With the notable exception of Saiguette, Vietnamese restaurants in NYC don’t really serve dumplings, so I had gone to Pho Shop planning to try their Banh Mi sandwich. But I discovered they sell steamed dumplings, so I ended up having a much larger dinner than I planned. The classic Banh Mi with Vietnamese ham, house bacon and pate with lots of pickled daikon and carrot was quite good, but they didn’t seem to be using the classic Banh Mi roll, which was a disappointment.
The Dumplings: Pho Shop serves steamed dumplings filled with chicken, pork and shrimp or vegetables. I got the pork and shrimp variety, which come six large dumplings to an order, and were filled with minced pork, scallions and big pieces of shrimp. The shrimp brought a slight sweet and saline flavor to the savory pork and mild pepper flavor from the scallions. The wrappers were slightly sweet and cooked al dente so they had a good mouth chew. The addition of the slightly sweetened soy dipping sauce Pho Shop serves took these dumpling to 11 – these dumplings were very good. One thing to know is that the dumplings take a long time to steam and so do not work well as an appetizer before a main course.
The Location: Pho Shop took over the space that was previously Izakaya Ida and they did a pretty thorough re-model, so the interior is now very warm and inviting. They are located on the Northern side of 72nd street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.