"The Chinese dumpling is a magnificent product of the human imagination:
At its best, it is charming in appearance, chewy and savory, and can
trigger a head rush like sashimi or blue cheese." Tim Wu calls for a Dumpling Revolution, and my belly rumbles in agreement. [via Kathryn]
The first time I ever tasted the sweet, sweet nectar of soup dumplings was at the Chelsea branch of Grand Sichuan, three or more years ago with Alaina. Grand Sichuan St Mark's has been open for over a year now and while I was slightly disappointed with them during their first few months, I'm happy to report that the food has gotten better and better every time I've visited. In fact, after my most recent meal there this past week, I can finally say that Grand Sichuan St Mark's has now replaced New Green Bo as my number one Chinese spot—the only way I could love it more is if the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory opened up a branch on St Mark's too!
Soup dumplings aside, my current favorite items on the menu are the Sichuan Wontons in red oil, the Sichuan Dan Dan noodles, and the cold cucumber in scallion sauce. Thank you to Donny for making me try the latter dish despite my anti-cucumber bias, it's so delicious and refreshing that I now order them with every meal, and so should you.
eGullet conversation with Ruth Reichl on Chinese food on NYC (emphasis mine): "Which is all a long way of saying that after living in California, it's
hard to get very excited about Chinese food in New York. We just don't
have the kind of monied, sophisticated Chinese eaters who support great
And on the absence of Chinese restaurants in the Michelin Guide: "This is a subject I could go on forever about: Basically, Americans are
racist about Chinese food. We just don't think it should be as
expensive as western food. When my friend Bruce Cost had a great
Chinese restaurant in SF, one of the reviews actually said, "What makes
him think we should pay as much for Chinese as French food?" And he was
buying from the same purveyors as Chez Panisse." [via kyu]
Eating China is a new-to-me website and blog about Chinese food culture and history. Despite my love of other fermented foods (kimchi!) and beverages (beer!), the godawful stink of stinky tofu is still in the way of a real love affair between me and this unique dish.
NYCNip and Squirt.A Full Belly patron saint Robert Sietsema reviews Mott Street's two-year-old Shanghai Café: "The most expensive ($6.95 for 8) features pork and a larger wad of crab than has ever been found in a juicy bun before. Sans crab, the dumplings are two dollars less, and I don't know which to recommend,
since each is equally good in its own way. A third type cloaks gravy and pork in a doughier dumpling, fried crisp on the bottom like a pot sticker. The squirting grease will still kill you." Sounds like my kind of place! When I'm in Chinatown I almost always eat at New Green Bo, but I'll give Shanghai Café a shot next week.