2/06/2013 09:45:00 AM

8 Places to Satisfy Your Dumpling Craving in the Boston Area

Gourmet Dumpling House
Get ready for the year of the snake starting on February 10. Feel like celebrating, but you're not sure where to go? Consider going to one of the following restaurants known for its top-notch dumplings. From Chinatown staples to fusion spots with panache, no matter your preferred scene, we have a suggestion for you.

Red Lantern 
Food: -
Decor: -
Service: -
Cost: -
A sexy glow emanates from this pricey Back Bay Pan-Asian, where guests are greeted by Buddha likenesses, acupuncture statue lamps and red lanterns hanging from high ceilings in an expansive exposed-brick dining room (there’s also a Vegas-worthy bar); seating options include a small sushi bar, a counter overlooking the exhibition kitchen, dark-stained tables with red chairs and a communal table.

539 Stanhope St.; 617-262-3900

Blue Ginger 
Food: 27
Decor: 23
Service: 25
Cost: $58
“Taste-bud-tickling”, “highly creative” Asian fusion fare comes from this Wellesley destination’s open kitchen, where “justifiably famous” “wizard” chef Ming Tsai “actually cooks” when he’s not “mingling with his guests”; “professional, polished service” reigns, even though the “unpretentious” setting is often “packed” – indeed, you need to “make a reservation well in advance” or try for the bar and its “more casual”, “less expensive” but no less “intriguing menu”; P.S. “the foie gras shumai and the Alaskan butterfish may be the best appetizer–main course combination” ever.

583 Washington St., Wellesley; 781-283-5790

Sichuan Gourmet 
Food: 25
Decor: 13
Service: 19
Cost: $24
If you’re game for “authentic” Chinese dishes that “take no prisoners when it comes to spicy”, “stick to the Sichuan specialties” says the “cult following” of this “inexpensive” Sino trio; few mind that “the decor is nothing to write home about”, as is evidenced by the “always packed” digs where “frantic” staffers deliver “lightning-fast service.”

1004 Beacon St., Brookline; 617-277-4227

Gourmet Dumpling House 
Food: 25
Decor: 10
Service: 14
Cost: $21
“You may sell your soul for the homemade dumplings” at this Chinatown Chinese whose whole “huge” menu is “amazing”, and “cheap” too; some “suggest takeout” since “there’s always a line” for the “no-reservations”, “tightly packed”, “nothing-special” dining room where, to top it off, “service is a little slow.”

52 Beach St.; 617-338-6223

Myers + Chang 
Food: 24
Decor: 20
Service: 22
Cost: $35
“Inspiring”, “innovative” Asian tapas are served in a “hip” Far East–leaning setting at this “edgy and excellent” South Ender by restaurateur Christopher Myers and chef Joanne Chang; servers stay “friendly” even when the vibe gets “frantic”, and while the “small portions” can “make it more expensive than it appears”, if you “sit at the bar overlooking the woks”, you’re also getting a “show” along with your meal.

1145 Washington St.; 617-542-5200

Chau Chow City 
Food: 22
Decor: 11
Service: 15
Cost: $22
“Tantalizing dim sum” and an “old-school Chinatown” setting are some of the reasons this spot is “a staple”, especially “for those on a slender budget”, while the “hilarious” “2 AM” scene makes it “a legend” among “drunkies”; the ravenous like that the “carts move at record speed” – but that’s because some staffers “have little patience” for folks “who can’t make up their minds” (it “helps to have a native speaker at your table”); P.S. the Dorchester outpost is “just as good.”

83 Essex St.; 617-338-8158

China Pearl 
Food: 21
Decor: 11
Service: 15
Cost: $22
The “bad banquet decor” isn’t why you go to this “cavernous” Chinatown space according to “hard-core dim-summers” who know to “come ridiculously early for the best selection” of “cheap, tasty” bits of Chinese “heaven” (and to “avoid a line that goes down the stairs”); if a “noisy, crowded” atmosphere and service that “leaves something to be desired” (due in part to “language barriers”) irk you, “you’ll be welcomed” with even “more space” at the Quincy location.

9 Tyler St.; 617-426-4338

Food: 18
Decor: 15
Service: 17
Cost: $20
A “British phenom”, these “funky” “cafeteria”-style noodle shops “quickly” ladle out “made-to-order” ramen, soups and stir-fries that fans “slurping” away at the “communal tables” pronounce “yummy”; some palates are “underwhelmed by the taste”, and truth be told, “you could get the real deal in Chinatown minus the inflated price tag”, but “on a cold day”, it “works” “in a pinch.”

1 S Market St.; 617-742-9242


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