Down to Chow

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Dumplings Tea & Coffee, aka DTC, opened up in August 2015, but I never noticed it until October because I often passed it when they already closed shop. After trying their classic dumplings once, I have been back many more times to try everything else on the menu – and I might even be considered a regular at this point. Here‘s why I keep going back.

DTC has a tiny menu, but that’s why it’s good – they’re specialized. The guy in the back makes the dumplings himself and they fry them when you order, which means everything’s freshly made, but it also means the wait time can get up to 15 minutes an order. There’s not much space to sit down – up to four seats – so it’s more of a takeout than a restaurant, but they’re quite friendly if you do feel like sticking around. Their combo order is also probably one of the best deals you can find on this side of town.

I’ve tried all their dumplings, but I always go back to the Truffle, Mushrooms & Pork. They’ve got the classic flavor with a teeny-tiny hint of truffle, served with black vinegar. The skin of the dumpling has a nice fried crust on one side, thick enough to hold in the meaty juice but thin enough that it doesn’t dominate the meal.

The combo comes with a soup vermicelli, which can be upgraded to spicy soup or Dan Dan Noodles. I always stick with the original – partly because I can’t eat spicy food, even though they can make their Dan Dan non-spicy. The original soup is a simple solution made with pork, pig bones and carrots, so you get a sweet, marrowy broth that sticks to the vermicelli.

On top of dumplings and noodles, they have three options of pancake rolls – Chinese pancakes, not western breakfast ones with syrup. You can pick between chicken, pork, and beef, all at a cheap $20, but I always go for the beef. It’s got a few juicy strips of brisket and some greens and horseradish, all wrapped up in a flaky green onion pancake like a Chinese soft taco.

Their soft drink selection is all bottled Italian sparkly stuff, like sodas and sparkling and non-sparkling waters, so I often end up with a Limonata on top of my food order. Though it’s a takeout, the guys that work there are really friendly, so the service is pretty good too: You can call ahead to place your order to cut short your wait time. They’ll recognize you if you go more often, and will chat with you if it’s not the lunch rush.

Alright, enough about the good – let’s talk about the bad: It wouldn’t be fair of me to only talk about what’s good here, because it’s also important to know what to avoid.

This place is called Dumplings Tea & Coffee, but their tea and coffee are kind of lackluster. The milk tea is pretty average. The coffee, though, is definitely cheap coffee – you can taste how cheap it is. Then again, it’s $9 a cup if ordered with food ($18 a la carte), so at least it’s really, really inexpensive. At the same time, putting coffee on your restaurant name gives people the expectation that it’s one of their specialties. (Hint: It’s not.) They might as well just call themselves “Dumplings,” or just “D”.

Basically, the food is what keeps me coming back and back again – you can’t go wrong with a DTC lunch and a bottled drink. So go, try them out! I know I’ll be back.

**5/20/2016 EDIT**

I tried the Iced Lemon Tea on a whim and it’s actually pretty damn good. I take back my comment about sucky drinks – you just have to know which one to get! I’ve added it to the scoring table below.


Scoring

Parameter Score
Truffle, Mushrooms & Pork Fried Dumplings (松窿雜菇豬肉煎餃) 5/5
Soup Vermicelli (豬骨湯米粉) 5/5
Beef Pancake Roll (牛肉薄餅卷) 5/5
Overall Food 5/5
Iced Milk Tea 3/5
DTC Coffee 2/5
Iced Lemon Tea 4/5
Overall Drinks 3/5
Service 5/5
Cleanliness 4/5
Environment 3/5
Washroom N/A
Menu Cost ($) 5/5
Total Score 4/5

Menu Pricing

Fried Dumplings available at 5 or 8 pieces per order at $22 to $38.

Soup Vermicelli combos are $30 to $36, which include 5 dumplings (plus $8 for the 8-piece set, plus $3 for the Dan Dan upgrade).

Chicken/Beef/Pork Pancake Rolls at $20 each.

All drinks $15 to $26 a la carte, half price when ordered with food.


Dumplings Tea & Coffee
G/F, 27A Swatow Street
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Mon-Sat 11:00 – 20:00
Lunch Rush: 12:30 – 13:30

Call ahead for an order at (852) 3689 2569

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