The Ukrainian East Village Restaurant is housed at the Ukrainian National Home, a community, social and cultural center in New York City’s East Village. The ‘Ukie Nat’, as it is known by long time residents of the neighborhood, has been around since the 1950′s and houses the restaurant, the Karpaty Pub and a performance hall. The hall has hosted some legendary bands; Elvis Costello played there in 1977 on the Attraction’s first tour of the U.S., New Order played there in 1981 as they were developing their post-Joy Division sound (audio here, video here), The Misfits played a Halloween show there in 1981 and Blues Traveler and Phish played together there in 1989 (video of Blues Traveler here, Phish set list here, Phish audio here). The Ukrainian East Village Restaurant has a back room that hosts events, the Manhattan Libertarian Party meets there the second Tuesday of each month and every Wednesday there is a Milonga – an Argentine Tango Party.
The Ukrainian East Village Restaurant is not directly visible from the street, although a chalk board on the sidewalk showing the daily specials marks its presence. The restaurant is an old school looking wood paneled room on the ground floor of the Ukie Nat, at the end of a long hall. We were there on a Wednesday, which is tango night in the restaurant’s back room, so there was a steady stream of well dressed men and women that walked through the restaurant room. It was actually really cool to watch the dancing, some really skilled dancers come to the Ukrainian National Home for Tango night.
I came into NYC on Amtrak the other day in the mid-afternoon and, since that put me close to Korea Town, I decided to grab a to-go order from Mandoo Bar and see how well their dumplings would micro-wave up for dinner. I got the twelve piece Combo Mandoo which comes with boiled Veggie (green wrapper), Seafood (yellow wrapper) and Pork (white wrapper) dumplings.
The Seafood and Pork dumplings held up well to refrigeration and micro-waving and tasted almost as good as they do fresh in the restaurant. The Seafood dumplings are my favorite, the filling seems to be a mix of shrimp and crab and the wrapper has a slightly sweet flavor. The Veggie dumplings didn’t hold up so well to re-heating and the filling tasted a little bitter.
The take-out order comes with two types of kimchi, a tub of slightly overly sweet dipping sauce and a tub of spicy chili paste.
Arvind Mahankali, 13 of Bayside Hills, won the National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling Knaidel, the Yiddish word for dumpling (links, links). However, the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research has challenged the result, arguing the correct spelling is Kneydl. Apparently, Arvind’s win is safe as the Spelling Bee uses the 3rd edition of Webster’s dictionary as the reference spelling guide, and Webster’s has it as Knaidel. With this win Arvind announced he is retiring from competitive spelling to focus on physics.
Legend, part of a local chain of Asian restaurants, is a relatively new Szechuan style restaurant on the border of the Upper West Side and Morningside Heights. They serve a fair amount of American-Chinese dishes, but also some interesting items listed in the “New Style Szechuan Food” and “Traditional Szechuan Food” sections of the menu (see Beef Tendon With Spicy, Peppery Flavor; Braised Pork Intestines With Tofu Pudding; Braised Whole Fish With Pickles & Mustard Greens; Sautéed Homemade Bacon with green leeks).
Shrimp wonton with red sesame sauce, Shrimp sui mai and Juicy little pork buns
Posted in Buns, Chinese, New York City, Pork, Sichuan Dumplings, Soup Dumpling
Tagged Buns, Chinese, New York City, Pork, Sichuan Dumplings, Soup Dumplings
I am planning a trip to Paris and thought I would try some dumpling houses while I was there. According to my web reading Chinese food in Paris is pretty poor, while Korean food in Paris gets very good reviews, as do the Vietnamese restaurants. Given France’s colonial history I am not really surprised to learn there is good Vietnamese food there, but dumplings seem to be absent from Vietnamese cuisine. So far I have found four dumpling spots that get good reviews: Delices du Shandong, Guo Xin Restaurant Raviolis, Ravioli Chinois Nord Est and Gyoza Bar.
Anyone have other suggestions?
Shrimp and water chestnut dumplings
This is a recipe I have worked on and tweaked for a couple of years. The diced water chestnuts give the dumplings a nice crunch texture and mouth feel. I use some of the shrimp and water chestnut to make a shrimp/water chestnut paste so the mixed ingredients stick together and are easier to handle when wrapping the filling.
Several blogs and news outlets have posted an odd video of Tom Cruise making soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Taipei. See the post at Grub Street.
The oddly glistening steamed vegetable dumplings
When you are a vegan, stuck shopping in a mall in the suburbs and don’t want to eat french fries for lunch, P.F. Chang’s starts to look like a non-terrible idea. It doesn’t ever rise to being a good idea but they have a vegetarian section on the menu, which has dumplings.
The Dumplings. The vegetable dumplings are available fried or steamed, although somehow the steamed dumplings still came glistening with oil. The filling had a really strong ginger flavor that overpowered the otherwise nondescript vegetable filling.
The Dipping Sauce. The dipping sauce was unmemorable, while the sambal chili paste was memorable for being over-salted.
The Location. At a mall or airport near you.