My search for the best dumplings in New York continues….
Sometimes I’m wrong – believe it or not. Food blogging is not always precise and many factors weigh in to how I feel about a meal.
So while it’s not always possible to return to a restaurant (there’s always a new place to try and believe it or not, my funds are limited), I do like to sometimes try again at a place that was less impressive to me to see what I may have missed.
Mimi Cheng’s is one such place. They opened in 2014 and I immediately visited
to check out their clean, updated versions of jiaozi. I was not impressed. But the rest of the city couldn’t stop going on about the dumplings. Maybe I missed something.
So last month when they opened a second location in Nolita, I thought it was the perfect chance to see how wrong I was. I am pleased with myself to say I was mostly right.
I decided not to make the same mistakes I made last time. I ordered my dumplings pan-fried as opposed to steamed. That was a given, but then I noticed they offer something called The 50/50 where you can get a half portion of two of their fillings. Great.
Since pork is the standard when it comes to Chinese (or in this case Taiwanese) dumplings, I had to revisit the Reinvented Classic. I was also interested in their Mighty Veggie.
Last time I remember the East Village location being very clean almost to the point of sterile. I can’t say the same thing about this new location. The tables were all a mess – not a single one was cleaned – and the staff seemed to all be on their breaks.
But the dumplings were better. Not much better, but a bit better.
The Reinvented Classic had some nice flavors (especially when dipped into the “secret sauce”) and the pork quality might be better than the usual cheap spots in Chinatown. But only a few dumplings had a crisp skin (which to me, is the only reason to order them fried). Most were just dripping grease and soggy.
Surprisingly, the Mighty Veggie had a crispIer exterior and was stuffed with some healthy ingredients – kale, zucchini, shiitake, carrots, and a hit of protein from egg. I also liked how thin the wrappers were, but I have to say it was pretty bland.
So I have to learn to trust my first impressions. I still can’t fully get behind Mimi Cheng’s. Pan-fried is the way to go here, for sure, but there are so many tastier and cheaper options for dumplings just blocks away in Chinatown.
Does Mimi Cheng’s have the best dumplings in NY? The answer is still no, but I will bump them to a 6 out of 10 since a few of their skins at least have a tender crunch. Perhaps by their third location, they will finally get it right.
|380 Broome Street (between Mulberry and Mott Street),