Posts Tagged With: Xi’an famous foods

EV Bites – The Dumplings Belt

Mimi Cheg's - Mopu TofuEvidence of the “Pierogies/Vareniki Belt” can still be found on 2nd ave in East Village, dating back to the late 19th century when Ukrainian and Polish immigrants started flocking the area.  Less than a quarter of the 100,000 at the peak, still remain, and the percentage of the Pierogi shops dwindled even more.  We are down to Little Poland near east 12th, the Pierogi speakeasy of Streecha on 7th, and the Pierogi kingdom of Veselka, arguably the most famous and popular Ukrainian in the country.  I may be forgetting one or three.

But these days for every Pierogi joint there seems to be 5 dumpling shops popping up on or off 2nd.  While it may be premature to rename it the Dumplings Belt, there are various articles out there calling East Village our newest and hippest Chinatown.  If it is, its a Chinatown that looks like Little Moldova just as much.

With that said, here’s where you can find some of the best Dumplings on/off 2nd ave these days.

Silky Kitchen – Its not a question whether there’s any legit Hunanese joints in this area, but how many are out there now.  Silky’s dry noodle dishes pack a punch, but its the delicious beef and daikan dumplings that makes me keep coming back.  137 E 13th (3/4)

Silky Kitchen

Mimi Cheng’s (top) – The story of the two sisters (Mimi’s daughters) is inspiring, and the ultra-fresh ingredient driven dumplings in a way reflect that.  While all the dumplings are good, locals flock for the unique monthly specials and collaborations like Foie Gras, black truffle, chicken a la NoMad Chicken, and the explosive Mapo Tofu dumplings available this month.  179 2nd Ave (11/12)

Dian Kitchen – Off off 2nd ave, Husband and wife team dishing out silky Yunanese style noodles based on family recipes.  The pan fried dumplings feature your basic pork/chive/cabbage filling and they are just about perfect.  Well balanced, crispy and delicious.  435 E 9th St (1st/A)

Dian Kitchen Dumplings

 

The Bao – These guys are so serious about their soup dumplings that they stopped making them once they realized they lost their touch.  They were on a break (“Friends” style.  Btw, to learn which member of Friends lives near the Bao, you need to take the East Village tour.  Sorry, papa needs to pay the bills!).  They took their time to relearn how to do it right and these little bundles of joy are now back.  And its worth mentioning the awesome Spot Dessert Bar downstairs.  13 St Marks Pl (3rd/2nd)

Xi’an Famous Foods – Chain or not, the Lamb dumplings at Xi’an is a thing of beauty.  They are the size of large meatballs, boiled and carefully ladened with a killer combination of vinegar, soy, chili paste, and chili oil.  The sauce is so potent, that I wouldnt hesitate to order the spinach dumplings here instead on my healthy every first Monday of the month.  81 St Marks Pl (off 1st)

Xi'an Famous Foods

 

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Categories: East Village, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eating Without Ziggy – Battle of the Soups, Chinatown

Chronicles of the Hummus Whisperer…

Believe it or not, sometimes I eat without my foodie-call Ziggy. While its never the same as eating with my dear companion or with my dear wife the Hummus Punisher, I’ll resume coverage of my independent food experiences with this column.

Japan:
With winter just around the corner,  wannabe foodies and pepperazzis (obsessive food photo snappers) indulge in tomato soup at hale & hearty soups.  But I started the week with a $6.50 lunch special veggie Ramen at Ajisen Noodle on Mott Street and it’s  just what the doctor ordered.  It originated in Kumamoto of Kyushu, Japan in 1968.  Their ramen is chewy, straight and thin coupled with the secret recipe of a tonkotsu soup base (white soup base from which bones, meat, vegetables and other fine ingredients are cooked for many hours producing a milky white broth).
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Did I mention that I usually hate soups? this post is a great way to offend my mother and mother-in-law as they have been given countless head shakes when offering soup.

China:
I decided to pass on the typical American-Chinese soups that you can find just about anywhere in America.  Xi’an famous foods (cash only)  is certainly not a typical Chinese establishment, with one other location in flushing Queens.  Western Chinese cuisine of the ancient city of Xi’an is served here.  The spicy cumin lamb soups is a fusion of Chinese and middle eastern cuisines at its finest.  The soup had a pleasant aroma from the lamb-bone broth with one delicious extra long flat hand-pulled noodle.  Noodle quality is superb for $8. This father and son run place seats about 20 ppl so get here early as it packs up fast with a long line outside.  Looking around at the plates at the two communal tables, this place is giving Mission Chinese a run for its money in terms of quality and price.  This is definitely my favorite of the group, more to come on this place.
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Japan:
 For a hip, minimalist atmosphere,  stop by Bassanova (cash only).  With the original location in Japan, this newcomer opened in July 2013 in a convenient spot around the corner from canal street.  In addition to other platters, they serve only three Ramen soups in ceramic bowls imported from the original’s hometown of Setagaya.  I enjoyed the Tondaku green curry ramen while sitting at the steamy bar with a boom box playing hip-hop.  Despite a disappointingly steep dollar to Ramen  ratio for any ecconoisseur, the soup displayed colorful ingredients such as moist grilled Berkshire pork, mixed  greens, shrimp, okra, and red bell pepper, and a secret base with a good hint of green curry.  I attacked this soup with brutal force. Who knew Ramen soup would taste so good while listening to “gangsta’s paradise” and enjoying  the “Prado” wallet you just bought on Canal street for your girlfriend.
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Categories: Chinatown, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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