The Soup Dumplings Story

Wednesday night was my big foodie night out in New York. I headed to Sammy’s Noodles in the Village, ordered the scallion pancakes and a big beef noodle soup. After using too many napkins to wipe my brow, I took half the soup home and saved it for the next day.

New York style Chinese is my favorite. Now, that I am on the left coast (California, for those who don’t know), I crave those favorite Chinese delights. I also hold wonderful memories of Nicole and I huddled together in this divey Chinese takeout place on Second Ave. It didn’t look like much, but a refuge from the snowstorm outside. When we ate our food at the table an explosion of tastes erupted.

The hole in the wall places are the best, but my favorite Chinese restaurant of all time is Joe’s Shanghai on Pell and Bowery. It has the typical Chinese restaurant look with communal tables and slightly tucked away from the main drag. My old boss, Judy introduced me to the place, it remains her favorite restaurant.

On our first visit, she told us ” you must try the soup dumplings.” We ordered the dumplings. They arrived piping hot and looked like a fine museum display. They glistened perfectly in the light. She taught me how to eat the dumpling. I placed the dumpling on a spoon, poked a small hole using the chopstick and bit into it very carefully.

The first time, it just spilled on my shirt. By the second round, I bit into it and wow. My shirt survived and the tastes were beyond flavorful. The combination of warm broth, pork and hot chili sauce on top gave me a well-deserved case of food coma. I couldn’t stop eating. After my first Joe’s Shanghai experience, I became an addict.

Judy and I had lunch there often. No matter how many times I ordered the soup dumplings, the delicious taste never diminished. After Joe’s Shanghai, we would walk to Little Italy and have dessert at Ferrari’s. It’s a legend. I usually ordered the sponge cake with a coffee. It was always a compliment to the delicious meals at Joe’s Shanghai.

My mouth always waters for soup dumplings. I miss all the tastes of China found in New York. Soup dumplings are the dish I crave most. I could eat them everyday and feel satisfied, even with food coma persisting.

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  1. There is nothing like a good dumpling!


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