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Battle of the Potstickers

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

Where would one go?

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

    Avoid anything in Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

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

    2. 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. 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

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

        2. 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

            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

              so depressing. no luscious dumplings, eh?

                1. re: echoparkdirt

                  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

                    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. 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

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

                1. re: DanielK

                  I went there, thought the dumplings were extremely mediocre.

              2. 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

                  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

                    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

                      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

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

                  2. 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

                      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

                        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

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

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: echoparkdirt

                        Here's a thought. And a scary one.

                        Maybe they *are* the best potstickers in DC.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          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

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

                        1. http://www.thrillist.com/eat/washingt...

                          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

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