Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dumpling Cafe, Chinatown, Boston

A couple of weeks ago I brought you the news that the Dumpling Cafe, located on Washington Street in Boston's Chinatown, had not only opened, but was offering a tremendous deal to celebrate Chinese New Year (deal continues until the end of February!)  Last night I had the extreme honor of being invited to partake in their grand opening party, and celebration of the new year.  Never being one to turn down dumplings, I happily accepted the invitation, but had no idea of the wonders that would fill my evening.

Upon entering the small space, the cheery environment immediately envelops you, and the bright red colors warm you from the chill of the outside.  The sheer attitude of Dumpling Cafe welcomes you from the moment you step inside.  Last night, was a little extra special as within moments of arriving a beautiful Chinese Dragon puppet performed a traditional dance, symbolic of bringing both the new restaurant and the new year, power, strength and good luck.  It was a beautiful site to see and one that I won't soon forget.

The food, because lets face it, that's what we're there for, I won't soon forget either.  I sampled my way around the table laid out for the occasion taste testing pan fried pork and leek dumplings, pan fried seafood dumpling, pan fried vegetable dumpling, steamed mini juicy buns with pork and crab meat, and scallion pancakes.  On each of the buns the supple casings was well cooked, resulting in the perfect chewy texture, without that awful raw feel.  And even best, they were sturdy enough to encapsulate all of the beautiful juices escaping from the stuffing's inside, creating a beautifully runny waterfall of flavor with the first bite.  The ingredients stuffing each one were unique, possessing flavors completely different from each other.  Both of these facets I found to be a pleasant surprise in the face of the normal outcome of dumplings.  Too often they taste all the same- no matter the ingredients- making one wonder what actually is housed inside those little casings.  The pork and leek had beautiful light onion flavor throughout the tender meat, and the seafood dumplings were only lightly seasoned to allow the full flavors of seafood to shine through.

My favorites of the evening, the mini juicy buns, with pork and crab meat and the heavenly scallion pancakes.  The juicy buns, also referred to as "soup buns" were a literal explosion of delicious soup like liquid, spilling out of a beautifully steamed bun, and finally giving way to the patty of pork and crab inside.  Beautiful to look at, even prettier to eat.  The scallion pancakes, in a word, were just completely addictive.  I have always been a fan of these pan fried triangles of deliciousness, but last nights were some of the best I've had.  Made from un-leavened flat bread dough, with delicious scallions, these are pan fried to a light golden brown.  At Dumpling Cafe the dough was light and airy, more so than most, and not weighed down by the grease of the pan fry.

Browsing through their menu, Dumpling Cafe has a lot more than just dumplings, offering a wide array of familiar and unique dishes.  They have some fantastic specials it appears all the time, making them a really nice and affordable option for lunch or dinner in the city.  Act fast for their New Years celebration though- dinner for two just $20!            

Dumpling Cafe on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

Megan said...

I love scallion pancakes... and all kinds of dumplings. I must go there soon!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I echo Megan on my love for scallion pancakes! This event looks so fun - totally unlike anything I've attended.

Jen said...

OMG I need to go there! Thanks for reminding me about their deal.

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