Chinese dumplings deservingly get a lot of love in this city, especially in the hubs of Flushing, Queens and the city's various Chinatowns. Those in-the-know about other incredible Asian eats know to head to Jackson Heights for delicious Indian and Tibetan offerings, and now Sunnyside, a little farther to the west, has a Tibetan haven to call its own.
Tibetan Dumpling Cafe recently opened in a nondescript storefront on a busy stretch of Queens Boulevard. Inside, owner Tashi whips up traditional dishes including thali platters piled high with a meat or vegetable curry, rice and lentils plus greens, yogurt and homemade pickles. Hearty dishes like shaptak (thinly sliced beef with peppers and onions), cheley khatsa (beef tongue in a spicy sauce) and thukpa (hand-pulled noodles) in soup are also available.
But for dumpling fiends it's going to be all about the momos, classic Tibetan dumplings stuffed with different types of meats and vegetables and either served plainly steamed or sauteed in a special sauce. "Momos are a big part of the Tibetan culture!" explains Tashi, who makes the little dough purses from scratch each day. The thin, knotted dough looks very similar to xiao long bao, the Shanghai-style dumplings filled with a flavorful broth. There's no soup element to these beautiful dumplings, but the tender minced fillings are every bit as flavorful and just begging to be eaten tray after tray.
49-08 Queens Boulevard between 49th and 50th Streets in Sunnyside, Queens, (347) 507-1555