There are days where you just can’t figure out what you want to eat for lunch. When you just can’t commit to one single entree. You also may not even want a “normal” lunch — salad, sandwich, soup. So then what do you do? Well here’s what I did: I got lots of appetizers from Rickshaw Dumpling Bar.
Rickshaw Dumpling Bar has 2 locations (and a truck!) in Manhattan. They is known from serving up delicious dumplings filled with locally grown, organic and anti-biotic free meat and vegetables. The menu was particularly perfect for me on this indecisive day. They have a nice variety of dumplings and an awesome selection of sides from rice to salads to noodles. Here was my order (and yes, it was large): Shiitake Mushroom Bun, Chicken & Thai Basil Dumplings, Warm Sesame Noodles, Chinese Greens, and a Chocolate Shanghai Soup Dumpling for dessert. With all of these “small plates” to eat, I knew that I should be satisfied… So how did it all taste?
Each item arrived individually packaged and in one large Rickshaw Dumpling branded paper bag. I started with the shiitake bun. The bread portion of the bun itself was super fluffy, but was not really not the star of this dish. That would be the filling of mushrooms and cucumbers with a miso dressing. The ginger flavors that were embedded in the filling were also really nice. After one bite of the bun as a whole, I ended up using a fork to just eat the filling. I had a lot of other items to get to!
Next, I ate the “main event” of the meal. I dug right into the chicken and Thai basil dumplings. The dumps were served with a really nice light orange-colored sauce. I can’t tell you exactly what it was… perhaps the mimi sauce? Whatever it was I enjoyed its light sweetness. The dumplings themselves were moist and fairly warm (it can be tough to keep food warm during delivery in winter!), but the sauce added a really nice extra spice and creaminess. Next time perhaps I’ll spring for the Kim Chi Beef Dumplings — they look pretty interesting!
The last two “side dishes” I ordered were the Chinese Greens and the Warm Sesame Noodles. The Chinese Greens were really needed after a fairly starch-heavy meal. They may have been a tad over-sauced in oyster sauce, but as a fan of salt, I didn’t hate it! The Warm Sesame Noodles were also quite nice. The peanut dressing on them gave them an awesome creaminess and I loved the cucumber strands throughout to cut through the thickness.
I couldn’t let this meal come to an end without dessert. And luckily, the one dessert on the Rickshaw menu really called out to me. A chocolate Shanghai Soup Dumpling. Yes. It’s true. As you can tell from this picture, the melty chocolate seriously oozed out from the dumpling (just like soup!). The black sesame coating on the outside provided an contrast to the sweet flavors and also added some crunch. While the dumpling may not have been the healthiest item on the menu, I thoroughly appreciated the splurge.