When a restaurant only serves one thing, they better do that one thing well. Such is the case for Dumpling Man in the East Village. As I headed up St. Mark’s Place, concluding my tour, I was hit with hunger and suddenly drawn to a small Asian eatery simply named, “Dumpling Man.” Although my education of dumplings comes only from Dragon Gate and the occasional order from Grace’s Café, I am still a lover. Dumpling Man seemed to be the necessary place for developing my dumpling palate.
I entered and with a bewildered look spread across my faces, I murmured, “I’ve never been here before.” In a heavy Asian accent, the guy behind the counter casually responded, “Then I would try the mixed. The perfect amount for one person.” It turns out, the mixed order gives you two, a steamed dumpling and a pan-seared dumpling, of each kind of filling, for a total of 8 dumplings. If I was to truly explore the dumpling, I needed to try them all, so I ordered the mixed and a Coke. The total came to just about 10 dollars, and was about to be the best 10 dollars I have ever spent for food.
There was not a lot of seating inside, but I managed to sit down at the window from where you could watch two old woman make and cook the dumplings behind the glass. Although it has never stopped me from ordering them, the concept of what is actually in my dumplings has often puzzled me. For a lot of people, being unable to identify the mystery meat inside a Chinese dumpling is what holds them back from enjoying them. At Dumpling Man, you actually can watch them being made, and filled, and cooked.
As I pondered this novel idea, my order was called and I received just a small try with different colored dumplings inside. I began to feast. Much to my delight, although not unexpected, they were delicious. They were so ridiculously good that I wanted to get more, but by the time I was done, I was perfectly full because the portion was “perfect for one person.” I recommend everyone go there, in fact we should all go together some night, much like when we all randomly went to Pomme Frites, which only serves French fries, but they are damn good, just like Dumpling Man. Dumpling Man is located at 100 St. Mark’s Place.
Here is a link to their website: http://www.dumplingman.com/index.html
Also check out this ridiculous video of Al Roker eating at Dumpling Man for his show Roker on the Road. What a character…