My search for the best dumplings in New York continues….

Due to my job and my new family responsibilities, I don’t find myself out to dinner nearly as often as I used to. So I’m one of the few out here who waits until the newest restaurants start serving lunch. Lunch is usually my time to go explore now.

So I always get frustrated when a restaurant decides to limit their options at lunch or not offer the full menu. And I understand the difficulties of doing that at some of the top fancy restaurants in the city, but at the new casual dumpling spots?

Pinch Chinese opened a few months ago and recently started serving lunch. I made way to the storefront and after studying the menu posted outside, decided to go in and get the Seafood and Pork Soup Dumplings. These would be the most similar to the ones I can find at many Shanghainese restaurants across Chinatown at dinner or at lunch.

But Pinch only offers a maddeningly priced $18 prix fixe at lunch. So if I wanted dumplings, I have to also order a beef noodle soup or chicken sandwich and get a salad and spend more than I expected to for a plate of dumplings. I was frustrated because the menu out front listed the option to order dumplings for $10 (still too much, but this is Soho) but I learned that was for dinner only.

There was an option to order three dumplings a la carte for $5 and so I decided this was the best option for me. Except they still did not offer the classic Seafood + Pork option. it was only available for those privileged enough to come at dinner.

I took a few deep breaths and ordered both the Pork Soup Dumplings and Chicken and Cabbage Dumplings. 6 for $10. I’d get the same number for a third of the price in Chinatown. But that’s the way it goes at these new fancy spots.

You can read my thoughts about a similar expensive dumpling place (Mimi Cheng’s) but these were at least worth the higher price tag. The soup dumplings were very delicate with a nice porky juice inside. I do wish there was more soup. I would have liked that danger of biting into the pasta purse and scalding myself. There was so little soup that I could easily eat the entire thing in one bite. And where’s the fun in that?

I had less complaints about the chicken and cabbage. These skins were moist and the fillings were meaty, peppery, and earthy. They tasted very clean and refined.

For those that have a more flexible life than me and hang out in Soho for dinner, I would think this would be a good choice. I would think their “full menu” has more value and better choices. But I wouldn’t know since I’m only a lunch diner.

Does Pinch Chinese have the best dumplings in NY? The two that I tried despite the high price were nice and flavorful, but I wish the full dumpling roster were available during the day. Good dumplings are still good dumplings so out of 10.

PINCH CHINESE
177 Prince Street (between Thompson and Sullivan Street),
Soho
(212) 328-7880
pinchchinese.com
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Category: Dumplings

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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