WATCH | Drunken Dumpling serves a soup dumpling that, according to them, is 6-8 times larger than your typical soup dumpling
"People have been telling me, 'Hey, Lee, you should do a dumpling shop. We love your dumplings. You love dumpling yourself, so why not,' " said Yuan Lee, the owner of Drunken Dumpling in the East Village of Manhattan. "I was like, well that's a good idea. If I don't make money, at least I can, you know, eat my own dumpling every day."
So in September of last year, Lee opened his own restaurant. He enlisted his mother as the chef, who has been making dumplings in restaurants since they moved to New York from Beijing 15 years ago.
Lee's mother Qihui Guan, 63, has been making her own dumplings for 50 years according to Lee. She learned the New York dumpling industry at Joe's Shanghai, widely considered to have the best soup dumplings in the city.
But Lee says his dumplings have a leg up on Joe's Shanghai in the ingredients. "The difference between us and Joe's Shanghai is that we are a farm-to-table Chinese restaurant in New York City. I love food by itself. I care about my own health, and I also care about [the] environment," says Lee. "So, our restaurant, we support local farms. We get all of our ingredient from upstate New York and also the Greenmarket in Union Square."
Whichever restaurant you prefer, one thing is certain: more soup dumplings is a good thing.