Dumpling Kingdom: College Savings and Wontons Galore

Dumpling Kingdom's grand gates

Dumpling Kingdom’s grand gates

While playing West Village hide-and-go-seek, a creative player could enter Dumpling Kingdom, hunch over a dumpling combo, and remain unnoticed for the remainder of the round. This restaurant is what yelpers call ‘a hidden gem’ of the city, marked only by the green and yellow logo beckoning observant prospective customers in. The door was left ajar to allow the pleasing scents to waft from the open kitchen into the outside. Students from the nearby NYU frequent the store, happy to apply a college discount.


The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.


When I visited Dumpling Kingdom, the day was fresh and the restaurant cozy enough to ignore the construction blaring obnoxiously outside. The young lady working the register and compiling the meals was kind and informative; she pointed out the favorite dishes for me and my colleague to taste: wonton soup with spicy sauce, scallion pancakes, and a champion dumpling combo.

As we waited for our meal, I watched as curious passersby wandered in, young Asian students rendezvoused, and the delivery man bustled in and out, arms burdened with happy-faced bags. The small eating space, simply adorned with local posters, maneki neko, labeled photos of dishes, announcements, and discounts, not only met health and sanitation standards, but also invoked a sense of simple community. The tables, albeit small and cramped against the wall, had the ability to create an intimacy between patrons. I was delighted to see folks of many different races stop before the restaurant, sniff the air, and give a curious look before entering and ultimately ordering some dumplings.


The Kingdom's favorite dishes, all appealing photographed.

The Kingdom’s favorite dishes, all appealing photographed.

Shortly after ordering, our food was passed into our hands. Spicy wonton soup was a new concept to me – the dumplings floating in the red soup wore a thin dough, dripped orange and red, and, while not unbearable, had the ability to clear any sinus. The famous Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Kikkoman Soy Sauce were available, the former enhancing the eastern spice.


Scallion pancakes were a perfect follow-up to the spicy wonton soup. The pancake crust were enveloped around a doughy center layer, which had scallions baked in. As compared to the wonton soup, the taste was oniony and grounding.


Finally, the dumplings. The champion combo includes pork chive, pork cabbage, chicken, jade, and seafood dumplings. The dough of these dumplings was thicker and chewier than those of the wonton soup. Each dumpling was perfectly sized into two-bite pieces, and was meticulously molded to have a rounded shape. Upon my biting into one particular dumpling, the tasty juices squirted out. Each kind of dumpling tasted appropriate for its name, although none stood out as amazing.


The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.

The menus, like the restaurant, are crinkly yet endearing, and are decorated with appetizing, colorful photos of the soon-to-be-devoured food.

Dumpling Kingdom was more of a humble abode than a kingdom. This fact is not negative, but rather, endearing. It is home to local folks, NYU students, and passersby of any race. Despite its shortcomings – Styrofoam containers could be replaced with homey plates, bare walls could stand to be a little more decorated – the restaurant has that New York ‘hidden gem’ appeal and boasts a variety of appetizing dishes, from dumplings to classic entrees like General Tso’s chicken. Dumpling Kingdom was a charming experience, and a great alternative to dining hall food.

Dumpling Kingdom is located on 227 Sullivan Avenue, near Washington Square Park. NYU students get a 10% discount. Deliveries are free if more than $10 worth of food is ordered. Search for Dumpling Kingdom on the Campus Clipper website!


ChristelleMarie Chua

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