 2014 08:29 AM

          I had a similar dumpling experience at Toki; tough, thick skin, meh filling.

        2. w
          Worldwide Diner RE: echoparkdirt Jan 10, 2014 06:18 PM

          I've not had any stand out potstickers in the DC metro area. Most have overly thick wrappers. For a while, 100 Degrees Chinese made them to order and they were probably the best but I don't know if they do that anymore. In any case, it wasn't anything special.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Worldwide Diner
            ipsedixit RE: Worldwide Diner Jan 10, 2014 06:21 PM

            Right. Agreed. They all sort of, well, suck.

            But let's help out the OP.

            It's a typical "find the tallest midget at the circus" query.

            Heck, most of us would probably settle for the second tallest midget in this case (see: Toki and The Source).

            1. re: ipsedixit
              echoparkdirt RE: ipsedixit Jan 11, 2014 10:59 PM

              so depressing. no luscious dumplings, eh?

              1. re: echoparkdirt
                ipsedixit RE: echoparkdirt Jan 12, 2014 11:13 AM

                Oh my, no.

                1. re: echoparkdirt
                  Steve RE: echoparkdirt Jan 12, 2014 03:21 PM

                  The dumplings at China Bistro in Rockville are excellent. this is THE place to go for dumplings. But I have only had them steamed, not fried. I have never asked for fried, so I don't even know if they do that, but I suppose it is an option.

                  1. re: Steve
                    DanielK RE: Steve Jan 12, 2014 07:09 PM

                    Steve, China Bistro will do any of the dumplings pan-fried for an extra $0.50/order.

                    I wouldn't do it for takeout, and some of them (like the vegetable or fish) don't do well fried. But the Mama's Special I usually get fried, and they are excellent.

            2. p
              PollyG RE: echoparkdirt Jan 12, 2014 04:55 PM

              While they are not the traditional shape, the pan-fried pork dumplings at A&G (Annandale and Rockville) are excellent. Ask for the black vinegar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PollyG
                DanielK RE: PollyG Jan 12, 2014 07:07 PM

                To quickly correct a typo, in case anyone is trying to Google, Polly means A&J. And I second her rec.

                1. re: DanielK
                  echoparkdirt RE: DanielK Jan 22, 2014 10:57 PM

                  I went there, thought the dumplings were extremely mediocre.

              2. c
                cfoodie RE: echoparkdirt Jan 12, 2014 05:38 PM

                If you get to Flushing NY or Chinatown NY, there are potsticker stalls (one in each, Flushing is better), that are out of this world, even when eaten cold. Over here, not too inspiring. I find the frozen ones at supermarket more tasty than most of the restaurants here including China Bistro. GL.

                4 Replies
                1. re: cfoodie
                  ipsedixit RE: cfoodie Jan 12, 2014 07:10 PM

                  Best reply thus far.

                  "Let's find the tallest midget at the circus."

                  "Oh, nevermind, let's just go and find somebody on the basketball team."

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    DanielK RE: ipsedixit Jan 12, 2014 07:19 PM

                    I don't know - I walked through Chinatown NY last winter, going to the "best of" stalls for potstickers. There were some really good ones, and the value can't be beat at a handful freshly made for $1, but none of them blew me away, either.

                    1. re: DanielK
                      ipsedixit RE: DanielK Jan 12, 2014 07:26 PM

                      Flushing. Go to Flushing.

                      Nothing much in Manhattan. A few good spots here and there, but nothing that'll require a new pair of socks. All that said, still better than anything in downtown DC.

                      1. re: DanielK
                        Steve RE: DanielK Jan 12, 2014 08:27 PM

                        I agree with Daniel K., Hard to find better than China Bistro, but like I said before, I've only had them steamed.

                  2. o
                    Oxalis RE: echoparkdirt Jan 14, 2014 07:51 AM

                    Strangely enough given the so-so nature of most of the rest of their menu, we think the pork gyoza at Passion Fin in Bethesda are outstanding. They are on the dainty side, with very thin and delicate skins, and perfectly fried (the three times we've had them). The filling is not quite as tasty as the Mama's special dumplings at China Bistro, but it's very good.


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Oxalis
                      uwsgrazer RE: Oxalis Jan 20, 2014 07:03 AM

                      I've never heard of Passion Fin until your post. Anything else there to recommend that's at least a notch above "so-so"? Just want to avoid a special trip only for the dumplings (gyoza).


                      1. re: uwsgrazer
                        Oxalis RE: uwsgrazer Jan 22, 2014 10:14 AM

                        We have really liked their tempura as well. On the appetizer menu, we have tried the shrimp tempura (which is served with a few tempura vegetables) and the soft shell crab tempura (probably not always in season?). From the sushi menu, I also really like their shrimp tempura rolls, which come with micro greens, cucumber, carrot, and a tasty sauce. We also have been satisfied with the avocado rolls. Other sushi just hasn't been up to the level of most of the places we go to, though it seems fresh and is not offensive in any way.

                        Other things that might make a special trip worthwhile: Passion Fin is just a few doors down from the wonderful Praline bakery and restaurant. So even if you didn't love your lunch, you could console yourself with some fabulous pastries or house-made chocolates and grab some bread to go. And if you wanted to do a progressive meal, you could start with some gyoza and tempura at Passion Fin, then venture about a mile down the road to the tiny Kanpai Sushi on MacArthur Blvd, for very good sushi prepared by very nice people (http://www.kanpaisushi.com/).

                        1. re: Oxalis
                          uwsgrazer RE: Oxalis Jan 22, 2014 08:11 PM

                          Wow, thanks Oxalis. I'm not familiar with Kanpai Sushi. I like your idea of a progressive meal, though I will probably wait for warmer weather to execute on that suggestion. So for now I think the plan would be some tempura and gyoza, followed by treats next door at the bakery.

                    2. echoparkdirt RE: echoparkdirt Jan 19, 2014 03:20 PM

                      I checked out A&J in Annandale. Those were certainly not the best potstickers in DC

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: echoparkdirt
                        ipsedixit RE: echoparkdirt Jan 22, 2014 11:07 PM

                        Here's a thought. And a scary one.

                        Maybe they *are* the best potstickers in DC.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          echoparkdirt RE: ipsedixit Jan 22, 2014 11:43 PM

                          actually, that thought had occurred to me, and I may cut short my search for anything chinese in DC (coming from LA, it is sure to be a bummer)

                          that said, Panda Gourmet is pretty good....

                          1. re: echoparkdirt
                            Steve RE: echoparkdirt Jan 23, 2014 06:36 AM

                            Just like a lot of other cuisines, you have to pick up on the item here or there that is, in fact, very delicious.

                      2. h
                        holdtheline RE: echoparkdirt Jan 21, 2014 10:34 PM

                        Izakaya Daikaya, as an appetizer that sometimes arrives after your Ramen, serves great gyoza.

                        1. w
                          Worldwide Diner RE: echoparkdirt Jan 29, 2014 11:25 AM


                          Here's an uninspiring "best of" list that proves my point, with the exception of Bob's Shanghai, which makes delicious xlb.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Worldwide Diner
                            DanielK RE: Worldwide Diner Jan 30, 2014 12:42 PM

                            The only point that article proves is that if you advertise on Thrillist, you get included in "best of" lists.

                          Show Hidden Posts