What Charmin Bears Love: Food|Dogs|Sephora

Our foodie instincts take over when we're out and about.

Boston: October 18

on October 23, 2010

Dumpling Cafe @ 695 Washington Street

Hello all,

I am back to review a new Chinese restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown. It’s been opened for a few months, but I haven’t had the chance to eat there until this past week. Dumpling Cafe is your typical Taiwanese restaurant. Their restaurants are never as dingy as the Cantonese ones (why is that by the way?). It’s often nicely decorated with clean tables. The waiters/waitresses are always busy running around trying to put food on the customers’ tables. Their dishes are mainly Jiangsu & Zhejiang influences with a few Cantonese dishes here and there. Despite the name, they really don’t have that many dumpling choices.

My first visit here, my friends and I ordered Hot & Sour Soup, Crab & Pork Meat Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai Pan Fried Noodles, Salt & Pepper Pork Chops and Braised Tofu with Vegetables. I don’t like Hot & Sour Soup to begin with, but I thought it tasted funny. I also don’t recommend the Salt & Pepper Pork Chops. I think Cantonese restaurants make them best. We had leftovers for both and didn’t even bother packing the Hot & Sour Soup. The Shanghai Pan Fried Noodles, however, were delicious. It wasn’t too salty, the noodles had a good texture. That was the first dish we finished. The Braised Tofu was also seasoned perfectly and very good. It was the second dish we finished. The Xiao Long Bao, better known as soup dumplings, were quite disappointing. The filling was decent and the soup was okay, but the skin was too thick and rough for my liking. Joe Shanghai still holds my #1 spot for Xiao Long Bao! Sorry, no pictures here.

I came back another time with a co-worker to try some of their other dishes. I ordered the Beef Noodle Soup. For $6, you get a giant bowl that is more than enough to fill a 100 lb Asian girl. Again, their noodles were amazing to eat. I discovered that they make it themselves! If you look closely at the noodles, you’ll realize that they come in all different sizes, which is usually a clue they are home-made fresh and not from a machine or purchased in bulk. The stew itself was really flavorful. It might be too salty for some, but I like it. The beef they use is also very tender and comes right off the fat when you’re eating it.

Dumpling Cafe - Beef Noodle Soup

Beef Noodle Soup

We also ordered the Fried Wonton appetizer, which I think every one should try! It can be a bit oily, but it tastes really good. The pork and leek are all minced up. I love the way leek always enhances the taste of dumplings. It’s wrapped in a traditional Shanghainese style, where it kind of looks like a tortellini.

Dumpling Cafe - Fried Wonton

Fried Wonton

I really like this restaurant and will go back from time to time. Downtown Boston isn’t too far away, so I intend to return for lunch. Since the food is good, you can expect this restaurant to always be busy during lunch or dinner time. I can’t say service is impeccable, but they’re usually nice and honest. I actually asked the waitress to recommend either the Fried Wonton or another appetizer and she picked the cheaper Fried Wonton instead of tricking me to spend more. One complaint I have is that there is very little space to maneuver around. The square tables are literally right next to each other. It’s like eating at a giant long table with strangers. But that’s definitely not a deal breaker for me. With delicious food and nice wait staff, all I have to say is: Dumpling Cafe, I will be back!

– Charmin Bear T


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