950 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
After a month and a half of being in cities other than Boston, I’m finally back at MIT for my spring semester of sophomore year. Starting with this post, I’m determined to blog regularly this semester no matter how narrow the sidewalks become from the ever-growing snowbanks.
Tonight, six of my friends and I went to dinner at Dumpling House in Central Square after a frigid twenty two minute trek. Because of the size of our group, I made reservations ahead of time, and boy were those reservations necessary. At 6pm the restaurant was already packed, but by the time we left around 7pm, there were at least twenty people huddled at the doorway waiting for a table.
We ordered family-style, sharing eight dishes between seven people. Given the name of the restaurant, we obviously wanted to try its dumplings, and those did not disappoint. The Mini Soup Dumplings with Pork are exactly what they sound like—fragile pork-and-soup-filled dumplings. Poke them too hard with the chopsticks and the soup spills out of the dumpling, along with your pride. These dumplings had a thin, chewy dough wrapping, with a well-seasoned filling that did not drip with oil. We also tried the Mini Soup Dumplings with Pork and Crabmeat, which were essentially the same thing, except with bits of crabmeat that added an interesting texture to the filling.
I personally could not tell any difference between the steamed Pork and Leek Dumplings and the Pork and Cabbage Dumplings, but they were both fantastic, each with a thick, chewy wrapping that enclosed a perfectly savory filling.
The big hit of the night was the Sliced Fish Szechuan Style, which consisted of tender fish pieces soaked in a spicy broth with various vegetables. “The combination of spicy and savory tasted fantastic with the white rice,” Cathy explained. “It was so good.”
The Mapo Tofu, a Szechuan style spicy tofu dish, tasted like home, with tender cubes of soy goodness drenched in a flavorful (slightly spicy) sauce. “I loved this tofu,” Lily told me. “So silky.”
The Three Cup Chicken is a classic Taiwanese dish that is supposedly made with only three cups of sauces: a cup of soy sauce, a cup of rice wine, and a cup of sesame oil. Seasoned with basil, the small cuts of bone-in chicken were tender and well-dressed with some variation of those three cups of sauce, but it did not stand out as much as the other dishes.
We split a large bowl of Tomato Egg Drop Soup that consisted of a substantial amount of dropped eggs, spinach, and tomato. Light in flavor, the soup balanced out the heavy, savory dishes that we consumed earlier in our meal.
Overall, the restaurant absolutely lives up to its hype. With reasonable prices, the Dumpling House is perfect for a night of delicious Chinese food as long as you can get a table. 8.5/10