Following up on my pledge to return to some of the dumpling houses where I had previously only reviewed the meat dumplings and instead to try the vegetable dumplings, I recently returned to Upper West Side Legend.
The Dumplings: While Upper West Side Legend has an extensive lineup of pork, chicken and shrimp dumplings they only serve one style of vegetable dumpling, filled with a mix of chopped cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and carrots, which you can order pan-fried or boiled. The wrappers are not made with egg, so these dumplings are vegan. I tried the pan-fried version, which had a really good, well salted, savory umami flavor, but perhaps more umami than can reasonably be attributed to the natural glutamates in the mushrooms. So maybe some MSG was used to season the filling, which I don’t hold against them since I think the health scares over MSG are overblown.
The Dipping Sauce: The vegetable dumplings came with a typical soy based dipping sauce, it probably had some sesame oil and a little vinegar in it.
The Location. Legend Upper West is located on 109th street just East of Broadway, which is basically the border between the Upper West Side and Columbia University’s Morningside Heights neighborhood.