Dumpling Kingdom is a tiny, somewhat dingy, mom and pop run dumpling shop near Washington Square Park, in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. They have a pretty good selection of house made dumplings and dumplings soups, and a short list of main dishes. Most of their business is take-out, catering to the local NYU students, and the space has counter seating for about six people. Dumpling Kingdom gets really crowded for eating at the counters when there is a long line of people waiting on to-go orders, or when a gaggle of students comes in to place orders. Eat-in orders are served in aluminium to-go boxes and come with a plastic to-go tub of sauce.
The Dumplings: Dumpling Kingdom’s menu has pork soup dumplings, crystal vegetable dumplings, shrimp shumai, fried or steamed pork and chive dumplings, fried or steamed pork and cabbage dumplings, seafood dumplings, chicken dumplings, jade dumplings, crab rangoon, chicken wontons, and chicken wontons in spicy sauce. You can also order pork, chicken, seafood and jade dumplings in soup. I tried the fried pork and chive dumplings and the jade dumplings.
Fried Pork and Chive Dumplings – they made a mistake in my order and initially served me steamed pork and chive dumplings, which they subsequently then fried/seared on one side, so I am not sure if the dumplings I had are their typical style for fried dumplings. But the dumplings they finally served me were really good, some of the juiciest pork dumplings I have had in a while. The meatball filling had a deep, well seasoned pork flavor shot through with a peppery flavor from the chives.
Jade Dumplings – these bright green dough wrapped, vegan dumplings are only served steamed. They seemed to be filled with a mix of white cabbage, greens and carrots, and maybe a few other veggies thrown in there too that I could not readily identify. The white cabbage was under cooked compared to the other ingredients and gave these dumplings an unfortunate mouth feel. In addition, the wrappers were really thick and became stodgy and tough as the dumplings cooled. To top it off the wrapper and filling were both lacking in flavor. But the sauce tasted quite good and, if it wasn’t for the unpleasant texture from the cabbage and the thick wrapper, these dumplings would have been a good sauce delivery vehicle.
Overall, I would go back to Dumpling Kingdom for the fried pork and chive dumplings and to try some of the other dumplings in their line up, but I would not recommend the Jade Dumplings.
The Dipping Sauce: The dumplings are served with a to-go tub of sauce and the counters had bottles of soy sauce and Huy Fong’s Sriracha sauce. The sauce that came in the tub, a sweetened mix of soy and rice vinegar, was quite good but the tubs were small, making it hard to dip the dumplings.
The Location: Dumpling Kingdom is located on Sullivan Street between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street. This is the NYU campus neighborhood and so the Sullivan Street and the area in general has a huge student population and is packed with bars, restaurants and food trucks.