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The Hot Plate: Quest for the Perfect Dumpling

Chinatown Treat Gets Taste Test

Not all dumplings are created equal. Some can be light and flavorful, while others are tough and lackluster. With so many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown offering dumplings, how is a diner to know which serves the most delectable option? Roll Call set out to find the answer to this question.

[IMGCAP(1)]After seeking suggestions and narrowing the field down to four restaurants, I gathered a few Roll Call staffers — all self-professed “experts” in Chinese dumplings — and held a taste test. The dumplings were evaluated on the quality of the dough and filling, whether they stayed together while being eaten and their overall flavor. We rated the dumplings on a scale of one to five stars. The results: We tasted some of the best and some of the worst dumplings available on H Street.

Tony Cheng’s Restaurant (619 H St. NW)
Vegetable: 4 1/2 stars
Pork: 4 1/2 stars

Tony Cheng’s made its biggest impression on the dumpling panel with its vegetable option. While the other restaurants offered boring fillings made entirely of cabbage or of vegetables that were not finely chopped, Tony Cheng’s offered the perfect filling. Not only was the inside of the dumpling multicolored, but it was also wonderfully textured and tasty. Water chestnuts mixed in with other vegetables added a nice crunch. The dough of the dumpling was delicate and much easier to cut than the other samples that we tried.

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