Dollar dumplings are nothing new, in fact they are almost passé. So many places popped up when they were all the rage, that grabbing a portion or two in Chinatown has almost lost all its fun. Many times a plate of five is now four, or the price has gone up to $1.25 or more. It just feels a little deflating, especially coupled with a product that is going noticeably downhill.
So the joy I feel every time I order a delicious plate of pork with leek pan fried dumplings ($1 for four, below) at Sunset Park's Kai Feng Fu is quite obvious. It may not be rocket science, but the way they fry a plate of dumplings here is skillful, perfect. The ingredients are good, much fresher and nicer than those tired lumps in the other borough.
Also a steal are the pan fried pork buns ($1.25 for three, below), puffy pillows with the same delicious pork filling. Maybe just another vehicle for getting this goodness into your face, but it is pleasant to mix up your options. All the other steamed dumplings are sold as plates of eight for $2.50 or $3, and they seem to dissuade you by saying they'll take ten minutes. The reality is only about five, but I find the skins of these steamed versions very thick and less enjoyable than the fried variety.
Equally satisfying is the beef stew noodle soup ($4, below), which for the price is almost theft. Granted, these cuts of beef are not prime, but the broth and thick noodles make the giant bowl a real belly filler. It is rich and intense, and can easily be made spicy with the bottle of hot sauce on each table.
The thick noodles are my choice.
There are only a few tables here, but everyone sits together so don't be shy. They also seem to have a space behind the kitchen, but I have not figured out the seating arrangements there. No matter how and where you eat your dumplings, satisfaction is coming soon.