“If dumplings can be considered a big idea,” (Working Girl circa 1988), then you will soon realize newcomer Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings are pure genius. I am certain Tess would agree…
Hannah and Marian are the sisters behind Mimi Cheng’s. They are all about refashioning this Asian cuisine staple. Disappointed by the incarnations that dominate the restaurants and shops in Chinatown, the duo were determined to introduce their mum, Mimi’s, variation. The girls have certainly hit it right. They have created an impeccably fresh-tasting Taiwanese dumpling that’s authentic yet modern, and never greasy or gummy.
Inside this sunny East Village eatery, what you see is what you get. Standing at the reclaimed-wood counter, you can observe kitchen staff expertly stuffing little gems with sustainably raised and organic meats with locally grown, farm-fresh veggies. They are then perfectly sealed. Options include: the Mimi Cheng (pasture-raised chicken and zucchini); the Reinvented Classic (pasture-raised pork, baby bok choy, and cabbage); and if you’re looking for your daily dose of Vitamin K, the Mighty Veggie (stuffed with organic kale, zucchini, free-range egg, and shiitake mushrooms). All of Cheng’s precious packages can be pan-sautéed or steamed. Orders are by six or eight pieces, can include up to two varieties, and are cooked to order. Then, they are served in recyclable containers, and given an extra boost by the homemade secret sauce (only the girls and their mum know the recipe). Refreshing seasonal drinks like watermelon-cucumber juice are perfect for accompanying these flavor-forward treats.
Of course you can take these babies to go. However, it is much more fun grabbing a seat at the welcoming communal table or counter. Frankly, if you are like me, you’ll want to leave optionality for a second batch. Also, since you surely deserve your just desserts, don’t miss sweet variety dumplings filled with chocolate and peanut butter, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, and completed with a salty accent of crushed pretzels.
Currently, Mimi Cheng’s has one location. Here’s hoping the sisters Cheng take this show on the road!
Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings
179 Second Avenue
New York City