This restaurant is closed!
It's not often that a dumpling shop generates this much buzz, but then again it's not every day that one moves into the Flatiron District. The anticipation over Rickshaw Dumpling has been building after the opening was delayed several months. Chef Anita Lo, who gained her reputation at Anissa, making her first attempt at what amounts to gourmet Chinese fast-food. We paid our visit opening day, and to be fair, things were still be a bit rough around the edges. Now, I don't want to burst your dumpling but these are our first impressions. The restaurant itself is long and narrow and lacks a formal dining area. Tables are scattered in the front, followed by a long wooden dumpling bar, an open area for cooking (that's the real cool part) and more tables along the side and back. The design is rather Ikea-esce with its modern light fixtures hanging from thin wires and somewhat sterile tables and chairs. I guess I was hoping for something with a bit more warmth, instead we got industrial. The dumplings come in five varieties and are served six ($4.95) to nine ($6.95) per box. You can get them steamed or fried, or mixed in a variety of soups or salad. I went for the Classic Pork and Chive, which were good, but no better than dumplings I've had in Chinatown. The Chicken & Thai Basil were a bit more flavorful and the spicy peanut dipping sauce added an extra kick. My friend ordered the Wasabi Shrimp dumplings served in a miso soup with nori and fresh Shanghai noodles ($3 extra), which he found a little dull and in need or some soy sauce. For dessert, Chef Lo offers Chocolate Soup Dumplings ($3), melted chocolate in a sesame mochi wrapper that the folks around us seemed to be enjoying. We plan to try them on a return visit, along with the Peking Duck dumplings, which were sold out. So is Rickshaw worth all the hype? We're not sure yet. But, we do plan to give it a bit more time to grow.
Review By: Sam Sayegh